UiB og samfunnet 2021
In October 2020, the Pandemic Centre opened at UiB. Researchers from all the faculties will work together to find answers and solutions to society’s many pandemic-related challenges and prepare us for the next pandemic. Many research projects are well underway, and even more are being developed. Photo: Kim E. Andreassen, UiB.

The University of Bergen - Societal impact

In this magazine we summarize some of the contributions to society from the University of Bergen in the past year.

Main content

The following is a selection from the magazine The University of Bergen: Societal Impact for 2020/2021. Here you can download as pdf.

The University of Bergen is an international university. This is reflected to a high degree in our employees, who come from 91 different nations. Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and France are the countries that are most represented among employees at UiB, after Norway.

In 2020, UiB received NOK 146 million from the EU. That is a record, and an increase of 12 percent compared to the previous year.

UiB’s research meets approval and is used by other researchers. This is shown in the evaluations from the most important rankings. For many years, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has ranked UiB as the most cited university in Norway; in 2020, UiB scored 94 out of 100.

Graph showing citations

242 PhD degrees were completed in 2020.

Our students

In the Autumn of 2020 the number of UiB-students was 18,601.

62 % of students come from a Western Norwegian county. This makes Western Norway the most important geographical recruitment area for UiB.

83 % of the students have a job in addition to studies. This corresponds to a workforce of 2,200 work years.

44 % of the students hold a position in an organisation in addition to studies.

33 % of the students are engaged in voluntary work in addition to studies.

Following an initiative from the students, the University of Bergen launched the værgodmotdegselv.no portal. It is designed to help students gain a better every day life after the coronavirus outbreak. The portal contains research-based advice and tips, based on knowledge from academic communities throughout the entire university.

Bergen would not have been Bergen without UiB. Having UiB at the heart of the city makes Bergen a more international city, a more attractive city, and a more exciting place to live. Personally, I have many fond memories from my time at UiB, and as a city commissioner for the marine city of Bergen, I also see how important UiB’s initiatives regarding marine research, climate and energy are for our region. Last but not least; having 18,000 students in the city, with all that it entails regarding culture and debate, makes the whole city of Bergen a more fun and enlightened place to be.

Roger Valhammer, City commissioner in Bergen

Studenter på det matematisk-naturvitenskapelige fakultet
Eivind Senneset

Research and innovation

In June, the Research Council of Norway approved six Centres for Research-based Innovation (SFI) in Bergen. UiB will coordinate two centres; MediaFutures and SmartOcean, and is a partner in four others coordinated by NORCE (ClimateFutures and DigiWells), the Institute of Marine Research (CRIMAC) and Helse Bergen (Centre for Mobile Mental Health).

In 2020, UiB researchers Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, Nele Meckler, Ragnhild Muriaas and Inga Berre were awarded prestigious Consolidator Grant research scholarships from the European Research Council (ERC). At the end of 2020, UiB was responsible for the coordination of 22 ERC projects.

ERC Consolidator Grant-mottakere
UiB, Ellen Viste/Bjerknessenteret, Atle Kold Hansen, Eivind Senneset.

Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, Nele Meckler, Ragnhild Muriaas and Inga Berre.

HVL, NHH and UiB have established a collaboration to give students in Western Norway an innovation boost. The initiative has been named Bergen Entrepreneurship Academy (BEA). Among other things, the aim is to develop educational provision within the field of innovation across all three institutions, and to create common meetingplaces that facilitate student entrepreneurship.

Lifelong learning

In a sustainable society, it is a goal that as many people as possible should be in work. The coronavirus pandemic has led to many people being furloughed, and some chose to take continuing and further education.

In 2020, the University of Bergen provided many shortterm programmes of study in collaboration with Skills Norway. This was implemented in order to meet the urgent need for educational provision regarding those who have been furloughed or lost their jobs.

There has been a huge demand, and UiB is a preferred and relevant provider of these types of study.

1,866 students enrolled in various continuing and further educational programmes in 2020. This is an increase of approximately 20 % compared to 2019.

Sustainable Development Goals

It is an overarching strategic goal that research and education at UiB will support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It is an interdisciplinary initiative that involves strong academic communities at all the faculties. Students may choose between many programmes of study and courses within the field of Sustainable Development.

Bilde av hånd og sjøstjerne
Eivind Senneset

Over the past year, I have visited the University of Bergen many times, and am impressed by your academic breadth and the manner in which you have taken a leading role in the work on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. For me, it is also important that UiBis at the forefront regarding the work of following up the students. In particular, I have noticed the new student mentoring scheme and how you have involved local companies and public enterprises in educational programmes. In addition, UiBhas world-class research communities, not least within the fields of marine environments, climate and energy, and major social challenges.

Henrik Asheim, Minister of Research and Higher Education

At the request of the UN, a series of articles about the ocean and Sustainable Development Goal 14 were published in 2020. The series of articles were published starting on 8 June, on World Ocean Day.

In 2020, SDG Bergen Science Advice was invited by the UN to provide input and concrete proposals on how science and research- based knowledge can be integrated as part of the basis of reporting for different countries’ work on the 2030 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. UiB is one of two universities in the world that have received this special invitation.

2,630 participants attended the SDG Conference Bergen in February 2021. When the world couldn’t come to Bergen, Bergen came to the world, without any air travel involved. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conference was conducted digitally, and participants from 105 nations followed the broadcast that was sent from the University Aula in Bergen.

The connection between sustainable oceans and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 14 is obvious. Let me take this opportunity to thank the University of Bergen for taking a leading role in promoting Sustainable Development Goal 14, also as the official UN hub for ocean research. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, during SDG Conference Bergen, February 2021


In 2020, UiB established its first solar farm. 1,000 solar panels are now in operation on the roof of the Odontology Building and Alrek Health Cluster. In total, the farm will deliver more than 200,000 kWh each year. More solar farms are being planned that are just one of many initiatives that will help make the University climate neutral by 2030. 

Solcellepanel på Odontologibygget
Ole M. Kvamme, UiB

Head Engineer Steinar Sundberg on the first solar farm on campus.

UiB is a key collaborative partner in the One Ocean Expedition, a circumnavigation of the globe with the Norwegian tallship Statsraad Lehmkuhl, launched in August 2020. The expedition takes place from August 2021 to April 2023. For example, during a four-month long stage in the Pacific Ocean, UiB will involve 90 students on the SDG200 sustainability summer course: Ocean-Climate-Society.

UiB students and a number of collaborative partners collected four tonnes of plastic during a large voluntary clean-up in the autumn of 2020. It was one of many efforts organized by the University in 2020 regarding problems associated with plastic. UiB also became a #plastsmart partner and has started an interdisciplinary network of researchers, doctoral research fellows and students who will work to solve plastic pollution challenges.

Plastdugnad ved UiB

Nyland Film

Video: September 19, UiB and partners picked up 1,2 tonnes of plastic outside of Bergen. In total, four tonnes of plastic was collected during two weeks in September.


In October, Alrek Health Cluster hosted the official opening ceremony of their new building in Årstadveien 17. The health cluster will create innovative healthcare solutions with the help of exceptional research and education, established practice arenas and interdisciplinary interaction.

Alrek helseklynge
Eivind Senneset

Alrek Health Cluster.

During the autumn of 2020, Norway’s first pandemic centre opened at UiB. The centre will produce socially relevant knowledge for the prevention and handling of pandemics from a long-term perspective. The purpose of the centre is to initiate and facilitate interdisciplinary research and educational collaboration on topics related to pandemics, and to advise and inform authorities and the general public.

Bergen Covid-19 Research Group.mp4

Kim E. Andreassen, UiB.

Video: Researchers at the Faculty of Medicine conduct research on the coronavirus.

Vestlandslegen is UiB’s model for educating doctors of the future. Through Vestlandslegen, doctors will be educated to serve the whole region, by utilizing the whole region. During the autumn of 2020, the first 20 medical students started their studies. The students will take their final three years of medical studies at Stavanger University Hospital, and the hospitals in Førde and Haugesund will also participate in the future.

The University of Bergen is one of our most important partners. The establishment of the Pandemic Centre strengthens the University’s efforts for Norway and the world in a very important area. We require many strong academic communities in order to prepare for and respond to the next major epidemic. Together, we must ensure that research efforts are sustained, even between crises.

Camilla Stoltenberg, Director General of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health