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Educating engineers in aquaculture and seafood

A new integrated Master’s degree programme at the University of Bergen combines a traditional biology education with finance and entrepreneurship. The programme is unique to Norway.

SOUGHT-AFTER EDUCATION. The Master’s programme in aquaculture and seafood will provide students with a broad education in biology, as well as a specialisation in marine food production. Photo: Colourbox.com
SOUGHT-AFTER EDUCATION. The Master’s programme in aquaculture and seafood will provide students with a broad education in biology, as well as a specialisation in marine food production.
Photo:
Colourbox.com

Come spring 2016, the University of Bergen (UiB) offers applicants a new Master’s degree programme in aquaculture and seafood. The Master’s programme is initially offered to 15 students.  The programme combines traditional subjects in biology, such as cell biology, genetics, physiology, and marine ecology, with subjects such as economy and entrepreneurship. In addition, engineering subjects such as mathematics, physics, engineering, and chemistry will be taught.

“This is an education that the industry is asking for. The initiative springs from the Seafood Innovation Cluster in Hordaland county. The cluster wanted an education with a broader approach than the traditional university Master's degree. Candidates who take the Master’s degree will have a broad biological education, but with a strong focus on food production in the ocean,” says Professor Sigurd Stefansson at the Department of Biology at UiB. Stefansson is one of the coordinators of the new programme.

Unique to Norway

The new Master’s programme is unique to Norway, and combines an education in civil engineering with a full Master's degree.  The course of the education will give students insight into how to conduct a research project.

“These students will be sought-after. The seafood industry in Norway is developing strongly in the years ahead. Much has been said and written about the fishing industry’s and aquaculture’s growing future importance. This degree is an answer to those signals from society,” says Stefansson.

He says that both former and current students have provided very positive feedback when hearing of this degree.

“Many have expressed that they wished this programme had been a reality earlier. If that were the case, they would have taken this education,” says Stefansson.

Cooperation on civil engineer studies 

In January 2015, the University of Bergen, Bergen University College and the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) signed a historic agreement to cooperate on programmes for civil engineering. The Master's programme is the first civil engineering course at UiB.

UiB is to cooperate with Bergen University College on several of the courses in the programme, including technology, innovation, economics, and entrepreneurship.

“Students who complete this programme will need issues from real life to solve and provide learning,” says Dean Helge K. Dahle at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

He hopes the industry will respond to the challenge of providing internships for students. Dahle is pleased to establish a programme that is in demand by the marine sector.

“The Bergen region has Europe's largest concentration of marine research. If there is one place right for such a programme, it is Bergen,” says Dahle.