The General Assembly of NFU unanimously supports the movement resisting school fees for international students from outside EU/EØS and Switzerland and applauds the strong opposition from the higher education sector and parts of the political parties. As a global development research community, we are deeply worried about the consequences these fees will have on the quality and relevance of education and research in Norway.
In a time when we lift the Sustainable Development Goals as a common global project, we need knowledge, perspectives and cooperation that include all regions of the world. School fees do not only affect individual students, but the entire higher education system in Norway. The quality and relevance of our education will be weakened, as we will miss important critical perspectives and be more narrow-minded. As researchers and educators within the field of global development, we know how teaching a truly international student group challenges all involved and leads to a unique co-creation of knowledge. In addition, relationships between students from different places have lasting effects and create bonds that lead to more cooperation in research and current or future workplaces. If these school fees become a reality, Norway will lose both in terms of quality of education and research, and international networks.
Furthermore, it is important to remember that in a world that is ever more connected, the plurality and diversity brought by students from different parts of the world can help Norway become a more rounded and inclusive country.
The introduction of these school fees for students from outside EU/EØS and Switzerland can be seen as discriminatory and cause students from other parts of the world to not feel welcomed, which in the long run will be detrimental to Norwegian educational environment.
Therefore, we at NFU stand in opposition of these fees.
There is an ongoing discussion in Norway regarding a proposition for students outside of the EU/EØS and Switzerland to start paying tuiton when they chose to study in Norway.
Proposition 68L (2022-2023) has raise a ,ot of opposition with several organizations and universtities, such as SAIH, Universitet i Agder, NTNU and others standing against it. They all fear that this will create a barrier for students to come to Norway as well as being a starting point to start charging tuition to all students in the future.
NFU chairwoman, Arnhild Leer-Helgesen states that “The implementation of school-fees for students outside Europe/EØS and Switzerland is a serious backlash for the quality and relevance of higher education and research in Norway. To face the multiple crisis in the world we need more exchange of perspectives and knowledge, not less. The contribution of students and researchers from the so-called “Global South” to co-creation of knowledge, is heavily underrated. With this cut, adding to cuts in funds for research in the broad field of global development, Norway has less capacity to develop the knowledge we need to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”
If you wish to join the fight against the introduction of skolepenger, sign the petition started by SAIH:
It is our pleasure to announce that our general assembly will count with the presence of European Association Development Research and Training Institutes General Secretary: Susanne von Itter.
She will talk about EADI and what the organization does, the relationship with NFU and the benefits of being connected with a broad network. Her participation will enrich our assembly and allow members to have an insight into a bigger organization and their workings. This is a great opportunity to learn more and connect with EADI.
For more information regarding EADI, you can access their website: https://www.eadi.org/
Our General Assembly be held on May 15th from 15:00-16:30 Norwegian time on Zoom.
The 7th Nordic Development Research Conference 2023 has an open call for paper proposals.
The main theme of the conference is “Co-creation for transition towards a sustainable society” and it will take place in Uppsala, Sweden in August 21-23. The conference is being organized by Uppsala University and the Swedish Development Research Network.
The deadline to submit paper proposals is on March 1st, 2023.
This week we will introduce you to one of our board members and Co-chair of NFU: Jason Miklian.
Jason has been a part of NFU for 5 years and is a key member in our organization. He became a part of NFU because he thinks that given how diverse the topics housed under the “development studies” umbrella are, he feels it is essential for scholars both in Norway and the Nordics more broadly to have the opportunity to untie and grow together, especially given the challenges that development studies and adjacent fields are facing globally.
He has two main research areas: 1. Business, development and peacebuilding. 2. Climate and Conflict.
He chose his research fields due to a mix of interest and happenstance! He started his career as a South Asia studies scholar, then became interested in the connections between business and conflict in places of “economic underdevelopment”, as the Indian government put it. This led to his PhD at Noragric in development studies, with a qualitative / mixed-methods focus studying the role of the Maoist conflict and extractive firms on development.
He currently works for the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo and his main projects now are an NFR-funded qualitative collaborative project on the role of small businesses in crisis and urban fragility, and an NFR mixed-methods project on the role of business and development on conflict in Africa.
Since he is living in Bogotá, Colombia at the moment, he is enjoying the sunshine and wonderful people while enjoying a bit less needing to get up early for the occasional 4AM call with his Oslo colleagues. 🙂
In his opinion, development studies is an worthwhile field because in an era of increasing specialization (yet hosting demands to be more cross-cutting and interdisciplinary), development studies provides an ideal platform for understanding complex societal relations in a way more holistically and critically-oriented than many other point-specific fields. In a time of increasing global uncertainty over inequality, climate change, and international order he believes that we are overdue for a renaissance in development studies, and he is excited for NFU to be a part of this leading edge.
For his more recent works, he chose to share with us a recent narrative non-fiction book on the Liberation of Bangladesh and the climate-conflict links therein, called The Vortex. Even though it is a less academic work, he is still very proud of it and thought it would be very intersting to share it.
This week we will introduce you to one of our board members and Co-chair of NFU: Randi Solhjell.
Randi has been a part of NFU for 10 years and is a key member in our organization.
Her research area is: Cross-disciplinary social scientists, I have worked on topics including statehood in contested areas (easter DR Congo) and gender-based violence in war and conflict. I am currently finalizing research on the topics on policing hate crime and prevention of violent extremism. In my upcoming position (2023-2027) I will be part of the project “JustExport” led by Prof. Kjersti Lohne at the University of Oslo, Institute of Criminology, focusing on how Scandinavian states engage in penal export internationally. And she currently works for the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law, the Faculty of Law, The University of Oslo.
She chose her research field because she have always sought perspectives from ‘unkowns’ – people and societies I want to learn more about. It can be both within my home country Norway but also from places more distant from where I am situated (Nepal, Liberia, Chad, DR Congo). This has led me to different topics and societies.
And she believes that development studies is an important research area because it opens your mind to a world of injustice, difference and new knowledge fields. Knowledge is not taken for granted in a Eurocentric manner but critically explored theoretically and methodologically.
To access some of her most recent work, please follow the links below:
NUPI invites to a breakfast seminar to be held on February 9th at 9:00 about Norwegian aid policies and trends in the Nordics.
The event is being organized in cooperation with the release of a special publication of the journal Forum For Development Studies, which focuses on trends, similarities and differents in Nordic development aid.
There will be speakers from different organizations, such as ReddBarna, NUPI, Norad, CMI, Foreign Affairs Department and Expert Group for Aid Studies, which will provide the perspective from academia, government and NGOs in this important issue.
One of the key themes of the seminar will be the reduced aid from Norway and the use of aid resources being redirected to Ukraine and ukrainians refugees.
The seminar is a hybrid event, registration is required for those attending physically, but not to watch it online. The seminar will be held in Norwegian.
For more information about the event and to register for it, please follow the link below: