Welcoming Norwegian visitors
4 September 2015
A university reception event for Norwegian sixth form students this month marks a new flourishing of links between Norway and Cardiff University.
The Director of International Relations for the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Professor John Hines, welcomed the visitors including Norwegian organiser, Ms Hege Cruickshank, accompanied by Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Dean of International Professor Ken Hamilton and University International staff month to the social event in the historic Council Chamber of the Main Building on 1 September.
Hailing from Hordaland, the province twinned with the City of Cardiff, the students are all in the middle year of three at videregående skole, the equivalent of a British sixth form. The pupils are visiting through a long-established programme enabling them to experience a school year in another country. The largest group from Hordaland, an administrative province in Norway, comes to Wales to study in five schools in Cardiff and Barry; other groups go to Normandy and Germany.
Formerly Chairman of the Management Committee of the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, Professor John Hines adds: ‘The sixth-formers are all studying a wide range of subjects including English as a second language. The Norwegian senior school system generally is not so focussed on specialization as the British systems are. It was especially valuable to talk to the students about their special interests in studying social sciences and psychology at sixth-form level, and their excitement at the rich arts and sports scene in Cardiff.’
There are plans for academics from across the University's Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences schools to visit Norway next year, and to build upon existing agreements and partnerships in teaching and research.
This visit comes ahead of the centenary of the birth of Roald Dahl, the celebrated author of Norwegian parentage, in 2016. Hearing of plans within the University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy to mark this event generated great interest and enthusiasm.
The university continues to work on its international links, enabling more of its students to spend time abroad as part of their degree. Through the new initiative Languages for All, Cardiff University students now have the opportunity to learn a language free of charge.