Tag: student chronicle

Introducing the new Hedda students!

In this post, we introduce you some of the new Hedda master students at the University of Oslo. Welcome to Oslo! 

The start of the new semester has brought us as well a new beginning in the Hedda program. As an international Master’s program, the origin of the new student cohort is as varied as Higher Education systems around the world, being the new group an excellent example of how the field of Higher Education is diverse and complex, and on how the different contexts of each country interacts with their development. We have students from Africa, Asia, Europe and America, what makes us very proud, reason why we decided to ask some of them to tell us a little bit more about their motivations, their lives and, also, their first impressions of the life is Oslo.

nayer

Hedda master student Nayer

We started with Nayer Shahedifar. She’s from Iran, the cradle of the Persian Empire and one of the biggest countries in Middle East. She has been living in Oslo already for three years. “I’m not a fan of the weather –she argues- but I really like that here, in Norway, rules are followed and are explicit, nothing is hidden behind curtains”, she added. She admires the vision Norway has on education and how that is reflected on the opportunities the country offers in that matter and also on how they support their citizens in failure scenarios. “The concept of poverty is different here”, she says. Regarding her motivations for entering the Master’s program in Higher Education, her background as a literature teacher, both English and French, and as a Journalist, has a lot to do, but her real motives comes from her time at university in Iran. “I was part of a talent program in which they allow certain students to take two degrees at the same time. Only one out of ten succeed. That can’t be right. How can that kind of policies help the country and the students explode their potential? I was the only one who succeeded”, she told us. She would like to go back and help Iran in their path towards development, but the when is not clear, and the where is not clear either. When ask about her expectations on the degree, she explained that she looks forward to obtain a better understanding of the education system as a whole and to gain the ability to detect problems and deliver solutions regarding this matter.

Hedda master student Celio

Hedda master student Celio

Célio Mindo, from Mozambique, was our next interviewed. He arrived one month ago, more or less, and his background is very different from Nayers’. He is a Bachelor in Finances and has work as an assistant manager for ECOBOM, a water company back in his country. About his motivations to enter the Master’s program in Higher Education, he is very clear. “I looking for a different learning environment, a different society from which I can learn. Besides, I intend to mix my academic background and experience with education, because that way I can help Mozambique become a better country in my own way”, he declared. He seeks to contribute to create a better educational system form Mozambique with new perspectives, and he knows that studying in Norway is a challenge, but an even bigger one because “I’m not in my field”, he argued, “but if I can manage, everything is possible”, he added. He expects the program to help him learn new technics, to gain new experiences and to access to more information. “I expect to learn how to apply the new concepts, to that way face the reality of my own country from there, with new basic and complex tools with the challenge of applying them”, he said. Regarding his new life in the city of Oslo, he has a very positive opinion. “Besides the weather, it is very nice. People is kind and helpful, it is a good surprise for me, I didn’t really knew what to expect”, he said. The city itself has also been a surprise for him. “It is an interesting city, lot to see and to explore, I expect to see more. The best of it is how it is divided in different atmospheres. You have fun, calm, everything, like a lot of cities in mixed into one.

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Hedda master student Andrés

Andrés Araos, from Chile, was our third interviewed student.




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

Gordon Musiige  Hedda graduate

Gordon Musiige
Hedda graduate

In second of the posts writing about their master thesis defense experiences, Gordon Musiige writes about his experience with defending his thesis at the University of Oslo. 

I am taking this opportunity to share with you my thesis defense experience, which is still vivid in my mind and I hope that prospective candidates will pick a few lessons from it.

On December 15th 2014, I defended my masters thesis. The defense was hold with a panel that composed of two examiners and my supervisor. My supervisor would have nothing to say all through the defence save for introducing the other examiners and reading out to me the rules and regulations of the defence process. After which, I and the other examiners would begin tussling it out until the very end. However, before I describe the actual defence process, I would like to state that before one thinks of the actual thesis defense, it is vital to put in mind that your level of preparation will contribute highly to your overall delivery and confidence at that defense table.

As a higher education master student, I was not required to prepare any form of power-point presentation apart from availing myself to the panelists on time and well-prepared to answer their questions. At this point, you need to ask yourself the following questions: What do I then prepare for? How much is expected of me in the defense? What is my role in the thesis defense process?

First and foremost, endeavour to read and reread your thesis and least twice, paying close attention to all the content in your thesis, bearing in mind that the examiners have closely read your thesis. Having all your thesis content on your fingertips exudes your authenticity as an author; you do not want to be caught off-guard in a position where you can not answer obvious questions about your own work especially to do with: why you selected certain methods or references. Despite the fact that the overall writing process can be a daunting and exhausting, one should reserve some energy and time for this last fight. If you while rereading your thesis you happen to find some concept that you think you can not explain comprehensively, it is worthwhile to consult your supervisor for guidance weeks before the defense.




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.