New strategy to strengthen the humanities at University of Oslo (UiO)

University of Oslo Website News/January 21/21.

The humanities hold a strong position at UiO. A new strategy for the next ten years will secure and strengthen this position both at the university and in society in general.

UiO has an important strength in its academic breadth and the high quality of the humanities. This strength will be managed so that the advantage it represents, amongst other for interdisciplinary research, can be realised, says Svein Stølen, Rector at the University of Oslo.

Interdisciplinarity is important for solving major societal challenges. The humanities must become an even more central contributor, and the strategy is a tool to achieve this.

Challenges such as pollution and climate change, migration, increasing economic inequality, cultural conflicts, racism and xenophobia, pandemics, and pressures on democracy must be approached with a holistic view in order to be solved, says Stølen.

The strategy will contribute to

  • Strengthening the position of the humanities at UiO. UiO will continue to be the leading university for the humanities nationally, with the ambition of being at the top in the Nordic region
  • Showcasing the humanities´ contribution to solving the major societal challenges of our time

Humanities education at UiO will provide key competence for future employees. Critical thinking and understanding context are central to the humanities, and a competence that is also highly sought after in the workplace.

The humanities manage knowledge of human history, languages, and various forms of cultural expressions without which a modern society cannot function. Therefore, it is crucial that our students also benefit from the strong humanities environments at UiO, says Frode Helland, leader of the working group for the strategy and Dean at the Faculty of Humanities.

Research within humanities and social sciences also stands out in a positive way. Among Norwegian ERC recipients, half of the allocations in Horizon 2020 the last seven years have been given to these fields.

The strategy´s main areas 

The strategy is divided into six areas, each with accompanying objectives and actions:

History, cultural heritage and aesthetics

Objectives: UiO will maintain, develop and disseminate expertise in cultural and natural heritage. The humanities at UiO will contribute knowledge-based and critical thinking about history and aesthetics. UiO will be further developed as an arena for societal intervention with historical awareness and depth.

Knowledge and education 

Objectives: UiO shall further develop its programme portfolio to ensure interdisciplinarity, learning via proximity to research, and contact with the schools and working life. It aims to prepare students for a life in society and the workplace that is undergoing increasingly rapid changes.

Language and cultural competence

Objectives: UiO will continue to have the country’s best study programme in language studies promoting an understanding of culture, history and societies. UiO will manage the subject portfolio so that the potential that is inherent in academic breadth can be utilised to establish knowledge about areas, in step with changes in the world around us. 

Sustainable development and climate change 

Objectives: Disciplines and researchers in the humanities must be an integral part of UiO’s strategies and initiatives, and will actively participate in work pertaining specifically to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the climate challenges in particular.

Technology as a cultural form and as a way of life

Objectives: The humanities will contribute research-based knowledge and education that will help to achieve more sustainable technology development in cooperation with other disciplines at UiO.

Democratic development

Objectives: UiO will have research and education in the humanities that contribute towards the understanding of what strengthens and weakens democracy and democratic processes.

Read the new strategy for the humanities here 

About the strategy for the humanities:

The strategy for the humanities follow up on the Report to the Storting  25 The Humanities in Norway (2016-2017) and the Norwegian Research Council´s Evaluation of the Humanities in Norway (2017).

The strategy has been developed by a working group where all the humanities disciplines at UiO are represented (Faculty of Theology, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Museum of Cultural History), led by the Dean at the Faculty of Humanities, Frode Helland.Published Jan. 21, 2021 9:51 AM – Last modified Jan. 21, 2021 9:51 AM

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