Diversity in the academy – from concepts to measures

Please join us for the conference Diversity in the academy – from concepts to measures on Thursday, November 8th in Oslo!

The Young Academy of Norway, the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research (the KIF Committee) and the Institute for Social Research are inviting researchers, managers and practitioners in academia to discuss the issue of ethnic diversity. Please note that the first part of the conference will be held in English, and the second part will take place in Norwegian.

Thematic focus

We will take our point of departure in the ongoing debate about internationalization in academia, experiences from gender equality efforts and the difficult concept of diversity. Our objective for the day is to challenge researchers and managers in academia to clarify what they mean by diversity in general and ethnic diversity in particular. If we agree on what we mean by diversity and where the challenges lie, it will be easier to propose specific measures.


The conference programme is divided into two parts. First, we will gain inspiration and hear about experiences from the UK with Professor Kalwant Bhopal of the University of Birmingham. She will talk about her research on the obstacles encountered by academics with an ethnic minority background, as well as share effective instruments for gender balance and ethnic diversity that have been used in British academia. Key Norwegian actors will discuss how these experiences can be applied in academia in Norway. This part of the conference will be held in English.

The second part, after lunch, will consist of four to five parallel workshops in Norwegian. These workshops will focus on experiences with the efforts to promote gender balance, internationalization and diversity. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences in smaller breakout sessions.

The conference will conclude with a discussion about how effective measures can ensure that the potential for a more diverse academic sector can be achieved at Norwegian institutions of research and higher education.

Part 1, in English

Place: Studenthallen (OsloMet, Pilestredet 52)

09.00-09.30 Registration, coffee and tea
09.30-09.35 Welcome and practical information by moderators Ella Ghosh and Heidi Holt Zachariassen (Kif Committee)
09.35-09.45 Opening remarks by Minister of Research and Higher Education Iselin Nybø
09.45-10.00 Introducing Diversity in academia: from concepts to measures (Arnfinn Midtbøen and Marta Bivand Erdal, Young Academy of Norway)
10.00-10.45 Keynote address: The Unequal Academy: The Experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic Academics by Professor Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice, University of Birmingham
10.45-11.30 Panel: How can we best use British research and experiences in the Norwegian HE context? What is transferable, what is not? With Professor Kalwant Bhopal (University of Birmingham), Julia Orupabo (Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Research), Jesper Simonsen (Executive Director of the Division for Society and Health at the Research Council), Mari Sundli Tveit (Rector of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Chair of the Board of Universities Norway) and Curt Rice (Rector of OsloMet and Chair of the Kif Committee). Moderator: Arnfinn Midtbøen (Young Academy of Norway/Institute for Social Research)
11.30-12.30 Lunch (Festsalen)

Part 2, in Norwegian

Place: Festsalen (OsloMet, Pilestredet 52)

12.30-12.45 Go to workshops
12.45-14.25 Workshops in parallel sessions: 1. Gender and internationalization: Challenges, solutions, synergies. Moderators: Guro Busterud (Young Academy of Norway/Norwegian University of Science and Tenchnology) & Katerini Storeng (Young Academy of Norway/University of Oslo). Experiences from OsloMet and University of Bergen by Laurence Habib and Yael Harlap 2. Fixing people, fixing the system? Mentoring schemes as a measure. Moderators: Cindy Horst & Lynn P. Nygaard (Peace Research Institute Oslo). Experiences from Catalysts, Norwegian Veterinary Institute and University of Oslo by Lisa Cooper, Kofitsyo Sewornu Cudjoe and Marthe Amundsen 3. Diversity dividend – Profiting from diversity. Moderator: Giuliano D'Amico (University of Oslo). Experiences from University of Stavanger, Seema and University of Oslo by Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim, Loveleen Brenna and Truls Norby  4. Academia: Recruitment and inclusion. Moderator: Stefka Eriksen (Young Academy of Norway/the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research). Experiences from OsloMet and University of Oslo by Vibeke Horn, Ellen Rees and Malcolm Langford.
14.25-14.45 Break: Coffee and tea
14.45-15.00 Plenary session with brief feedback from workshop notetakers
15.00-15.50 Panel: Internationalization, ethnic diversity and inclusion. What can be done? What do we need to know in order to act? With Michael Langford (University of Oslo), Cathrine Egeland (Oslo Metropolitan University), Yael Harlap (University of Bergen) and Javad Mushtaq (MAK: Diversity, ambitions and capabilities). Moderator: Marta Bivand Erdal (Young Academy of Norway/Peace Research Institute Oslo)
15.50-16.00 Concluding remarks by Mari Teigen (Institute for Social Research)

Practical information

Time: 8 November 2018, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Place: OsloMet, Pilestredet 52, Oslo. Part 1: Studenthallen, part 2: Festsalen. 
Target group: Researchers, managers, practitioners, students and others interested in the topic.
Registration deadline: The registration deadline has expired and the conference is now fully booked. 
Organizers: Young Academy of Norway, the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research and the Institute for Social Research.

Read more

Read more about the various institutions’ measures and other proposals for measures on ethnic diversity: Measures to increase ethnic diversity

Also see some of our articles on ethnic diversity:

Diversity statistics raise new questions
“Diversity efforts must be customized”
Ethnic diversity challenges academia

Read up on the work of the Committee for Gender Balance and Diversity in Research, the Young Academy of Norway and the Institute for Social Research.