Inclusion of International Board Members at the Univeristy of Oslo
At its meeting 17.11.2015 the board at the Department of Economics decided that it would not facilitate for an elected non-Norwegian speaking student representative on the board.
The international officer of the Student Parliament and a representative from the student council at the Department of Economics had previously proposed to the leader of the department that either: 1. the working language of board meetings should be changed to English, or, 2: an interpreter should be present at board meetings, together with translation of meeting documents.
The International Committee wishes to raise this issue to the Student Parliament. We hope such cases will not be repeated in the future. We believe the right by law of student representation on university boards should apply regardless of the student’s command of Norwegian. The practise of the board at the Department of Economics effectively excludes students from the highest decision making body at the department.
The department of Economics has a Master's program in English, in which the qualifications to study are a proficiency in English. No competence in Norwegian is required. We ask ourselves the question: if the requirement to study and research at a UiO is English, why should the requirement to influence the institution’s strategic, budgetary and academic decisions be Norwegian?
The parliament resolves that:
-Students, academics and administrative personnel at the university have the right to participate in boards and decision-making bodies at all levels of the university, despite the collegiates competence in Norwegian, if the requirement to study and work at the at the university is English.
-The qualifications of the elected representative should be formed by the electorate that chooses hen and should not be overruled by the decisions of the board. All elected collegiates should be able to participate and influence their institution. If necessary for inclusion of an elected board member we expect that either: 1: the working language of board meetings is changed to English, or, 2: Board meetings are interpreted from Norwegian to English, and meeting documents will either be prepared in English or translated to English by a translator .
-The University must create guidelines for cases when language barrier prevents a board member from participating in board meetings