Comment to the national budget 2019

 

On Monday, October 8th, the government put forward their national budget for the next years. Minister Iselin Nybø presented the long-term plan for research and higher education and informed that “… with this long term plan we are strengthening the quality work in higher education even further…” We working with higher education in Norway did not share this perception of the national budget.

In the proposed budget, 250 million NOK has been set aside for the quality work in higher education for the next 4 years, where 85 million NOK is for 2019. NOKUT wrote in their blog “… of the 85 million NOK budgeted for in 2019, the government suggest to strengthen the arena for competition for incentives in higher education, now managed by Diku, with 25 million NOK. This new funds are great, but it is little in the larger picture where this arena was the main initiative from the white paper from 2017. 25 million NOK will hardly be enough for a new call for Centre of Excellence in Education (SFU).”

We in iEarth question the prioritization of the government when it comes to higher education. From the white paper Meld St. 16 “Quality Culture in Higher Education” from 2017, one should hope and believe that the government was more ambitious in the forthcoming national budget.