“It is more important for the universities to become adept at marketing the engineering sciences to women rather than designing measures such as gender points to increase their numbers,” says Svandis Benediktsdottir, Gender Equality Adviser at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
In March, the Norwegian Nurses Organisation voiced its support for giving gender points to men who want to become nurses. Now the Ministry of Education and Research has given its response: There are no plans at this time to introduce such a measure.
Gender will no longer count when students are admitted to Swedish universities and university colleges. Sweden’s Minister for Higher Education and Research Tobias Krantz says that preferential treatment based on gender has hit talented female students especially hard.
The Norwegian Government will extend the term of the national committee that promotes gender equality. It is also proposing financial rewards for institutions that employ women in high-level positions in the male-dominated natural sciences.
National action plans to implement the European Research Area (ERA) are now being drawn up. Hans M. Borchgrevink of the Research Council of Norway believes this is the chance to put gender equality on the EU’s agenda, but quick action is required.
In April 2009 the Norwegian Government presented a new white paper on research policy. In the report the Government confirms its commitment to gender equality in research, but critics say progress is too slow.
More men than women receive funding when the Research Council of Norway grants money for outstanding research. Susanne Moen Stephansen has looked at how the attempts to bring more gender equality into these schemes have worked.
There is little difference in how Ghanaian girls and boys view science education and technology. In Norway, Sweden, Finland and England, on the other hand, the gender gap regarding what the pupils are interested in is huge.
The work on standardising the workday of European scientists may further gender equality in the research sector, if a gender perspective is employed, says the Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science in Norway.
In a new memo requested by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Committee for Mainstreaming - Women in Science recommends active use of gender quotas and earmarking of permanent and temporary positions for female scientists.
The Ministry of Education and Research is requesting the KiF Committee to prepare models ensuring women employment in academic positions in male dominated fields. This autumn, the Ministry will announce the measures the various institutions can make use of.
Female professors feel that they spend more time teaching after the introduction of the Quality Reform, the Norwegian follow-up to the Bologna Declaration. Women, to a larger degree than men, also say that the reform has changed their methods of teaching.
The University of Oslo is the first scholarly institution that has looked at its budgets from a gender equality perspective. The survey suggests that male researchers at the University get more money than their female colleagues.
The Ministry of Education and Research has established a new gender equality award worth two million Norwegian kroner. The award will go to the institution that has done the most to promote women in science.
The Ministry of Education and Research in Norway has appointed a new Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science. The new committee will be chaired by pro-rector Gerd Bjørhovde, and its period of office will extend until 1 April 2010.
An abridged version of the final report from the Committee for Mainstreaming – Women in Science in Norway is now available in English. The report is entitled Gender balance in higher education and research – golden opportunities.