Yearly Archives: 2015

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Open post: The Pβ-Academy – A blueprint for higher education in turbulent times

The word “university” is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means “community of teachers and scholars.” (Wikipedia). Universities have been autonomous communities dedicated to science and learning. Despite relying on public funding, they have largely been free of political regulations. In democracies they played a critical role similar to the press.

PhD Diary: reflections on responsibility or, what are academics for?

I’m at the beginning of what may turn out to be an academic career (or when the results and changes seem far away, I think I’m on my way to setting up a woodshop and making furniture). A question that keeps popping up in my mind, is that of what my role as an academic is, should, and can be.

UNIVERSITETETS UNDERGANG

(Originally published by STOFF MAGASIN on September 2nd, 2015)

DET ER VANSKELIG Å SI HVA NYLIBERALISME EGENTLIG ER, MEN MANGE MENER AT DET TRUER STUDENTDEMOKRATIET OG UNIVERSITETETS IDEALER.

Open post: Moroversity calling!

Moroversity, an academic activist alliance based in Tampere (Finland), greets the NewUniversityNorway.

Moroversity derives its name from the local vernacular, where “Moro!” is a casual greeting, highlighting the alliance’s informal nature.

Moroversity is active on multiple levels simultaneously.

Open post, Aksel Tjora: In defence of academic obstinacy

In our first Open Post, sociology professor Aksel Tjora warns against the “MacDonaldification” of higher education and research in Norway. He argues that we need to act now with a strong countercurrent collective effort, across academics and students.

Celebratory speeches and naked power

“A merger will contribute to an ongoing process that is eroding workplace democracy at the university in favour of a neoliberal agenda,” Michael Jones argues in this essay. 

Will the academic spring reach Norway?

The ‘New University’ protests in Amsterdam, with similar initiatives in the UK, Canada, and Denmark have awakened students and scholars to the increasingly neoliberal management of academic institutions. While these types of changes have been implemented more gradually in Norway, discussions around increased commodification of knowledge and weakening university democracy are nevertheless on the rise.

“Tjora kjemper ikke alene. Han har mange bak seg.”

“Når Universitetsavisa inviterer til holmgang mellom Aksel Tjora og rektor Gunnar Bovim, gir det både inntrykk av et jevnt styrkeforhold mellom to likestilte meningsmotstandere, og en personifisering av fusjonskonflikten. Begge deler er feil,” skriver leserbrevforfatterne i dette innlegget, hvor de går kraftig i rette meed rektor. 

Time to acknowledge the elephant in the room

How democratic a merger? Wednesday 25. Minister of Education Torbjørn Røe Isaksen will be presenting his plans for the upcoming merger process of Norwegian universities. This process is top-down, the four PhDs argues.

A flawed process of employee consutation

Jacobsen, Andresen, Refstie and Marsland: “While rector Gunnar Bovim  and the SVT faculty highlight participation as a fundamental aspect of the processes going on at NTNU, our experience is that “participation” is being used to legitimize an agenda and decisions that have already been made.” (ill.photo from the campus meetings where Bovim explained the process to university employees.