[PHOTO MISSING]NLH reorganised its departments as follows:
Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences
Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science
Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management
Department of Economics and Resource Management
Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning
Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
- Organisational organigramme of UMB (until 1.1.05 NLH)
The higher education sector in Norway is experiencing a phase of rapid development, with specific focus on the process referred to as the Quality Reform. The goals of the reform can be summarised as follows: Improving the quality of education and research, increasing the intensity of higher education and enhancing internationalisation.
In accordance with the Quality Reform, all study programmes and courses have been critically assessed. The general goals are that NLHs study programmes and courses shall be research-based, maintain a high degree of scientific and pedagogical quality and shall be described, conducted and evaluated in accordance with the intentions of the Quality Reform. Focus is placed on strengthening staff-student interaction, increasing the scope of study and assessment methods, promoting internationalisation, improving the students general learning environment, and on quality and quality assurance throughout all levels. Most study programmes have now been described in accordance with the specifications approved by the Education Committee. As a result, the course descriptions have become much more precise, thus providing students with better information about what is expected of them in the courses/programmes they choose to follow.
The degree structure has been changed to a 3+2+3 model, with a bachelors, masters and PhD programme, respectively. All study programmes and courses now offered at NLH are either new or have been completely revised and adapted to the new degree structure. Credits are now awarded as study points (studiepoeng), and the A-F grade scale was introduced. Alternatively, pass or fail grades are awarded.
In 2003, NLH focused on the following areas of priority:
Implementing the Quality Reform
Establishing and implementing the bachelors and masters programmes
Securing quality assurance of study programmes and the learning environment
Developing continuing education programmes adapted to the needs of the Competence Reform
Pedagogical capacity building of scientific staff
In 2003, 720 new students were enrolled at NLH. Of these, 80 were foreign students with a Norwegian study permit. This is close to the figure of 92 from the previous year. NLH now has seven masters programmes held in English, one more than in 2002. The number of NLH students that spent part of their studies abroad increased from 99 in 2002 to 122. These students studied at 39 different universities or colleges in 17 countries. NLH did not make any new institutional agreements in 2003, but expanded the educational cooperation with universities in Nepal and Uganda. As a result, 35 students (in 2003) from two of NLHs masters programmes have spent a semester in these countries. Their training is conducted as a cooperation between NLHs and local teaching staff.
NLH developed model study programmes, which also describe how student exchange and internationalisation can be included in the study programme.
NLH offers an increasing number of courses in English. Of the total number of about 600 courses, 91 courses are only held in English, and 92 courses can be held in English if requested by at least one participating student. In other words, close to 30 percent of NLHs courses are now available in English.
NLH has formulated an international strategy, which will be presented to the University Board in 2004.
Much more information about NLH is now available in English, especially via the Internet.
In 2003, NOVA (the Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University) focused on developing student mobility at the MSc level.
The MSc programme in agroecology aimed for approval by the participating universities to become established as a full-fledged study programme. The programme is now established and underway, but so far there are not enough students.
The MSc programme in Biosystems Engineering is now established.
A committee was appointed to evaluate the possibility of establishing a Nordic MSc programme in the field of horticulture. This Nordic network-based programme would commit NOVA member universities to advance approval of each others courses in the field.
A similar coordination of aquaculture-related study programmes at the MSc level is being assessed. In 2003, a database of aquaculture courses was established.
NLHs activities in the field of continuing education are coordinated by the Centre for Continuing Education (SEVU-NLH). NLH has successfully applied for support for several development projects under national development programmes, including the Capacity Development Programme.
In 2003, a total of 1,129 persons participated in continuing education activities. Of these, 487 followed continuing education programmes, 642 participated in short courses and seminars. 39% were females. On assignment from the Norwegian Food Research Institute, SEVU-NLH functions as the secretariat for a 3-year capacity building programme in the food sector, with representatives from the food industry, food authorities and the food retail trade.
NLHs production of study points (credits) in continuing education has doubled in the past few years. Relative to its size (expressed in budgetary terms), NLH generates three times as many credits from continuing education activities as the countrys three largest universities. The major target groups include the public land use and resource management sector and the food industry.
Distance learning and e-learning
NLH applies information technology for its on-campus students and as a distance learning tool for participants of continuing education courses. In the past few years, NLH has also used information technology as a pedagogical tool for discussion groups, student assignments and student counselling. Furthermore, NLH received support from the Norwegian Agency for Flexible Learning in Higher Education (SOFF) for three development projects in the fields of hydrogeology, landscape architecture and agroecology.
NLHs research strategy for 2000-2010 states that the Universitys research shall be at the international forefront in environmental and food sciences and in biotechnology. In addition, aquaculture and business development are two major areas of interdisciplinary focus. The strategy is reflected in the departments scientific focus. In 2003, the departments concentrated their research activities around these areas of priority by developing vigorous research groups.
For the past three years, the Research Committee has based its evaluation of project applications and the allocation of internal funds and scholarships on the current research strategy. This implies that resources have been allocated to research groups working within the mentioned areas, and who previously have conducted research of good quality. Two NLH scientists have been assigned the task of coordinating research within the fields of environmental and aquaculture research. They have helped to collect, organise and spread information about the areas of priority. In sum, NLHs research strategy is actively used throughout the organisation and is generating results.
External funding reached an all-time high in 2003. Revenues increased from NOK 177 million in 2002 to NOK 231 million in 2003. Most of this increase is due to increased funding from the Research Council of Norway, which rose from NOK 67 to 111 million, an increase of 61%.
In terms of published scientific articles, research output was 13% higher than in 2002. Scientists at NLH have contributed to articles in the journals Nature and Science. In 2003, the Ministry of Education and Research has enabled artistic presentations to be included in the research output reports. At NLH, this especially affects the Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning. The number of published popular science articles was about the same as in 2002. There was an increase in the production of patent applications and ideas for commercial utilisation.
Doctorate programmes are a major part of research activities at NLH. A total of 52 doctorate degrees were awarded in 2002, the highest number ever in NLHs history. Forty-two doctorate degrees were awarded in 2003.
The scientific focus and organisation of the Food Alliance were revised in 2003. In addition, Akvaforsk (Institute of Aquaculture Research) was included as a new partner. Matforsk (Norwegian Food Research Institute), Akvaforsk and NLH now collaborate within two alliances, each directed at a specific market: the Akvaforsk Alliance is directed at the fish farming industry, whereas the Food Alliance focuses on the food industry. The number of priority areas was reduced from 14 to 7. The project portfolio is worth NOK 125 million, with a total turnover in 2003 of NOK 30 million, evenly divided between NLH and Matforsk.
There has been a lot of activity at the Aquaculture Protein Centre (APC), one of Norways centres of excellence under the Research Council, and the Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE), one of Norways centres for functional genome research. The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science and Akvaforsk are cooperating partners in both of these centres. The Aquaculture Protein Centre, which works on the development of feedstuffs for the fish farming industry, submitted 13 scientific articles to peer-reviewed journals in 2003. Four doctorate students are employed at the centre. CIGENE has completed the construction of a highly advanced laboratory for gene detection (SNP), and will now be able to employ 17 persons. The centre is in the process of appointing researchers and doctorate students. Two biotech companies are interested in cooperating with the centre. Finally, four international seminars with leading scientists from the USA and Japan have been held.
NLHs Business Liaison Office and Bioparken cooperate closely on issues related to business development and commercialisation of research results. Via their research, scientists are included in this work, and they generally support the commercial utilisation of their results. Intellectual property rights are now clearly part of the agenda in contract negotiations with companies who wish to cooperate with the scientific environment. The principles of financial compensation are jointly developed with Matforsk, Akvaforsk and Bioparken. The science park Biopolis aims to create close cooperation and physical proximity between research groups and business ventures. The concept has generated lots of interest in the business community as well as in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Relative to the size of its scientific staff, NLH had about the same level of participation in the EUs Fifth Framework Programme as Norways major universities. The scientific focus of the Sixth Framework Programme is less relevant for NLH, and it requires considerably larger projects. In spite of this, 23 applications for projects and network activities were submitted. Of these, six were successful at the end of 2003.
NLH participates in 29 projects in the EUs Fifth Framework Programme, of which seven are COST networks. The scientific focus is on the field of life science, environment and sustainability, as well as research aimed at developing countries. This also includes projects within the Radiation Protection Programme. Revenues via the EUs Fifth Framework Programme amount to NOK 24 million.
NLH invests significant sums in numerous environmental measures, including equipment for reducing energy consumption and the sanitation of PCB-contaminated equipment. NLH was certified in accordance with the environmental standard NS-EN ISO 14001 in July 2003. Annual environmental plans are made, which specify NLHs goals in accordance with its environmental strategy. Our aim is that operations at NLH shall contribute to reducing the negative effects on the environment.
The electronic media are a central part of NLHs efforts aimed at knowledge dissemination. The objective is to assist in presenting NLH as a leading international educational and research environment, with a focus on the integration of natural science, technology and social science. In addition to information about study programmes and research activities, numerous publications present general information about the Agricultural University of Norway.
Information about study programmes. NLH improved the scope and quality of student information in 2003. New student information services were developed, and were specifically designed for the target groups. There is statistical evidence that there is a demand for information, and what is provided is used. Furthermore, NLH has enabled various student groups to utilise NLHs technical platform in the development of their own student web sites.
Dissemination of research results is a core element at NLH and is done by way of the Internet and the publication of popularised scientific information. The scope of Internet-based research information has been extended, and earlier research web sites have been redesigned.
The dissemination of research results receives high priority. Several university departments publish their latest research results in their own publication series. Many researchers are also extensively used as lecturers and consultants, especially within the agricultural sector, but also in a wide range of business fields. In 2003, NLH established new Internet pages and strengthened its position in the media.
Financial Statement 2003
The financial result for 2003 of NOK 901 million is the result of the net surplus in externally funded activities. Furthermore, NOK 63.4 million of the Ministry of Education and Research (UFD) allocations in 2003 are set aside for future commitments in 2004.
- Financial results 2003