From university college to full-fledged university
Finally, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) officially became Oslo Metropolitan University on Jan. 12.
«I am so happy and proud that we are finally a university. This is recognition of the important work that both students and staff do here at OsloMet, and of the huge growth we’ve made in both education and research,» said OsloMet’s rector Curt Rice in a press release.
[Immediately before Christmas, the HiOA board decided to send in their application to become Norway’s newest university.](1) Today, Curt Rice’s years-long dream finally became true.
«HiOA has made a huge effort in working to become a university. I believe OsloMet will produce qualified students and greater knowledge and research,» said Minister of Education Torbjørn Røe Isaksen in a press release.
A historic day
At a formal event to break the news, Isaksen congratulated Rice.
«This is a historic day,» Rice said at the press conference.
OsloMet is Norway’s third largest university, and Oslo is now the first city in Norway to have two universities.
«I’m looking forward to following [OsloMet’s] growth,» said Isaken.
The long road
In fall 2015, the university college announced that within the next spring, there were hopes to apply for full university accreditation. [In a portrait interview, Rice said a major reason was the confusion when the Norwegian word «høyskole» is translated to English.](2)
«University is an international concept. University college, as ‘høyskole’ translates to, what does that mean? It’s not used at all in the USA, and has another meaning in England. International cooperation and exchange opportunities will be easier if people outside Norway understand what kind of institution we are,» he said at the time.
The process took longer than expected. [More than one million kroner were used to find a new name.](3) [By fall 2017 however, a NOKUT committee had come to evaluate the school.](4)
At the end of November, the committee advised HiOA to become a university.
Hoping to be more attractive to students
In a press release, Rice said the university status means the school will attract more students.
«Being a university gives us a sign of quality. Not to mention, the requirements of being a university are much stricter than they were. This is a recognition of both the quality of the courses we offer, and the quality of education and research. This is a positive development for students, employees, work life, and society in general,» Rice said.