Global Challenges


Global Challenges at UiB

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


Bergen city

Global Challenges have been selected to be one of the University’s three strategic areas. The area builds on a long tradition of promoting excellent research and education in development-related research. This type of research has been of major societal importance, and has brought a critical scientific perspective to discussions of different global challenges in different arenas locally, nationally and internationally. Over the years, researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) have developed long-lasting and close collaboration with several partners in the South.

For the period from 2016-2022, Global Challenges will scientifically focus on migration, health and inequality. The strategic area also includes a Centre of Excellence, CISMAC, that addresses equitable promotion of maternal and child health in poor populations.

‘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, through the establishment of strategic focus areas, is continuously seeking to meet society’s continuous need for cutting-edge knowledge.

UiB is developing and co-ordinating relevant courses and programmes to equip students for the challenges lying ahead. With its international expertise and focus, the University of Bergen aims to be the destination of choice for all students interested in global issues.

The Faculties at UiB will co-operate to provide knowledge about complex global challenges. Students will gain the necessary competencies to handle the intricacy and interdisciplinarity of tomorrow’s global challenges. Administrative barriers for interdisciplinary co-operation between Faculties at UiB will be removed.

Interdisciplinarity is necessary to conduct research that will impact global challenges. UiB encourages co-operation across disciplines and Faculties, and will especially promote interdisciplinary research in the areas of Migration, Health and Inequality, as these three topics addresses key global challenges.

UiB aims to establish strong interdisciplinary collaborations between researchers and research groups. Collaboration between research schools will be encouraged, and educating young interdisciplinary researchers will be prioritised.

In order to anchor and coordinate this effort at all levels across the university, a strategic working group with representatives from all Faculties has been given the responsibility for further developing UiB’s Global Challenges’ strategy. The Deans at all seven Faculties at UiB form a Steering Group.

The strategy work has special administrative support from a Global Administration which is a part of Centre for International Health. This administrative unit will, in particular, work to promote research and education related to Global Challenges, and organise meeting places for students, PhD-candidates, researchers and society in general.

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

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

Group leaders

Marit Bakke
Professor and Vice Dean of Research
Department of Biomedicine

Bente E. Moen
Centre for International Health


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

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