Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Quality Reform again

If you read Norwegian and are concerned about the consequences of the quality reform on research and teaching in Norwegian higher education, have a look at this article from

For English readers who are curious: It's a reminder of the things which have always been good about the Norwegian educational system, but which are now in danger of being reformed away. The Norwegian educational reform has been happening so fast that there has been no chance to merge the best of the new with the best of the old, and so a lot of the things which made Norwegian education different in a good way is in danger of being lost. One such thing is for instance the way students have been immersing themselves in disciplines for a year or two, rather than skipping from topic to topic, covering 4-6 topics in a year, frequently from different disciplines, as now happens with the new way of organising their studies. This also means that there is not enough time to integrate the students in the research of the professors, even at a master's level, and it fragments the process of learning, emphasising knowledge rather than understanding.

A lot of the valid frustration with the quality reform (there's lot of frustration based on loss of power,positions and influence, or just on fear for the discomfort of change, for instance), is related to this: that the reform leads to lower quality rather than higher. So far very little has been done to make the actual teaching and research better. It's all been about giving students more options - more options and a weaker menu to choose from, I - and many professors with me - fear.

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