Faculty of Law

Expands cooperation with Russian universities

- We were given an especially warm welcome in Russia, and there is an interest in extended cooperation between the two countries, says the dean Asbjørn Strandbakken.

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During a trip to Moscow in March, the dean at the Faculty of Law signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National Research University – Higher School of Economics (NRU-HSE). The agreement prepares for cooperation within a wide range of areas; Research, seminars, curricula development, and exchange of both students and professors.  

Student Exchange

A more detailed agreement regulating student exchange, has already been drafted, and it has been agreed that the three first students from the Faculty of Law in Bergen can go to Moscow to study as part of their Norwegian Master of Law degree, already in September 2011.

 - Students who go to Russia may acquire unique competence by getting knowledge of Russian law. The expected increase in trade and cooperation between Russia and Norway over the years to come, will result in a greater demand for this kind of competence within the business community, says the dean.

A young university

National Research University - Higher School of Economics was founded after the fall of the Soviet Union, and is hence a quite young and very dynamic university. Even if the name of the university should indicate differently, the Faculty of Law offers a classic 5-year law degree programme where they teach the standard law courses.  

In addition to the classic law degree, the faculty cooperates closely with the Faculty of Economics, and is therefore able to offer unique specialisations such as Law and Economics and Institutional Economics.

Cooperation on Research

Through mutual talks on cooperation the representatives from Higher School of Economics and University of Bergen identified several areas where it would be relevant to cooperate on research. The faculties can benefit from cooperating with each other especially within the areas of International Criminal Law, Energy Law, Economic Law and Competition Law

According to plan, the first representatives from NRU-HSE will be invited to Bergen to attend a seminar on Criminal Law, already in June. And representatives from the Faculty of Law in Bergen will be invited to a seminar in Russia in October.

- We were given an especially warm welcome in Russia, and there is an interest in a greater extent of cooperation between the two countries, says the dean Asbjørn Strandbakken.

We have agreed to cooperate on student exchange, and to which extent we will succeed in cooperation on research will depend on initiatives from the various research environments at the faculty. There are many common interests between Norway and Russia, and the challenges in the Northern-area with administration of our common natural resources, are areas where research cooperation is especially relevant, says Strandbakken. 

Possible Future Cooperation with Moscow State University

During the trip to Moscow, the delegation from the Faculty of Law in Bergen also visited the Faculty of Law at Moscow State University (MSU). After an interesting tour of the “Lenin Hill”, where the majestic buildings of Moscow State University are situated, the delegation from Bergen had mutual talks on cooperation with the Faculty of Law. The Faculty of Law at Moscow State University was represented by professors from the Institute of business law, which also includes Energy Law.  

The representatives from Moscow State University were also very interested in and optimistic about a future cooperation with the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen. Among other possible areas of cooperation, they wished to publish articles written by researchers from Bergen in one of several journals published by the faculty of law at MSU.  

Interest in the teaching system

The representatives from MSU also showed a great interest in the award-winning teaching system of the Master of Law programme in Bergen. They would also like to cooperate on curricula development, learning strategies and development of new Virtual Learning Environments.

Asbjørn Strandbakken says that it is uncommon that teaching systems and learning strategies are brought up during these kinds of visits. Hence, it especially gratifying that these aspects of our work are given attention, and that we can share mutual experiences within this area.  

Positive ambassador

During the visit to Moscow, the delegation also had the opportunity to visit the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Moscow. The Norwegian ambassador in Moscow, Knut Hauge, expressed appreciation for the faculty’s initiative for closer cooperation with Russia.  The faculty’s students who are going to Moscow were asked to register with the embassy when they go to Moscow, so that they may be included in the Norwegian network in Moscow.  

Asbjørn Strandbakken underlines that the faculty’s effort toward increasing its cooperation with Russia, is in accordance with both the University of Bergen’s strategic priorities, as well as the national strategy of increased trade with our neighbour at the eastern border.