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NOKUT gives MatRIC five more years

NOKUT (The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) requests that MatRIC (Centre for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching) should continue for five more years.

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MatRICs senterleder, professor Simon Goodchild og administrativ leder Lillian Egelandsaa er fornøyde med SFU-forlengelsen. Her er de under årets oktoberkonferanse for lærerstudenter i samtale med masterstudentene Marte Lia (til venstre) og Eldrid Tonette Rusdal.

MatRIC’s centre manager, Professor Simon Goodchild, and head of administration Lillian Egelandsaa are both happy with the SFU extension. Here they are during this year’s October conference for teaching student in dialogue with master’s students Marte Lia (to the left) and Eldrid Tonette Rusdal.

The evaluation committee was unanimous: The Centre of Excellence for Mathematics Education (SFU MatRIC) at UIA will be funded for five more years. The recognition of the important work for mathematics teaching also means that NOKUT – The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education – will contribute with four million NOK per year for five new years. 

The funds from NOKUT are, in addition, to be matched by UIA so that MatRIC will receive at least 40 million NOK for use over a five-year period.

Tough evaluation

“We are very happy and relieved that the evaluation is over and has garnered a positive result. It has been a demanding year with many meetings and studies to satisfy the wishes for reports, answer questions and participate in many meetings,” says MatRIC’s leader, Professor Simon Goodchild

Arbeidsgruppen som foretar underveisevalueringen arbeidet intensivt. Her er senterleder Simon Goodchild i MatRIC i ferd med å sette seg, mens evaluererne i rommet og deltakerne via Skype - professor Duncan Lawson i MatRICs International Advisory Board fra Newman University, Birmingham, Storbritannia (på skjermen og i minibilde NTNU-professor Frode Rønning i MatRICs styre) samt UiAs representanter forbereder neste runde i det lukkede møtet.

The working group which takes part in mid-term evaluation works intensively. Here, centre leader Simon Goodchild, with MatRIC, is about to sit down, whilst the assessors in the room and those participating by Skype – Professor Duncan Lawson, with MatRIC’s International Advisory Board from Newman University, Birmingham, UK (on the screen, and in the mini picture, NTNU professor Frode Rønning, from MatRIC’s Board), as well as UIA’s representatives, are preparing the next phase of the closed meeting.  

“We believe that this is good news both for the University of Agder, and everyone who is involved with mathematics teaching, because we still have to make efforts to expand and share knowledge about how mathematics can be taught in the best way possible,” says Goodchild.

Astrid Birgitte Eggen, viserektor for utdanning.

Professor Astrid Birgitte Eggen, Vice Rector for Education

“This is a very good piece of news. The Centre for Excellence in Education is of great importance for the university, in particular because it further draws our attention to the work with learning and teaching. Simon and all of his colleagues have made a great contribution, as have the Board members and the International Advisory Board”, says Vice-Rector for Education at UIA, Astrid Birgitte Eggen.

Further development of the student partnership as ingredient

Naturally enough, there is a sense of satisfaction that the work to extend MatRIC had a positive outcome. Now, the further development of teaching and learning forms in partnership with the students is on the programme, says the Vice Rector for Education.

“Now we have great plans afoot for what we are going to do over the next few years. One important case is that we wish to get students more involved in the learning process, and another is to build up the research-based knowledge base in addition. We are working actively with student partnerships in the teaching, and we now have the chance to develop this further,” says Goodchild.

Challenged to leave the classroom

“The evaluation committee asks us to be more challenging and to set higher goals for the activity. Until now, we have stayed, to a great extent, in the classrooms, and looked at the learning process that occurs between teacher and student. Now, we want to expand our horizons and to see beyond the classroom, looking more, for example, at study programmes in which mathematics is an integrated part of the programme,” says Simon Goodchild, who is in Christmas holiday mode, and who is thus ready to open the biggest package of all well before Christmas.

“MatRIC is an inspiration for the mathematics academic environments both nationally, and with us, and perhaps in particular in relation to the particular academic environments working very hard to develop teaching and learning methods,” says Vice Rector Astrid Birgitte Eggen.

Read NOKUT’s news report about the extended SFU status that has been awarded: the evaluation report from the international committee. (Please tick "Les evalueringsrapporten (pdf) - for the report, written in english)

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