Vabø and Maassen at a seminar about the newly announced White paper “Kvalitetsmelding”

Research professor Agnete Vabø, NIFU
Research professor Agnete Vabø, NIFU
Professor Peter Maassen, UiO
Professor Peter Maassen, UiO

The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research (Kunnskapsdepartementet) presented last Friday a new White Paper on quality in higher education. The white paper is titled “Culture for quality in higher education”.

On the occasion of the White Paper being launched a NIFU seminar was held on Monday. Agnete Vabø and Peter Maassen provided a research commentary during the seminar.

The state secretary for education, Bjørn Haugstad, first presented the White Paper, followed by a Vabø and Maassen as two researchers in the area of higher education providing a commentary based on their extensive expertise with studying governance and quality of higher education.

Later, they all joined a panel debate along with Curt Rice, rector at Oslo and Akershus University College, Ragnhild Hennum, pro-rector at University of Oslo, Marianne Andenæs, leader of the Norwegian Student Union and Terje Mørland, director of NOKUT. The debate was moderated by Sveinung Skule, director of NIFU.

Overall, the seminar highlighted that while there are a number of critical points that have been raised (for example, the emphasis on competition, questions of funding, coherence, implementation and so forth), several of the sector representatives also emphasized that the White Paper has not introduced drastic new measures and can be seen in many ways an expression of many of the processes that already take place in Norwegian higher education.

New White Paper on Quality in Norway

On 27th of January, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research launched a new White Paper on quality in higher education. The document is titled “Culture for quality in higher education” [own translation] and has main focus on quality of education.

Among the proposals are the option for institutions to set own intake criteria, instruments related to increasing the status of education by creating mechanisms for awarding merit for excellence in education, higher requirements of pedagogical competence when applying for professor positions, a new portal for quality, and peer review of education to name a few.

The White Paper can be downloaded here (in Norwegian).

Educational leadership seminar in Oslo: presentation of first results from the survey

On 10th of June, the first results from the survey to study program leaders was presented in Oslo at a NIFU seminar. Bjørn Stensaker presented some of the key results from the survey. 

Download (PPT, 988KB)

During the seminar, the results were discussed with a panel including Andreas Snildal (NOKUT) and Therese Eia Lerøen (NSO). Commentary was provided by Eirik Welo (Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo) and Vibeke Bjarnø (Oslo and Akershus University College).


Project meeting at NIFU 21-22 January

NIFU is hosting a comprehensive project meeting for parts A, B and C of the project, with project partners attending from Norway and from Finland (University of Helsinki) and Denmark (Århus University).

Per Olaf Aamodt (NIFU)

Per Olaf Aamodt was presenting some of the key results of the comprehensive review of existing data sources in Norwegian higher education and their applicability for indicators on input, process and output quality. He argued that there is considerable data collected in the Norwegian system, but much of it is collected for other purposes than quality measurement.

“It is very exciting to see what data is available and what can it be used for, to have this comprehensive view on all data sources that we already have,” says Per Olaf Aamodt.

Project leaders for B and C also gave updates on the work done in the sub-projects. Monika Nerland, project co-leader for part C updated the whole project team on the preparatory work for case studies in part C. Currently, work is underway to map the field and prepare for empirical data collection period that is about to start shortly. Observation studies in project part C will be carried out in spring and fall of 2016, accompanied with interview and document studies. Peter Maassen, project co-leader for part B gave brief overview of status in project B regarding study programme dynamics, as well as plan for work in the institutional cases studied in part B where main emphasis is to examine how work on quality on institutional level is related to what is taking place on study programme level.

The six case studies in both sub-projects overlap, and will allow for a comprehensive analysis – from institutional strategies to quality work on various levels, as well as the actual teaching and learning practices that take place.

In addition to work with the whole group, the meeting included more detailed work in projects part B and C to discuss sub-project specific issues and current work in the sub-projects.

On Friday, the project meeting will continue with discussions in the sub-projects and plan ahead for the remaining of the work this spring.