This summer, news that the Norpart program, which provides resources for academic cooperation and and exchange programs, is being placed on hold due to uncertainty regarding its budget.
Our chair, Arnhild Leer-Helgensen, alongside with several other academic leaders at University of Agder have talked to Khrono regarding the impacts that this can bring to norwegian students and to development studies, as well as the academic environment in the country.
To read the full article, click here.
Earlier this month NFU had its General Assembly of 2022. The assembly took place on the 15th of May, between 15-16:30.
It counted it the participation of several board members as well as the General Secretary from EADI.
The notes from the meeting can be found on the link below and contain what has been happening and what to look forward in the future with NFU.
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: