27 million euro to excellent education in Norway

On 1 November, excellent education in Norway was celebrated at an event organized by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT).

Among those that received praise on the stage were the University of Oslo, NTNU and Lillehammer University College, as it was announced that they have received the status as Centres for Excellence in Education (SFU).

– I would like to congratulate the new Centres for Excellence in Education. They are an inspiration to all who strive for high quality. They will guide us as we work towards achieving our ambition of raising the quality of education at large, says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

He promised further initiatives to raise the status of education with the new White Paper that will be published next year. The Minister awarded the status as new Centres for Excellence in Education together with Terje Mørland, Director General of NOKUT.

– The academic communities who have now received centre status are among the best in the world when it comes to education. They come from very different academic fields, but have in common that they answer important challenges that our society is facing through education, says Director General Mørland.

A national prestige initiative

Centres for Excellence in Education is a national initiative rewarding research on and development of education. The academic communities who received centre status educate students within the fields of film, entrepreneurship, physics and ICT. In total, the four new centres willreceive approx. 27 million euro annually for a ten-year period.

– We need to know how students learn in order to enable them to solve problems. That is why testing new teaching methods and researching teaching and learning are among the centres’ main tasks. The centres are characterized by great student engagement and involvement of the students both in the development of the study programmes and in the ambitions of the centre, Mørland says.

The Educational Quality Award to NMBU

The national Educational Quality Award was also awarded during the ceremony on 1 November. NMBU – the Norwegian University of Life Sciences won the award and approx. 100 000 euro for developing and achieving great international success with an educational model in their master program in agroecology. The educational model enables students to solve complex, global challenges through participation, involvement, reflection, dialogue and action.

– The award winner shows that systematic commitment to quality in education gives great results. I am convinced that students learn more when they work with real-life issues and reflect upon their experiences along the way, which is the way things are done in this master program, says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, who announced the award winner.

– Lots to celebrate in Norwegian Higher Education

The award ceremony brought together more than 400 guests from the higher education sector. Besides announcing Centres for Excellence and the Education Quality Award, the audience was inspired by speeches from the head of McKinsey’s Oslo office, Martin Bech Holte, and top athlete Birgit Skarstein.

This is the first time NOKUT hosts such an event as part of the annual NOKUT conference on higher education. Director General Mørland does not exclude the possibility of this becoming an annual event.

– The Research Council has celebrated research through an event like this for years. Why shouldn’t we do the same? There is a lot to celebrate in Norwegian higher education, and maybe this event will enable us to show that education and research play well together?

Read more about the Centres for Excellence in Education

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