UiB’s development-related research is internationally recognised

According to an international panel of experts, the development-related research and education at the University of Bergen is of an excellent international standard.

University of Bergen researcher and surgeon Sven Young consulting with assistants and the mother of an infant, who may have broken a bone, at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi.
TRAINING SURGEONS IN MALAWI: Surgeon Sven Young consulting with assistants and the mother of an infant, who may have broken a bone. Young is one of many UiB health researchers active in Africa. He works to train more surgeons in Malawi and was awarded a five-year grant from the Norwegian capacity-building programme NORHED, by Norway’s state aid agency Norad.
Sverre Ole Drønen

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The education offered by UiB in the field of development studies is particularly highly rated by the panel. However, the panel notes some weaknesses in this broad field of research and education.

Global development-related research and education is one of the University of Bergen’s (UiB) two main focus areas. As part of the on-going work for a new strategy for UiB, each of the two main focus areas have been evaluated by an international panel of experts.

UiB’s marine research and education was evaluated last autumn and the results were presented in December 2014.


Excellent international standard

Now the report from the panel assessing UiB’s development-related work has presented its report. In their evaluation, the panel has focused on the past ten years.

The panel believes that the scientific output from UiB’s development-related research is of an excellent international standard. The university’s researchers within this field have published around 1,000 publications over the past decade, resulting in a major increase in publications and publication points.

“This shows that development-related research at UiB is of a high international standard and that we are proud of. The report also shows that there are some challenges remaining related to how we organise our work,” says Rector Dag Rune Olsen.

Download the panel’s full report.


Strong offering in education

Also, the panel points out that UiB has strong master’s and PhD programmes within the focus area, with several tailor-made study programmes recruiting international students. Many doctoral graduates in development-related subjects have gone on to have successful careers in academia and politics, in many countries worldwide.


An international university

The research has not only been world class, but has also contributed to the internationalisation at the university. The panel points out that UiB has several internationally recognised departments and research centres, and that the university has a high level of international activity and collaboration.

“This is a thorough and exciting review of a number of our research environments, and I am certain that this evaluation will be a useful tool for them when moving forward,” says Olsen.


Structural weaknesses need addressing

The panel has also evaluated weaknesses in UiB’s development-related research and education. In the report, the panel points out that the administration and organisation of the focus area could have been better. According to the panel, there should be more interdisciplinary cooperation and communication.

“The evaluation that has been done will become part of the knowledge base for the organisation of the interdisciplinary focus areas in the on-going strategy process,” says the rector.


Reports of strategic importance

UiB’s current strategy will expire at the end of 2015. Work on a new overarching strategy for the institution is currently in progress. The evaluation of development-related research and education together with the recent evaluation of marine research and education, will be important elements in the new strategy. The proposal for UiB’s new strategy will be presented in May 2015, before the strategy is adopted by the University Board.

(Translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Ole Drønen.)