The student representatives to NTNU Board join me to wish you all the best in this happy season!
This article presents an overview of some of the documents that will be discussed during the upcoming Board meeting of NTNU. The full version of all documents is available here (in Norwegian).
NTNU’s Strategy 2011-2020 – Institutional goals 2012 and briefing on the on-going work on the general indicators
The Board is asked to approve the goals sat up in NTNU’s strategy as organisational goals for 2012. NTNU needs to follow the goal structured dictated by The Ministry of Education and Research. It needs to define five principal and long-term sectorial goals and 13 control parameters. To fulfil the sectorial goals universities and university colleges shall:
These sectorial goals are to be assessed based on the 13 control parameters. Each university is free to propose its own set of indicators for the assessment of the sectorial goals, but those indicators needs to relate to the control parameters defined by the Ministry. NTNU is in the process of defining its own indicators in-line with its distinctive profile and goals. NTNU develops two sets of indicators: strategic indicators and discipline-specific indicators. These indicators can be qualitative or quantitative.
Strategy and subventions 2012 and long-term budget 2012-2015
The different indicators, the background for the subventions, the implementation of NTNU’s strategy, the planned expenses for 2012 and the long-term budget 2012-2015 are described. The Board is asked to approve the different indicators presented and the distribution of subventions for 2012.
Admission for the academic year 2012/13
The Board is asked to approve the admission structure for the coming academic year. A note describes the different admission quota and rules for all the study programmes at NTNU. In total there is a little more than 20 000 full-time students at NTNU. A section of special interest for foreigners discusses the admission to Norwegian as a foreign language courses: 290 places are available in these courses, where 240 of these are reserved for scientific employees and their partners. Scientific employees are guaranteed a place if they apply for the course. The remaining 50 places are to be made available to exchange students at NTNU first, and if there is still place, for external students.
Maintenance and upgrade of NTNU’s infrastructures in the 2012-2015 periode
The document provides an overview of how the budget is shared among the different maintenance and upgrading projects. Important renovations are underway at the medical research centre Moser, notable improvement to the facades at the Dragvoll campus and upgrade of laboratories I Realfagsbygget. Health, safety and environment (HMS) also constitute an important part of the spending during that period.
Academic evaluation 2011
Academic evaluation is meant to provide a critical review of the Norwegian research system in an international perspective and to provide recommendations on measure to promote quality and efficiency in research. Research in the biology, medicine and health related subjects were evaluated together with research in geography. NTNU’s performance rank to an high international level in the first category in all disciplines except psychology and psychiatry. With regards to research in geography, applied geophysics is ranked as very good, whereas all other disciplines are ranked as weak/fair.
NTNU’s Museum of Natural History and Archaeology: Exhibition on Afghanistan
The Board is asked to approach a financial guaranty for NTNU’s museum to host an exhibition on Afghanistan from May to September 2012. With this exhibition the museum wants to increase awareness on how arm conflicts affect and threaten cultural heritage and cultural identity.
This article presents a concise overview of the documents that will be discussed during the upcoming meeting of the Board of NTNU. The full version of all documents is available here (in Norwegian).
National Budget 2013 – NTNU Budget Proposal 2013
The Board is asked to agree on the proposed budget and forward it to the Ministry of Education and Research. The proposal describes NTNU’s priority within the budget framework and proposes two addition areas where spending occurs outside the framework.
In summary NTNU proposes to reduce the result based redistribution of research grant, to extend to the new budget the high enrolment capacity linked to 300 study places (RNB 2009), to continue to finance in 2013 145 new study places, to increase the number of doctoral scholarship by 100 in 2013 and to increase subvention to the university clinic.
In relation to post graduate studies, NTNU sees a need for a moderate increase in the number of doctoral candidate positions and an expansion plan for post-doctoral fellowships. Again in 2013, NTNU proposes to increase the number of yearly doctoral scholarship by 100 for a cost of 43,9 million kroners. The need for more post-doctoral fellowships has so far been met with the possibility to transfer existing doctoral scholarship into fellowships. Generally for NTNU, it is important to focus the education of researchers on quality and completion, but NTNU supports the proposal from the Fagerberg Committee to increase the number of doctoral position it offers.
Furthermore, NTNU proposes to spend some of its budget outside the framework dictated by the Ministry in order to develop its campus and upgrade scientific instruments used in research and education.
Health, Safety and Working Environment (Helse, miljø og sikkerhet – HMS) – Orientation and resources
During its last meeting, the Board was informed of the on-going developments and the general needs in HMS at NTNU. The present note on HMS describes the specific needs of each faculty and how it relates to the Working Environment Committee (Arbeidsmiljøutvalget – AMU) and the centralized HMS functions. It is proposed to create local working environment committees which will be in a better position to solve the specific problems faced by each faculty. The rector supports the idea of creating local AMU.
Possible sale of areas in Dragvoll to Trondheim Kommune
The Board is asked to give the Rector permission to negotiate one or more agreement with Trondheim Kommune for the sale of areas currently owned by NTNU at the Dragvoll campus. These are four plots lying between the old and new Jonsvannsveg. The plots would be sold in a non-public bidding process to Trondheim Kommune where building relevant to society are planned to be built (care centre, kinder garden, etc.). Universitetsavisa wrote an article on this possible sale, here in Norwegian.
Further development of Midt-Norsk Network (MNN)
The Board is asked to give the Rector authority to continue the on-going work around NTNU’s role in the Midt-norsk network. Midt-norsk network is a network which was established in 2000 and which comprises seven institutions: NTNU, HiNT, HiST, HiMolde, HiÅlesund, HiVolda og DMMH. The Midt-Norsk Network is an organ which has the goal to solve the challenges the region faces in the area of cooperation, division of work and concentration of activities in the higher education sector.
A PhD-handbook for NTNU will be unveiled on November 7th and 8th. At the same time all PhD-students are invited to the screening of PhD-comics’ new, amusing movie.
(Se norsk tekst under)
NTNU is now releasing a PhD-handbook. The goal with the manual is no less than to achieve the best possible PhD education. Who is responsible for what and when? How-tos and best practice for different situations. All in all lots of constructive stuff for a good PhD period at NTNU.
PhDcomics should need no introduction, and now they’ve made the ultimate PhD Movie. This movie will not show up in theatres, so this is probably your only chance to see it. Now you can see it for free.
Presented by Pro-Rector
Both NTNU and “DION” (The interest organization for doctoral candidates at NTNU) stands behind the invitation to this event. The handbook will be presented by NTNUs Pro-Rector for Research, Kari Melby.
After the presentation of the handbook and the PhDmovie at Gløshaugen “Tekna”, which sponsors the film-screening, will hold a PhD candidate meeting with free pizza.
When and where:
Dragvoll: November the 7th, at 16.15, in auditorium D15.
Gløshaugen: November the 8th, at 16.15, in auditorium EL5.
The Tekna meeting and the free pizza is also in EL5, shortly after the movie.
NTNU wants to be internationally outstanding and hopes that its temporary foreign guests develop long-lasting ties with the university. These foreign guests, exchange students and researchers, are usually open to these ideas. However, it appears that many foreigners struggle and often fail to integrate within the local university population and generally within the Norwegian society. There is many reasons for this, some more obvious than others.
Studying abroad was once reserved to those with a strong ambition to understand foreign cultures, to learn the language of their host country and to actively take part into the local university social life. The availability of scholarships and better collaboration between universities now makes it easier for students and researchers to attend universities located in foreign countries. The mobility of academics increased dramatically and brought new challenges to higher education institutions. Academics are led to spend time in foreign countries while they may not be adequately prepared to live in a different environment or ready to take the necessary steps to integrate into a new society. Foreigners often end-up building social networks among themselves, living in segregation from their host society; not understanding neither the language nor the different social dynamics of their hosts. This is unfortunately becoming a common situation at NTNU.
While in certain countries you may face strong daily incentives to learn the local language and to follow local life traditions; this is not the case in Norway where virtually everyone understands English and where you may well live barely interacting with locals. Measures taken by a university to ease the transition of foreign students and researchers to their new environment may inadvertently fuel segregation instead of integration. Languages policies, accommodation support and the organization of workplace may help transition, but may easily be detrimental to integration in a country like Norway. An attractive, modern and internationally outstanding NTNU where foreign guests foster long-lasting ties with the university requires carefully designed policies around foreigner support.
This is the start of a series of articles looking at the paradoxes of integration of foreigners at universities located in non-English speaking countries. These articles will be largely based on my own experience attending universities, living and integrating within different societies. The articles will tackle language policies and social dynamics with a focus on integration in Norway and NTNU.
I base these articles on the believes that foreigners need to understand and adapt to the way people communicate, interact, socialize and to the values and traditions of their host society; and that universities have much to gain creating a framework that ease and encourage this understanding and adaptation. Such framework will help a university to develop long-lasting ties with its foreign staff and students, thus strengthening its international network and reputation. The host institution can inform, assist and provide a robust framework for foreigners which themselves need to be ready to put forward the necessary effort to integrate. There is a fundamental difference between to integrate and to be integrated, a message these articles attempt to convey.
Special acknowledgement to Nora Nedberg Hersoug, Stefan Lindtner and Roald Fernandez for their valuable comments in the redaction of this article.
Julien S. Bourrelle
From Buildings to Higher Education
SUSTAINABLEPOLICY.net provides updated information on the strategies and policies of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). It is an english-based website which discusses and challenges strategies and policies in higher education in a constructive and internationally oriented manner.
It encourages sustainable policies that foster long-lasting ties between students and researchers from all corners of the world and which contribute to creating a better world through knowledge and education.
NTNU is to adopt an international action plan (here in Norwegian) within its strategy Knowledge for a Better World. Among other things, the action plan discusses the strategies surrounding the recruitment of international researchers and the internationalisation of doctoral education. NTNU aims for an active recruitment policy to attract international researchers. All departments at the university should include the recruitment of international researchers in their strategic plan for future employment. The strategy also strongly encourages research stays at foreign institutions during the doctoral education. NTNU hopes that 25% of its PhD candidates undertake a substantial research stay within a good foreign academic environment by 2014. There should be financial resources available at the faculty level to support such stay abroad.
In other words, NTNU attempts to convince more foreigners to undertake doctoral studies at the university at the same time as encouraging its doctoral candidates to have long stays abroad during their research. While such initiatives will certainly contribute to the internationalisation of NTNU, it may present a real challenge for foreign PhD candidates at NTNU representing about half of all doctoral candidates at NTNU.
Foreigners at NTNU often struggle to integrate both within the university life and the Norwegian society in general. The increased availability of Norwegian language courses (Norskkurs for fremmedspråklige: Dimensjonering, innhold og ressursutnyttelse) and other activities such as the ones organised by the NTNU International Researcher Support help researchers to create stronger links both at the university and within the Norwegian society. However, increasing the pressure on foreign PhD candidates to leave Norway during their research may truly impede their ability to integrate within the Norwegian society and university live, learn the Norwegian language and create strong social connection with locals. These aspects are very important both for NTNU and for Norway in order for international researchers to develop a strong link to Norway which may help foster more international relations after the completion of their doctorate. PhD candidate often struggle to learn Norwegian and to integrate in the society while being in Norway on a daily basis, leaving Norway for an extended period may render this integration even more challenging. I thus proposed to modified the international action plan in order for international candidates not to found themselves pressures to leave Norway during their doctorate unless they willingly wish so (see Universitetsavisa article”Vedtok ambisiøs plan med usikker prislapp” (in Norwegian) ). Instead of aiming that 25% of all candidates chose to undertake a long stay abroad during their doctoral studies, I proposed that we fix a specific target for stays abroad only for scandinavian candidates.
The internationalisation of PhD studies is primordial to fulfil the objectives of NTNU’s strategy at the same time as it is of outmost importance that both the foreign researchs coming here and the Norwegian researchers going abroad integrates within the societies they are discovering. The better our international guest integrate and get access to Norwegian language and culture course, the better they will be able to be collaborators and ambassador for NTNU and Norway.
The Board of NTNU adopted on 30 March 2011 the university’s strategy for 2011-2020. The strategy presents the vision, values, mission and goals of NTNU. It clearly supports sustained effort to increase NTNU’s visibility on the world scene. Action plans will be adopted to implement the strategy within the everyday activities at NTNU. The original Norwegian version of the strategy and an English translation were publish and can be downloaded in PDF format.
NTNU aims to create the basis for the development of knowledge and to create value – economic, cultural and social. We will make the best possible use of our main profile in science and technology, our academic breadth, and our interdisciplinary expertise to tackle the large and complex challenges faced by Norway and the world community.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is located in Trondheim (Norway) and is Norway’s primary institution for educating the nation’s future engineers and scientists. The university also has strong programmes in the social sciences, teacher education, the arts and humanities, medicine, architecture and fine art.
NTNU’s cross-disciplinary research delivers creative innovations that have far-reaching social and economic impact.
NTNU adopted its strategy (2011-2020) “Knowledge for a better World – Internationally Outstanding” . The full text of this newly adopted strategy is available in english here and in its original norwegian version here.
The Board is the highest governing body at NTNU. It makes decisions on issues of principal importance and is responsible for activities at the university. The Board decides the strategies, objectives and expected results from NTNU. It also presents the accounts, financial statements and budget proposals.
The Rector reports to the Board and represents NTNU on a day-to-day basis. The Rector is responsible for communications between the Board and the outside world regarding decisions passed by the Board.
There are 11 members of the Board. Three are from the academic staff at NTNU, one represents academic or research staff without tenure, and one represents the technical and administrative staff. There are also two student members of the Board and four external representatives (all from outside the university). Except for the two student representatives and the representative for academic or research staff without tenure who are elected for one year, all other members are elected for a four-year term.
For more information on NTNU’s Board of Directors, see the university official page here. Further information is also available on the Norwegian version of the same page (Styret ved NTNU). All current and past matters discussed by the Board are available in Norwegian here.
Canadian, astronautical engineer, doctoral candidate and advocate of sustainability, I sit on the Board of Directors of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) – Trondheim, Norway – where I represent 2000 academic staff.
I have been active in educational policy during several years at the European level; notably by collaborating with the European Ombudsman to remove flaws in the European Commission Erasmus Mundus Programme (see Draft Recommendation of the European Ombudsman). More recently, I have been representing doctoral candidates at the research and doctoral committees of the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Arts at NTNU.
My doctoral research is however not related to education policies, but centered on concepts and strategies for the development of sustainable buildings in Norway. I am looking at Zero Emission Buildings (ZEBs) as a solution for the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from a point of view based on compliance rather than design. I am a regular participant to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Task 40 Towards Net Zero Energy Solar Buildings since 2009.
I studied, worked, lived and learnt the languages of various countries around the world. I speak English, French, Norwegian and Spanish and may interact within a German, Swedish or Danish setting. I volunteer for organisations whose values I share, presently for NTNU’s unique Studentersamfundet.