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Bergen Summer Research School

BSRS Debate

Higher Education as a Global Challenge

The digital age has created new possibilities for education, which makes it possible to be educated on-line - but what challenges come with this opportunity?

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Student reading

Education in the digital age
Bente E. Moen (Chair)
Professor and Director, Centre for International Health, UiB

According to the 2017 Global Education Monitoring Report, as many as 61 million school age children do not have the chance to go to school. Over half of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa, and almost eleven million in South Asia.

Qualified teachers are necessary for high quality education, but the methods for the development of higher education in low-income countries differ. Who should set the agenda—private sector or universities? Should higher education take place in high-income countries or in low-income countries?

The digital age has created new possibilities for education, which makes it possible to be educated on-line. However, this type of education has some challenges that we need to consider. These questions will be addressed and discussed in this session.

Bente Elisabeth Moen is Professor and Director of the Centre for International Health and leader of UiB's strategic area on Global Challenges. Her research interests focus on international health and occupational medicine. She is involved in many projects in low-income countries in Africa.

University education and the SDGs
Tor Halvorsen
Associate Professor, Department of Administration and Organization Theory, UiB

Universities build on disciplines. The SDGs are seen as cross, multi, and interdisciplinary challenges. These 17 goals are thus a challenge to established knowledge organized as disciplines within universities. How should we meet this challenge? Create new kinds of disciplines? Merge established disciplines? Or construct better meeting places between disciplines to deliver relevant knowledge to the SDGs?

Tor Halvorsen is Associate Professor, Department of Administration and Organisation Theory. He studies professions and the different institutions related to professions, including education and research, bureaucracy and the state, capitalism and the firm, clients and the world of work. Of particular interest is the relationship between professions and their institutional environment on the one hand and globalisation on the other. Regional interest is focused on Southern Africa and Europe.

The role of business in setting global research agendas
Asuncion Lera St. Clair
Deputy Director, Climate Change Programme, DNV GL

Are private sector actors influential in setting the research agendas of universities? This talk explores this question by addressing the increasing role of business in society, and the positive and negative consequences this has (direct and indirect) in influencing student choices and universities' research priorities. 

Asuncion St. Clair holds an M.A. in Philosophy and a PhD in Sociology and has over 20 years of experience on solutions-oriented research in the interface between poverty, development and climate change. Her current work focuses on mobilizing business for climate resilient pathways and sustainable development solutions. This includes exploring hybrid forms of climate governance such as guidelines and standards to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement and business climate action. 

Challenges  of online higher education 
Sven G. Hinderaker
Professor, Centre for International Health, UiB

The number of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) has exploded over the past few years, making degrees from leading universities optainable for and affordable to many people. Is it a substitute to traditional higher education or a simple addition? 

The debate is open to the public!