“The national budget entails no dramatic changes for the University of Agder, but we need more help to achieve our high ambitions”, UiA Rector Sunniva Whittaker says.
The UN sustainable development goals are basic premises of UiA’s activity.
The 2020 national budget gives the higher education sector a small real growth of 0.5 percent next year. For the University of Agder this means that our activity will continue at the current level.
“The national budget means that we can maintain teaching and research at a high level. Still, we would have wished the government prioritised higher education more, and that UiA had received more help achieving our goals”, UiA’s Rector Sunniva Whittaker says.
University Director Seunn Smith-Tønnessen refers to UiA’s submission to the budget process where we requested support for, among other things, new scientific equipment for the large e-health initiative I4Health, the establishment of a new co-creation workshop to strengthen our cooperation with the private sector, and an increase in student places and research fellowships.
“We are disappointed that these requests were not taken into account. In addition, UiA was given 13 temporary fellowships in 2016, and we have long tried to make them permanent. The government has not prioritised this, and funding will therefore stop in 2020. We have requested more research fellowships and it is disappointing if the number of fellowship positions at UiA are reduced in this way. I hope that we together with our parliamentary representatives can ensure that these positions are continued”, Smith-Tønnessen says.
The national budget awarded 10 new student places within technology and the green shift to UiA.
“We are happy about the new student places, even though we could have wished for a lot more. UiA has a good academic environment and may contribute with the knowledge we need to achieve the sustainable development goals and to implement the green shift”, Sunniva Whittaker says.
Minister of Equality Trine Skei Grande has said that she wants to support the establishment of a resource centre for gender and sexuality at the University of Agder. UiA had expected there would be funds for that in the 2020 national budget.
“It is disappointing that there is no allocation for this in the government’s recommendation. As the minister has previously emphasised, Southern Norway has special challenges related to the living conditions for the LGBT community. We hope the Norwegian Parliament will set aside funds for the establishment of a gender and sexuality resource centre at UiA”, Rector Sunniva Whittaker says.