Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care

IGS General Assembly Aug. 2021

Head of Department, Guri Rørtveit, held the second 2021 biannual General Meeting for all at IGS to kick off a new Academic Year.

IGS General Assembly Aug. 2021

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Around 100 scientific and administrative staff attended, most via ZOOM, but many attending in person in Midgard, the Årstadveien 17 Aula. Nearly 18 months since 12 March 2020, with most at IGS being double vaccinated, things are moving gradually towards a new normal, and staff are re-adjusting to meeting face-to-face again.

The General Meeting had a strong Education focus.

What is going to be important on the Education front as we move forward?

Rørtveit invited the new Vice-Dean for Education, Marit Øilo to address this Education challenge. Øilo began by congratulation IGS on being awarded all six of MED’s outstanding teacher awards (also in Khrono). The awards were initiated for the first time autumn 2020 (the next deadline to apply is 1 Oct. 2021).

Øilo spoke of developing a kind of “academy” based on these prize-winners, to facilitate the sharing of best teaching practice across the Faculty and University. She underlined that we need interdisciplinary approaches to ensure that the curiosity and ‘hunger for knowledge’ that students have when they first come to UiB, does not get lost as their academic period progresses.

Trained as a dentist, Øilo’s interest in teaching and pedagogy began during a student exchange experience in the US. She is interesting in questions concerning quality, motivation, and building more research-based pedagogy to support research-based teaching. At a recent local Education Seminar, Øilo met many of the enthusiastic, talented teachers at MED. She would like to engage in active dialogue with all at the Faculty. She closed by answering a few questions and invited everyone to contact her with further questions and feedback.


Be brave and try new things!

The next speaker was Øystein Ariansen Haaland, the new Education Leader at IGS. Haaland is a statistician from the Section Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (EPISTAT). An enthusiastic and engaged presenter, Haaland began by also congratulating IGS’ 6 outstanding educators. Haaland exhorted all teachers to use the new award-winners as inspiration, and as mentors and advisors. He encourages everyone to be brave and to try new things! (Haaland will be leading by example: check out his YouTube channel.)

Haaland said that the quality of teaching and teachers at IGS is grounded in the inspiring work of the previous Education Leaders at IGS, Edvin Schwei, Astrid Blystad, and Anders Bærheim. He also thanked IGS’ student administration, led by Kirsti Andrea Nordstrand, for their excellent work supporting IGS’ teaching activities.

Haaland has embarked on a visitation round to all of IGS’ 10 teaching sections to get more hands-on knowledge of their activities, good practices and to document needs. He alluded to new documents about exams and the medical study programme that are important reading for all teachers (see pdfs below).


Upcoming activities Autumn 2021

The meeting closed with information about upcoming activities from Guri Rørtveit:

Changes in leader group

IGS leaders

*remember that “Fagområdeleder” / Section Leaders are our first points of contact for any concerns, advice, information sharing etc.

Mark your calendar – much to see and do: 22-24 Alrek Days

Alrek Days website.

Berit Angelskår, the Alrek Co-ordinator, encourages people to sign up ASAP as many events are filling up.

Also, think about how to exploit the possibilities Alrek gives us – contact Berit with ideas and for help. In particular, how can we use this new space most effectively?

MED’s HMS prize: think about nomination possibilities

New Administration Systems

Thank you for patience and understanding with UiB’s new administration systems (personnel and economy). They are not working well yet, but everyone at all levels is working with the issues. Congratulations to IGS administrative personnel for their hard work. These systems affect all of us at IGS.


First and foremost – thank you to everyone for their flexibility, adaptability and hard work.

The rules are still uncertain and changing, but things are moving slowly forward – we hope!

The situation remains difficult for parents of school-age children, and those reliant on long public transit commutes. On a positive note, we have students back, and live PhD Defences.

ECTMIH Congress 28 Sept. – 1 Oct. (European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health)

There are many topics interesting to people at IGS. The first 2 days have 9 different tracks. Because the Congress will be virtual, much will be accessible to all participants throughout autumn 2021. Day 3 (30 Sept.) focuses solely on the latest updates, information, reflections on COVID-19. Day 4 (1 Oct.) has many interesting and useful options for Young Investigators.

Registration is cheap – all are welcome! Learn more.