Still excellent, after all these years

After an extensive, some would say gruelling, mid-term evaluation, NOKUT has decided that the three centres up for evaluation – bioCEED, CEMPE and MatRIC – will continue on as Centres for Excellence (SFU).

– This is a great day for higher education in general, and the three centres especially. I want to congratulate the three centres and all their partners, says NOKUT-director Terje Mørland, after the vote from NOKUTs board.

He is thrilled that the work done by the centres in biology, mathematics and music has brought results, and they now get to continue the outstanding work they have begun.

– The centres have done a lot in a short time. All of them have developed numerous successful programmes, projects and measures. At the same time, the evaluation has given them the opportunity to showcase their contribution to improved teaching and learning practices – an opportunity they have used convincingly. Throughout the evaluation, the centres have developed clear visions of their contributions to developing educational practices.

Unanimous committee

The centres were evaluated by an international expert panel, chaired by professor Paul Ashwin, of Lancaster University. The committee unanimously and without reservations recommended that NOKUTs board grant SFU-status to bioCEED, CEMPE and MatRIC for an additional five-year period. The expert panel was impressed with the centres’ achievements. All of the centres have made significant progress since their initial SFU-status and have generated good results, not just for their own institution, but also nationally and internationally.

Gruelling evaluation

Mørland emphasizes that the centres have been through a very demanding process:

– The centres have had to document their results and achievements in the first period of financing. The committee has interviewed students, teachers, management, centre staff, working life representatives and other stakeholders. In addition, the centres have submitted a self-evaluation, and plans in several rounds – all of which have been subject for comments from the expert panel.

The action plan was aimed specifically towards fostering development of the centres, an important goal of the mid-term evaluation. To foster this development, all the centres submitted an action plan outlining their work for the next period, based on their strengths and weaknesses in the first period.

About the Centres for Excellence

Centres for Excellence is a prestigious national award for excellence in education and entails financing for five years, with the possibility for an additional funding period of five years. bioCEED, CEMPE, and MatRIC were awarded centre-status in 2014. The committees mandate has been to evaluate these three centres in light of the goals they set for themselves in their original proposal and the SFU-scheme’s purpose. The centres operate in different fields and the panel was set up to match these fields.

Read the evaluation report (pdf)

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