Many thousands admitted to their desired study places
When approximately 55,000 new students meet up at colleges and universities this autumn, the Minister for Knowledge can’t guarantee that everyone will receive a good enough education.
‘No’, was the terse, and to the point, answer from Knowledge Minister, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.
‘There are major differences in quality between various institutions, but also between subjects at the same institutions,’ he told NTBetter as the figures for the year’s study uptake were presented.
The government has written a separate report about ‘quality’ in higher education, and Isaksen believes a lot of work is already underway.
‘But Høyskolen i Oslo og Akershus (Oslo and Akershus College of Higher Education), Norway’s largest state college, won’t offer education of good enough quality to all of its 7,000 fresh students this fall’, said Nina Waaler, Vice President of Education.
‘We have a strong focus on developing quality. The board is very concerned with both the content of the study programs and how to teach them’, she said.
In the autumn, the board will consider proposals for reward schemes for good teachers. A commitment to digitization is another measure Waaler brings up, something the student parliament have wanted.
Study barometers from the Norwegian Agency for Quality in Education show that students are not happy with follow-up, the Norwegian Student Organization (NSO) pointed out.
‘Let the students meet challenges, and good teachers from day one! Students deserve academic challenges, varied tasks, and teaching that triggers curiosity and motivates learning’, said Mats Johansen Beldo of NSO.
Out of town
Over 94,000 students have been offered a study place, and 55,600 were offered their first choice, the numbers recorded by Samordna showed on Wednesday. Many won’t take up their offers, and there is still hope for the over 23,000 qualified applicants who weren’t accepted.
To secure all places being filled is not a goal, however, said Isaksen.
‘It’s important that we have competition, and grade requirements,’ he said, and if they were not accepted, Isaksen encouraged students to look at other campuses than their first choice.
Start-up for five-year teacher education
One of the government’s special projects is a five-year teacher education, which will see the light of day this autumn. At the same time, the system of entry grades in mathematics will continue. Helene Lauritzen, 20, has gained a place without having to spend the summer at extra mathematics study, but is still critical of the grade requirement.
‘It’s great that they get the best and most motivated, but there are many people I know and work with who are good teachers,’ said Lauritzen, who has experience as a teacher.
A colleague who, according to Lauritzen, would also be a very good teacher, lost the opportunity to study on the course because she didn’t pass the maths exam, she said.
But Isaksen maintains that the grade requirement is necessary, although there are now fewer applicants for teaching primary school education nationally.
‘But there are more people who receive offers, which means there are enough qualified applicants,’ he said, despite the fact that last year, approximately 500 places on teacher training courses remained empty.
Isaksen advertised the fact that teachers can receive a rebate of up to half of the student loan if they finish training courses within a standardised period, take a five-year master’s degree, and also work in one of the three northernmost counties.
‘Go north!’ was Isaac’s message.
But Lauritzen will remain in Oslo.
‘I’m very much attached to my origins. Nordland (Northern Norway) is not at the top of my list’, she said.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today