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Change of leadership in Norway and spotlight on responsible internationalisation

On 4 August, Sandra Borch assumed the role of Minister of Research and Higher Education in Norway. Representing the Center Party, Ms. Borch had previously held the position of Minister of Agriculture and Food. She takes over from Mr. Ola Borten Moe, who stepped down on 22 July after acknowledging a violation of the government's integrity regulations.

Earlier this year, Mr. Borten Moe instigated the introduction of tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students in Norway, a move that met resistance from national higher education stakeholders (ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, January 2023).

Knowledge security and responsible internationalisation remain one of the key topics on the new Minister’s agenda. To provide related guidance and support to higher education institutions in Norway, the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (HK-dir) drafted a joint report with the Norwegian Research Council. The report, presented to the Ministry of Higher Education and Research at the Arctic University of the North on 14 August, offers insights into the following matters:

  • Academic values and responsibilities;
  • Safety and security management at higher education institutions;
  • Employees and students;
  • Partnerships and agreements in the field of higher education and research;
  • Responsibility and coordination at national level.

Knowledge security in the international context has been high on the agenda in several countries, including amongst others Germany (e.g., see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, December 2020), Finland (e.g., see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, August 2022), the Netherlands and Sweden (e.g., ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, May 2023). It is also a main focus at European level. Already in early 2022 the European commission published a staff working document the Tackling R&I Foreign Interference (see ACA Newsletter-Education Europe, January 2022). It has also been addressed at the latest ACA What’s new in Brussels seminar.