Next year, the bachelor's programme in Development Studies at UiA will be completely in English. The goal is to attract more international 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 development,” Hanne Haaland, Head of the Department of Global Development and Planning at the Faculty of Social Sciences, says.
UiA has a long history with development studies. This started in 1981, when students at Agder Regional College were able, for the first time, to take 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 are some of the elements that will contribute to giving the students this knowledge and experience.
This will be achieved with help from UiA’s partner universities in Uganda, Indonesia or 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 visibility” 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 courses and study programmes into English.
“Converting the bachelor's programme in Development Studies fits perfectly in UiA’s strategy and strengthens our work to attract more international students,” Marianne Øhrn Johannessen, Assistant Director of Academic Affairs and project manager for GM, says.
“Development studies is internationally oriented by nature. Our staff is international, and we have extensive experience with international students at master’s level. Our experience from the master’s programme shows that a diverse group of students enriches the education and creates interesting dynamics in the lecture halls,” Haaland says.
The department wants both Norwegian and international students to apply for 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.
At the same time, recruiting students from other countries is a demanding process
"We are experienced in international recruitment at master’s level, but recruiting bachelor's students is something new to us and UiA. The admission process could become demanding for us. Fortunately, we are a team where admissions, marketing, administration and academic staff work closely together, and I believe we will be able to handle any challenges that might come up,” Haaland says.
The Department of Global Development and Planning is now working on the alteration of the programme so that it will be available in English from the autumn semester of 2019.