Plinius

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PL 51/11: A new university college

Filed under: education — plinius @ 8:38 pm

On August 1, 2011, the university colleges of Oslo and Akershus became one institution.

Fifteen years ago, about one hundred institutions of higher education (excluding the universities proper) were brought together in twenty-six regional university colleges. At that time, many wanted to unite the institutions located in Oslo and Akershus. For political reasons, this did not happen. Akershus wanted its own independent college.

In the long run, that choice was not viable. Oslo and Akershus constitute a single economic and geographical region, with Oslo as its natural center. Oslo university college was four times the size of its sister in Akershus – and much more likely to expand. This time, regional politicians supported fusion. The two colleges followed suit, but not without protest.

In Oslo UC, the process was quite turbulent. Very many staff members felt that fusion would delay the march towards university status. But the boards decided to go ahead.

I support the actual decision.  But I agree with many of the opponents in their criticism of the process. This was more buraucratic and centralized than necessary.

Picture

The rectors (“vice chancellors”) of Oslo UC (left) and Akershus UC (right) in December 2010.

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