More women PhD graduates at UiB

In 2013 there were more women PhD graduates at the University of Bergen than ever before. A total of 265 new PhDs graduated, of which 140 were women.

Doctors at University of Bergen attending the so-called doctor promotion at Håkonshallen in August 2013.
FEMALE ROLE MODELS: “There are more and more role models for women PhDs at UiB,” says Rector Dag Rune Olsen. The picture is from the so-called doctor promotion at Håkonshallen in the autumn of 2013.
Ole Henrik Kongsvik

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2013 was the third year that showed a women majority among those who defended their doctoral degree at the University of Bergen (UiB). And the total of 140 new women PhDs was another record for women doctorates at the university.

In keeping with tradition, there will be a ceremony for the new doctors from autumn 2013 at Håkonshallen. This will take place on Friday 24 January 2014.

Great women role models

Despite this record, there are no special measures in place to promote women PhDs at UiB, according to Rector Dag Rune Olsen.

“The best way to encourage more women to apply for our PhD programme is to have good female role models, of which there are more and more at UiB,” says Olsen before adding. “Rather our challenge is in recruiting more women to professorships. Here we still have a major job to do.”

He points to the creation of more associate professor positions as one of several tools in the work to get more women professors.

On a national level in Norway, where the number of women PhDs is fast approaching 50 per cent, the number of women has also been on the increase. And UiB is heading this development.

More PhDs wanted

Between 2002 and 2013 a total 10,633 of new PhDs have graduated. At UiB the number has steadily increased, reaching a peak of 265 new doctorates in 2013.

Rector Olsen believes that the increase in PhDs is necessary to meet the demands of the greater society. According to a 2012 report from Norway’s Ministry of Education and Research there is a predicted annual shortfall of 700 doctoral fellows in 2017.

“There is great need for knowledge in the labour force, in the public as well as the private sector,” says Rector Olsen. “At the University of Bergen we have an increase in the number of doctorates and we are requesting more doctoral positions from the ministry.”

Long-term strategy

The rector adds that UiB has invested long-term to improve the quality of research and education. This work involves an increase in the number of PhDs.

“The increase in doctoral degrees is a result of our long-term commitment to enhanced quality,” says Rector Dag Rune Olsen.

A committee from the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) recently praised UiB’s work to improve the quality of the university’s research education.

(Translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Ole Drønen.)