Tag: chronicle

Student Chronicle: Study trip to Brussels 2015 – part 2

As a part of their Master studies at University of Oslo, Hedda students made a study trip to Brussels in end of April. In this second post, Kate Belova and Raymond Olufsen write about the second half of their experience, including visit to the European Commission, EURASHE, European Student Union (ESU) and EQAR. 

Second day of meetings, exploring Brussels and departure

We awoke to a colder morning than the day before. However this didn´t put a damper on our company. After a delightful breakfast with scrambled eggs and ham, we headed again towards the western part of Schaerbeek. On our agenda we had a total of four meetings. Our first visit this day was to the European Commission (EC) DG for Education and Culture.

Meeting with the European Commission

After the necessary passport checks by the security guards, Ragnhild-Solvi Berg picked us up by the entrance and guided us to the meeting room through the multiple corridors of the large building. Here we were introduced to her colleague, Dr. Graham Wilkie (both of them work in the international cooperation unit. The two of them informed us on the specifics of the EC. The organization plays an important role when it comes to the European integration of higher education and supports national efforts regarding higher education reforms, as well as inter-governmental processes like the Bologna reform.

From left to right: Kate, Misar, Nirmal, Joshua, Ragnhild, Beatrice, Dr. Graham, Raymond and Tim

From left to right: Kate, Misar, Nirmal, Joshua, Ragnhild, Beatrice, Dr. Graham, Raymond and Tim

Overall, meeting with the EC representatives provided us with a unique opportunity to get a closer look at how the Commission works and what role the EC plays within not only European, but also international higher education. Even more importantly, we gained a valuable insight into the re-design of the student mobility programs that resulted in the creation of the all-inclusive and more internationalized Erasmus + program.  These are some of the bullet points

Alumni Chronicle: Master thesis defense experience from abroad

Mohammad Abul Kawser (Hedda alumni)

Mohammad Abul Kawser
(Hedda alumni)

As spring is coming up and a lot of Master students are soon delivering their thesis and soon having defenses coming up, we have collected some insights from students who have experienced a defense. So what is it all about? In this post, a recent graduate Mohammad Abul Kawser writes about his experience.

Remember, these are the experiences at the Hedda master programme in Higher Education at the University of Oslo. If you are studying in another higher education, be sure to check the formal requirements at your institution!

It’s very exciting to have finished the thesis and oral defense successfully, and good preparation can lead to this end. Usually, oral defense is held face to face where examiners and the student meet in a close environment. But in my case it was different as I attended the defense using electronic media form Bangladesh which is thousands of kilometers away from Oslo.

I conducted my field study in Bangladesh and wrote my thesis from here, this allowed me to avoid commuting to Oslo for the defense, with the permission of the university. Then the whole arrangement was done through Skype. This online thesis writing experience did not deprive me of expert advices in the process. My supervisor, Prof. Monika Nerland was available all the time through electronic communications and I could also work closely with my local co-supervisor Dr. Zahid A. Choudhury by being here.

After the submission of the thesis, I was allowed more than a month to prepare myself. During this time, I reevaluated the decisions that I took in my thesis. I assessed how far these decisions were appropriate? In cases where they are not appropriate, what could I have done alternatively? I discussed these issues with my supervisors. Prof. Monika provided me with some more literature so that I could connect my findings with the broader perspectives in the field. In addition, I was prepared to say something about the formulation of my research questions, analytical framework, methodological choices, ethical issues etc.

Student chronicle: Studying the field you work in

Elisabeth Josefine Lackner (Hedda master programme and

Elisabeth Josefine Lackner
(Hedda master programme and Student Information and Communications Office at the University of Oslo)

Have you ever wondered in what ways knowing more about higher education research adds value to working as a practitioner in higher education administration? This entry is written by Elisabeth Josefine Lackner who is a student in the Hedda master programme and at the same time working as an administrative manager at Student Information and Communications Office at the University of Oslo. 

What is the added value of added theory on your work? I have asked myself that question many times the last six months, after enrolling into the Higher Education Master Programme at University of Oslo last autumn. And although added theoretical knowledge on the field I work in sometimes frankly complicates my daily doings in the work sphere, it does provide insight, thoughts, opinions and methods that add a valuable X-factor to my work.

And vice versa.

Although it is hard to mentally liberate oneself from the rightfully applied and experience based work sphere, the touch with reality that work experience gives, makes the literature we read, the discussions in class and assignments ever so much more richer and many-faceted.

First and foremost I am a higher education professional. But I write this post as a student of higher education. I have worked within or along the borders of the field since I graduated from university, in both the public and private sectors and presently as a communications manager working centrally at the University of Oslo. Yet, last summer I decided – after long-lasting considerations on what to pursue in a long longed for master’s degree – to add academic knowledge to my professional self and additionally study a field which I have learned is so fascinating and nevertheless vital to individuals and society.

Yet, studying the field within which you work and vice-versa enriches and frankly complicates your daily business and perspectives.

Let’s start with enrichment. After attending lectures and seminars I stroll back to my daily business of meetings, emails and phone calls, presentations, contracts and hiring– normal business in many office jobs. If not the academic knowledge I have achieved through the curriculum can guide me in my daily operative tasks, it does provide a richer and more interesting context for the even work-day. For instance, I do perceive that I am more able to read changes in the applied field through other lenses. For instance, after over six months of studying higher education, it is hard for me not to couple the ongoing present expansion of NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) with the roll out of New Public Management in Norwegian public sector and higher education field.

2013 in review – Hedda news

2013_3We continue our annual review of the yearly entries on the blog. In this second post we will focus on news from Hedda. Do not forget to check out the posts summarising Hedda podcasts and audio/video material, as well as the post reviewing all the wonderful guest entries of 2013

Hedda students

In 2012, we launched our new series FACE2FACE, where we interview our students on video. In 2013, we published two FACE 2 FACE videos. In the first one, we interviewed Evgenia  Bogun and Gordon Musiige. In the video the students shared their thoughts about why they decided to study in the Higher Education programme, their experiences of living and studying in Norway, and give tips to future students on how to cope with life as an international student.

In our second FACE 2 FACE video of 2013, we interviewed Anette Løken and Enzo Rossi who started their studies in autumn 2013. In their video, they share their very first impressions of higher education as a research field, why studying higher education is important in modern societies and what they expect from the Master Programme.

Hedda students also went to a study trip in Brussels, and Ljiljana Krstić who then was a first year student at the Hedda Master programme in Higher Education wrote about what they learned visiting various European organisations for higher education.

Hedda students were also a part of an innovative learning project at the University of Oslo where students were using video to interview professors about their research. The project leader, Professor Bjørn Stensaker, introduced the project and talked about the relevance of using video for these purposes. We also published the video where the students interviewed Prof Peter Maassen about his research. Later on, the students wrote an entry reflecting about their experiences with the project.

Hedda interview with Dr. Leasa Weimer – new EMA president

dr. Leasa Weimer

dr. Leasa Weimer

In June 2013 Dr. Leasa Weimer was elected as the new president of Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association. Leasa is also a graduate of the Hedda Master Programme in Higher Education, so we thought it might be nice to ask her a few questions about her new position, what she took with her from the master programme and her plans for the future. 

First of all Leasa, huge congratulations on being elected as the president of Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association, could you perhaps share a few words about your journey there?

My first exposure to EMA was in 2008 at the General Assembly in Perugia, Italy. At this meeting, I signed up to participate in the Promotions team (now called Community Development) and became involved in the creation of what is now the North American chapter. I quickly found that putting my energy into a few key projects made me feel part of an amazing community of like-minded international friends and colleagues. The more I became involved, the more I enjoyed the work of EMA and the incredible international reach and network of the organization. Plus, the work aligned well with my academic research interest in international education and student mobility policy and programs.

I have experienced many aspects of the organization (chapters, networks, and working groups) and now I will apply this wisdom and organizational knowledge to the future development of EMA. Prior to being elected President, I was President of the North American chapter and I co-led the Future of EMA working group analyzing the future strategy of the association. These two positions shaped my desire to run for President and they have shown me that there is a great need to think strategically in terms of EMA’s future.

Erasmus Mundus mobility programme covers a variety of different disciplines, so what exactly does the alumni association do? What have been some of the main activities this far?