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Exciting opportunities ahead for the Faculty of Fine Arts and FORTHEM partners

The Faculty of Fine Arts at UiA visited two partner universities of the European FORTHEM Alliance to discuss possible areas of collaboration.

Group photo of guests and hosts at the Universitetet i Mainz
The management group and members of the internationalisation committee at the Faculty of Fine Arts were well received by their European partners in the FORTHEM Alliance. Here, the group is gathered outside Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

“It will be exciting to see where collaborations will arise. We already see many possibilities”, says Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Marit Wergeland.

France and Germany

The purpose of these visits was to better get to know two of the nine other members of the FORTHEM Alliance. The delegation that travelled from the Faculty of Fine Arts first visited the University of Bourgogne in Dijon, France. From there, the group went on to Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

Through meetings and conversations, visitors and hosts exchanged experiences related to study programmes and subject areas. They also explored the opportunities for specific collaborations. During the visit in Mainz, the visitors from Norway were able to meet representatives from all the artistic fields: theatre, visual art, musicology and music performance.

“The visit kick-started conversations about possible areas of collaboration”, Wergeland says.

Bilde av Moritz Reinisch og Sebastian Sternal

Moritz Reinisch and Sebastian Sternal (right) from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. Credit: Jørund Pedersen.

Collaboration is key

UiA became a member of the FORTHEM European University Alliance in September 2021. The abbreviation stands for Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility (FORTHEM).

Student involvement and close cooperation between each university and the surrounding region are central to the alliance. An important aim of the faculty’s visit to the universities of Bourgogne and Mainz was to see how they work to promote student involvement, collaboration and co-creation locally and regionally.

“The Faculty of Fine Arts has good experience with this kind of work from our own region, through collaborations with Kilden Performing Arts Centre and SKMU Art Museum, among others”, says Faculty Director Hanne Graver Møvig.

“There is great value in meeting and getting to know our partners in the alliance to see and learn more about how they advance their social mission in their region”, she says.


  • FORTHEM is one of 41 European university alliances funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme.
  • The alliance consists of nine universities from nine different European countries. The countries cooperate across national borders in education, research, innovation and community engagement. This also provides opportunities for the development of international projects with industry, voluntary organisations and the public sector.
  • Through the alliance, students, university staff, private companies, schools and other organisations get many opportunities for international cooperation.
  • UiA joined the alliance in September 2022, together with Universitatea Lucian Blaga din Sibiu in Romania. 

Strategically important

The visits to Mainz and Bourgogne are also in line with the faculty’s strategy, which emphasises strengthening existing and establishing new international networks. Establishing partnerships and mutually binding agreements with institutions in the fields of art and culture regionally, nationally and internationally are priority areas for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

“That is why it is important for us to facilitate increased contact with our partners and to further develop our collaborations through FORTHEM”, Marit Wergeland says.

The deans and the rectorate at UiA recently followed up by visiting both institutions to strengthen relations at the higher level.

“For the Faculty of Fine Arts, this was also an opportunity to continue conversations that had already started”, Wergeland says.