Global Challenges


Global Challenges at UiB


Bergen city

Global challenges in our society affect us all — they are complex and interdisciplinary by nature, and influence how we work and collaborate across disciplines at The University of Bergen (UiB).

Global Challenges is one of the University’s three strategic areas, which builds on the University’s long tradition of promoting excellent research and education in the area. This research has been of major societal importance, bringing in a critical scientific perspective to discussions of different global challenges.

For the period from 2016-2022, the scientific focus within global challenges at the University of Bergen is designated towards migration, health and inequality. Addressing equitable promotion of maternal and child health in poor populations, the university hosts and, together with the Research Council of Norway, funds a Centre of Excellence (www.cismac.org)

‘Transformation’ is a keyword for preparing to meet the challenges lined up in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). UiB takes this need for transformation seriously and is continuously adapting to society’s ever-changing needs for cutting-edge knowledge.


To equip future generations for the global challenges ahead, the education at the University will integrate the content of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the different subjects taught at our university. — The University of Bergen will be the place for all students interested in global challenges.

The faculties at UiB will co-operate and provide knowledge about complex global challenges. Students will be taught how to handle such situations by increasing their interdisciplinary competence. Administrative barriers for interdisciplinary co-operation between faculties at UiB will be removed.


To perform research with an impact on global challenges, interdisciplinarity is necessary. The University encourages co-operation across disciplines and faculties. The University actively promotes interdisciplinary research in the areas of Migration, Health and Inequality, as these three topics addresses key global challenges facing our societies.

The University aims to establish strong interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers and research groups.  Collaboration between research schools at UiB will be sought, and educating new, young researchers will be given priority.

Global Challenges was officially launched 15 May 2017 with a day-long seminar in the University Aula, attended by over 200 participants.


In order to anchor and coordinate this effort at all levels across the University, a strategic working group with representatives from all the faculties has been established to develop the strategy further. A steering group is formed by the Deans at all seven faculties at UiB.The strategy work has special administrative support by a Global administration which is a part of Centre for International Health. This Global administrative unit will in particular work on visibility of research and education related to global challenges at UiB, and organize meeting places for students, PhD-candidates, staff and the society.

Steering committee

Frode Thorsen
Dean, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design

Per Bakke
Dean, Faculty of Medicine

Jørgen Sejersted
Dean, Faculty of Humanities

Bente Wold
Dean, Faculty of Psychology

Karl Harald Søvig
Dean, Faculty of Law

Jan Erik Askildsen
Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Helge Dahle
Dean, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Henrik von Achen
Dean, University Museum of Bergen

Strategic working group

Ragnhild Louise Muriaas
Professor, Dean of Research
Department of Comparative Politics

Elisabeth Fosse
Professor, Head of Department
HEMIL Centre

Henriette Sinding Aasen
Faculty of Law

Anne Helen Mydland
Professor, Vice Dean
Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design

Ørjan Totland
Professor, Head of Department
Department of Biology

Anne K. Bang
Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion

Guri Rørtveit
Head of Department
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

Student representatives

Erlend Grønvold and Marte Gulbrandsen Hovdenak

Group leaders

Marit Bakke
Professor and Vice Dean of Research
Department of Biomedicine

Bente E. Moen
Centre for International Health

Working group, cross-disciplinary education

Haldis Haukanes
HEMIL Centre

Astrid Blystad
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

Ståle Knudsen
Professor, Head of Department
Department of Social Anthropology

Cecilie Ødegård
Assistant Professor
Department of Social Anthropology

Marguerite Daniel
Assistant Professor
HEMIL Centre

Ragnhild Overå
Department of Geography

Karen Marie Moland
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care