More internationals – more money

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NEW ARENA. – We want to create an arena where international students and Norwegians can meet, says Johanne Vaagland, who is responsible for internationalization at the student parliament.

The Student parliament wants to create a prize for the student organization which are best at including international students.

The Student parliament at the University of Bergen (SP-UiB) has come up with an initiative to reward the student organizations which have best succeeded at including international students. SP-UiB has acknowledged the problem with inclusion of foreigners into the student life, and hope that the new award will help advance the process. The prize is planned to consist of 10 000 NOK, earmarked measures for further inclusion of internationals.

For everyone’s benefit

SP-UiB emphasizes the mutual benefit the international cooperation brings.

 They come here with ideas, solutions and with new ways of doing things. In return, students organizations can make their stay in Norway as good as possible. It is not only about the prize, there is so much more you gain by taking in the international students and also so much that international students gain by being included in the Norwegian society, says Anders Parmann, from the University board.

He is the man behind the idea.

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MONEY-PRIZE. Johanne Vaagland from SP-UiB is, together with several educational institutions in Bergen, in the planning phase of a new «Inclusion-prize». FOTO: JULIE BJELLAND BUER.

 If international students have a great stay here, they will come back and spread the word about Bergen. They can be good ambassadors, says Johanne Vaagland, who is responsible for internationalization at SP-UiB.

Equal opportunities for competition

By now, the student parliament is forming the rules of competition. They are meant to make the competition equal for those organisation which already have many international members and those who are just opening their doors.

– We are not necessarily going to count how many international members you have. It is rather the effort, something special you do to include foreign students, that will be evaluated, says Vaagland.

University backs up

The student parliament expects several educational institutions in Bergen to contribute to the award. The University of Bergen has already expressed their support for the initiative.

– It is very important that international students have something more than just studies. By participation into the student organizations you can create a good network and get to know the Norwegian society, says Anne Christine Johannessen, the vice-rector for International Affairs at UiB.