As of autumn 2019, the bachelor programme in Development Studies at UiA will be fully taught in English. The goal is to attract a more diverse and international group of students.
“We are looking for curious, enthusiastic and critical students who are interested in international affairs and open to different ways of understanding the world and the global challenges,” says Hanne Haaland, Head of the Department of Global Development and Planning at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
UiA has a long history of educating students within the field of development. It all started in 1981 when students at Agder Regional College for the first time were offered a half-year module that involved a study trip to Sri Lanka. The current bachelor’s programme offers students knowledge and experience in international conditions. A four-week field course in a developing country in the second semester and three months of field work during the last semester contribute to giving the students knowledge and experience within the field of development. The field work is carried out in cooperation with UiA’s partner universities in Uganda, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
“Our development programme is well known in Norway. Now, of course, we hope that the programme will be recognised internationally and contribute to UiA’s international profile,” Haaland says.
Global Mindset (GM) is one of the three priority areas in UiA’s strategy, and one goal of the strategy is to convert more subjects and study programmes into in English.
“Converting the bachelor's programme in Development Studies fits perfectly in UiA’s strategy and strengthens our work for attracting more international students,” says Marianne Øhrn Johannessen, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and project manager for GM.
“Development studies is naturally directed towards an international perspective. Our staff is international, and we have long experience with international students at master’s level. Our experience of the master’s programme, shows that a diverse group of students enrichens the education and creates interesting dynamics in the class rooms,” Haaland says.
The idea is to attract both Norwegian and international students to the programme.
“Industries, organisations and society demand more and more global insight and experience in an increasingly globalised world. We believe that it is useful and important for Norwegian students to choose study programmes in English and study together with students from all over the world. International students enrichen the programmes at UiA and strengthen our role as an educational institution. Meetings between people and cultures across borders contribute to more dialogue and mutual development,” Øhrn Johannessen says.
"Recruiting bachelor students from other countries is a new venture for us. Fortunately, we have a team where admission, marketing, administration and academic staff work closely together, and I believe we will be able to handle any challenges that may appear,” Haaland says.
The Department of Global Development and Planning are now implementing the necessary changes to the programme so that by autumn 2019, the whole programme will be taught in English.