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UiB’s marine research is world class

According to an international panel, marine research and education at the University of Bergen is excellent across a diverse range of disciplines. However, the panel points out that the organisation of the marine research could be improved.

marineresearch2014iceberg.jpg

Ice berg off the coast of Greenland, photo taken during an expedition with climate researchers from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.
MARINE POWER HOUSE: Bergen is a marine research powerhouse of internationally leading quality. The photo is from an expedition to Greenland by a team of climate researchers from the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.
Photo:
Frode Ims

Marine research and education is one of the University of Bergen’s (UiB) two main focus areas. In keeping with the university’s strategy, an evaluation has been conducted and an international panel has delivered its report on the marine research and education at UiB. The evaluation report for UiB’s second main focus area, development-related research and education, will be presented early in 2015.

In the report on the marine focus area, the panel say that they are impressed with the overall quality of UiB’s marine research and education. UiB is widely recognised internationally for excellence across a wide range of marine science and research, and for excellence in selected areas of teaching of marine disciplines.

 

Bergen – a marine powerhouse

According to the panel’s report, some of the Bergen marine research groups are amongst the most highly respected and regarded in the world. The report describes Bergen as a marine research powerhouse of internationally leading quality, playing an important role in high-profile international activities.

UiB’s Rector Dag Rune Olsen believes it has been appropriate and useful to evaluate the marine research and education at the university.

“The evaluation is telling us that we have many outstanding research environments in marine research. Some are world class,” says Rector Olsen. “However, the evaluation also shows that the structure and organisation can be improved, and, if UiB takes the responsibility to improve this, it will lead to even more successful research than today.”

Read the full report from the international panel.

 

A complex research environment

According to the report, the weak point of the marine research at UiB is how this is organised. The panel struggled with the concept of UiB’s choice of main focus areas, and were overwhelmed by the complexity of the marine research landscape in Bergen

“The evaluation shows that we need to address how we organise marine research in the future, and how to get added value from the research,” says Olsen.

 

Key strategy work

UiB’s current strategy ends in 2015 and the work on the institutions new overarching strategy, running from 2016 and onwards, is currently underway. According to the rector, the evaluation of marine research and education is a key part adopting a new strategy.

“We need to think carefully about how we organise future initiatives, create interdisciplinary collaboration, ensure quality and highlight the research. That must be part of a new strategy,” says Rector Dag Rune Olsen.

 

(Translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Ole Drønen.)

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Select highlights from the evaluation:

 

“Some of the Bergen marine research groups are amongst the most highly respected in the world.”

 

“Summing up, we see that marine research and education at UiB takes place in close co-operation with external actors.”

 

“There has been a significant increase in both the total number of staff involved in marine studies and total funding for marine research at the University in the period of evaluation.”

 

“The results show that UiB scientists have published in total more than 2,500 marine research publications during the 10 year period 2004-2013. The number has increased from around 200 publications annually during the first years to approximately 300 publications (50% increase).”

 

“The University of Bergen is widely recognised internationally for excellence across a diverse range of marine science and research, and for excellence in selected areas of teaching of marine disciplines. Some of the Bergen marine research groups are amongst the most highly respected and regarded in the world.”

 

“Bergen is a powerhouse of marine research on the international stage and this research influences and has impact on international and national policies and is a driver of economic growth.”