How education and research deepen local connections Webinar

This interactive webinar discussed how distance learning has influenced life in rural areas. Watch how and why educational projects have had an effect on the development of rural development.


When: 17 April  2018, 14.00 - 15.00 CEST

Watch a recording of the webinar HERE

Dr. Anna Guðrún Edvardsdóttir presented some of the findings from her doctoral dissertation. This research examines the interaction of the knowledge society and rural development in three regions: The Westfjords of Iceland, East Iceland, and  the Western Isles of Scotland.

Her overall conclusion is that rural development in the areas studied revolve around economic factors, such as job creation, population increase and research activities that focus on the main industry. The knowledge society however enables rural areas to deepen connections with environmental, social and cultural factors, thus creating sustainable activities and resilient communities, which is in line with recent policy in rural Iceland and the Western Isles.

The thesis suggests three criteria that could guide communities in becoming sustainable and resilient and where the knowledge society is a key player with a leading role. The first criterion is to form a broad partnership among stakeholders when working on place-based plans at community level, second, to establish a trust fund when dealing with the use of natural resources in the community and third, to form regional and national partnerships with universities, research institutions and knowledge centres.

Questions discussed

  • How can education and research support development in rural areas ?
  • What effect can education and research have on the lives of local people and on the society at large?
  • What aspects of education for people in rural areas can be linked to the development of the quality of life in rural areas?

You will meet:

anna.jpg  Anna Guðrún Edvardsdóttir Phd.

She will be interviewed by 

Hro.png  Hróbjartur Árnason, University of Iceland

deird.jpg  Deirdre Hansen, Íverksetarahúsið, Faroe Islands will moderate the Webinar


This webinar is the second in a series of webinars by the project Presence at a distance. See our last webinar here. The Presence at a distance project is a collaboration between a group of educators from all of the Nordic nations and self-governing regions who are investigating a number of successful initiatives in using ICT to offer post-secondary education in rural areas. We aim to present examples of best practice and critical success factors as well as investigating possible reasons for unsuccessful initiatives. The project is financed by Nordplus and all the project members belong to the NVL Distans network (Nordic Network for Adult Learning).

Our webinars are organised in cooperation with the Swedish project Nya vägar,  Nitus (Sweden), Kvasir (Iceland), FUN (Norway), Studiesentret (Norway) and University of Iceland