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Quality as a yardstick

Improved quality in research and education was on the agenda when the University Board approved UiB’s budget for 2012.


The total budget of 2.6 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK) was passed when the Board at the University of Bergen (UiB) met on Thursday 1 December.  The UiB’s strategy for 2011–2015 was openly reflected in the priorities for the budget the board was presented with.

The budget proposal underlines UiB’s commitment to basic research and to a broad range of academic subjects and disciplines. This means that research, research-based education and international mobility are amongst the areas that saw an increase in the budget for 2012.

– The budget for 2012 is an extension of UiB’s strategy, where quality is the yardstick, Rector Sigmund Grønmo told uib.no after the budget was passed at the University Board’s meeting.

Committed to basic research

The Research Council of Norway is increasing its support for independent projects in 2012. This scheme will support basic and independent research so that Norwegian industry and society can face the challenges of the next few years.

In line with the increase in support to basic research from the Research Council, UiB will allocate 21 million NOK for this purpose in 2012. This is an increase of 11 million NOK from 2011.

Faculties to gain

In the last few years, the budgets for several faculties have been on the increase. In 2010 the University Board agreed to increase the faculties’ budgets despite cuts in Norway’s National Budget. These guiding principles continued in 2011. On top of this the faculties’ basic budgets were strengthened through funding for an additional intake of students.

The Ministry of Education and Research has created an incentive-based funding model and this has been adopted at UiB. This model implies that the faculties gain when results improve. At the same time the risk of volatility is greater. The faculties now have to prioritise and manage their budgets and take more responsibility for any fluctuations.

– This model means a decentralisation of both revenues and expenses. There are both advantages and drawbacks to this system, but all in all the faculties will enjoy a net gain, Rector Grønmo said to uib.no.

Engaging discussions

There was some discussion about the budget on the Board and four additions were made to the budget proposal. One of these additions was an evaluation of the impact the new budgetary measures will have on the faculties and to adjust the budget if there are unwanted side effects.

– The discussions were constructive and valuable additions were made to the budget, Grønmo said.

University Director Kari Tove Elvbakken was also satisfied with the budget for 2012.

– In my opinion this is a budget that gets the priorities right, she said when uib.noasked her after the Board’s budget meeting.