HiOA on track to gain university desig­na­tion

Rector Curt RIce has a reason to smile; he may soon be rector of a yet-to-be-named university.

«Today is a big day,» Curt Rice, Rector of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA), said at a press conference last week.

Curtʼs ambitions for HiOA to attain university status has been known for some time now. The institution submitted its application this spring.

In September a professional committee, led by Staffan Edén of the University of Gothenburg, visited HiOA in order to authenticate the facts presented in HiOA’s application.

The committee has now delivered their report to the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), with the conclusion stating that HiOA should achieve university status.

Rice says he is very satisfied with the results.

«Education and research goes hand in hand, and as a university we would be able to invest more on research based education, international collaboration, and recruitment of staff and students. University status would allow us to control our own studies, so that we are able to adapt faster to what society needs,» said the rector in a recent press conference.

Once handed over to, by the committee, the NOKUT board will examine the results from the report. The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 12.

After NOKUT has reached its conclusion, HiOA will submit their application to the Ministry of Education and Research, which then will announce the final verdict.

If all follows through, HiOA will officially have become a university by August 2018.

According to Rice, university status will also increase international visibility.

«The term ‘university’ is so strong internationally, whereas ‘høyskole’ is not. People are uncertain when they hear we’re a ‘høyskole,’ they don’t know what that entails,’ he said.

So far there has been a lot of excitement linked to what name the new university will have. Only three options remain; Oslo Met, Nova, and Aker Universitet. Almost one million Norwegian kroner has been spent by HiOA in the search for these names. According to HiOA’s press release, the decision will be announced 15 Dec.