Tag: leadership

Podcast: Academic developers and quality management with Ester Fremstad and Tone Solbrekke

excid_logoWe are pleased to share with you some of the recordings that were made during a seminar that was arranged on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo.

The presentations are made by members of the ExCID research group that focuses on studies of higher education and work, with particular emphasis on expert cultures and institutional dynamics.

The seminar recordings were made on 27th of September 2016.

In this presetation, Dr. Ester Fremstad and Prof. Tone Solbrekke present their ongoing study on academic development: Academic developers and quality management: perspectives from institutional leaders

Listen without the Flashplayer

View the powerpoint presentation for this seminar.


View also the presentation by Peter Maassen on quality management in higher education. Stay tuned for even more content from the seminar!

Hedda monthly literature tips

In this first post of the Hedda monthly literature tips series, we asked two doctoral fellows from University of Oslo – Rachel Sweetman and Jens Jungblut about their recent literature tips.

Here are their recommendations:

Does Education Matter?
by A. Wolf, 2002

9780141935669HThe book’s full title, ‘Does Education Matter? Myths About Education and Economic Growth’ sums up what this book is getting at, and why it’s asking such important questions for anyone interested in contemporary higher education. Wolf is an economist and policy analyst who turns her acute evidence-based gaze on the accepted orthodoxy that universities should be approached as drivers of economic growth.

This argument has underpinned many politicians enthusiasm for expanding and investing in mass higher education around the world. However, as Wolf argues through historical analysis, economic data and also more polemical discussions about the way the value and uses of universities have been presented over time, there is not really a very strong case to support this. There is little to suggest that more higher education leads to more growth or prosperity, although these sometimes accompany each other.

It’s a book that shows how important it is to check assumptions about higher education against evidence, and not to assume that the most influential voices, or accepted opinions are correct. It is also a book which does an unusually good job of combining careful and clear empirical evidence with argument and discussion. Wolf is not just interested in arguing that the case for universities as drivers of growth is weak, but seeks to convince her readers that by pursuing policies based on these assumptions, we may do harm; we risk failing to achieve aims related to growth while undermining more important and real functions and values which universities have served over time, such as the development of knowledge and new ideas. We also risk investing money in universities that might be better spent on other or earlier forms of education.

Guest blogger: Five suggestions about women professors

Prof. Curt Rice  (University of Tromsø)

Prof. Curt Rice
(University of Tromsø)

In this guest entry, professor Curt Rice suggests some concrete measures how to increase the share of female professors. While the post takes a starting point in the Norwegian context, the suggestions are of relevance in a wider scale. Curt Rice is a professor of Language and Linguistics and the Vice President for Research & Development (prorektor for forskning og utvikling) at the University of Tromsø in Norway, as well as leading the board of CRIStin (Current Research Information System in Norway). 

The single most important success factor for increasing gender equality and gender balance in the workplace is engagement from top leadership. Usually, we think of this in terms of the top leadership of an organization, but in Norway we are fortunate to see engagement all the way to the top of the government.

The Prime Minister’s traditional New Year’s Day speech this year began with a lengthy discussion of gender equality, on the occasion of the centennial for women’s suffrage. Jens Stoltenberg’s vision is that “with courageous women as role models, we dare to imagine this ideal: a Norway that is inclusive, safe and with equal rights and opportunities for all.”

Our Minister for Education and Research, Kristin Halvorsen, has recently said that she is increasingly impatient about getting more women professors. Today, Norway has 25% women professors; current calculations suggest that the goal of 40% won’t be reached until 2025.

As I try to imagine how to allay Minister Halvorsen’s impatience — which I share — I realize that there’s some good news but there’s also some bad news.

The bad news is that the political analysis offered by the Minister is incomplete: She notes, quite rightly, that there are many more women taking doctorates now. Therefore, there are many more women qualified for academic positions, she says, but universities are taking too long to move these women forward.

By telling us that we simply need to hurry up, the Minister fails to address the fact that there are structural aspects of academic careers that play themselves out differently for men and women. The career path as it currently runs, is discriminatory. This must be redressed with specific measures. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to identifies ways to improve.

And that’s the good news: The process can be accelerated with interventions by the minister, and here are five suggestions for how:

Free webinar on academic careers – today!

Curt Rice, the Vice President for R&D at Tromsø University in Norway argues that recent research shows that fewer and fewer PhD students aspire to university careers. Is this only the case of few academic career opportunities, or is academia becoming decreasingly attractive place to work for the best graduates?  Curt Rice has conducted research on why young researchers are leaving academia and he will be presenting some of his results at a free webinar today, in addition to answering questions on this and related topics.

The seminar is called: “Skinny dipping with snapping turtles: Careers in academia“. By registering to the event you will be able to listen to the talk, view  the presentation and have the opportunity to ask questions live.

More information on the webinar info page.

The webinar takes place at 19.00 (CET, local time in Norway) today, 23th of May 2012. (Check this time zone converter for calculating this into your local time)

Check out also C. Rice’s personal blog where he shares his ideas about leadership and academia.

(Photo: stock:xchng)