The University of Agder is pleased with the government’s proposal to remove the monopoly which only allows select universities to offer professional degrees in psychology and law.
“These are great news. UiA has worked strategically for years to develop our expertise to be able to offer professional studies in psychology and law. The government’s proposal to change the regulations is crucial, and we will intensify our efforts and aim to offer these programmes as early as next autumn, subject to funding and approval of programme descriptions”, says Sunniva Whittaker, rector at UiA.
UiA currently offers a bachelor’s degree in law. With a master’s degree, students will get the chance to graduate with a professional law degree in Southern Norway.
“Programme descriptions and academic environment are ready. In addition, three of our academic staff are on the trajectory for professorships, ensuring that we have the sufficient expertise to implement the programme“, says Kristin Wallevik, dean of the School of Business and Law at UiA.
From 2020, all Norwegian municipalities are required by law to offer psychological expertise. However, more than half of the municipalities have had trouble recruiting psychologists.
“UiA has several academic environments with expertise in mental health and mental health work. We work closely with relevant services in municipalities and health trusts that guarantee practice placements for our students”, says Anders Johan Wickstrøm Andersen, dean of the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences.
We are working intensively to put the missing pieces in place to develop the programme. If everything falls into place, the first students can be admitted as early as 2022.
Professional studies in psychology and law at UiA will be important for the whole of Agder. Both require that UiA gets funding and is allocated student places.
“The government's signals are very positive. It will be a boost for the whole of Agder if lawyers and psychologists can be trained here. Now we need to join all efforts, public and private, and work together to put this in place”, says County Mayor of Agder, Arne Thomassen.