Last week the Norwegian minister of of Reseach and Higher education, Iselin Nybø, visited the University College, just because of our success regarding student exchange – both in numbers and in quality.
We found that her ideas of why exchange is important were perfectly aligned with our own:
It is necessary to go abroad – and to receive foreign students in order to seek knowledge and understanding through meeting other people and cultures.
The ambition of the Volda University is that international students arriving in Norway and Volda will leave with a smile and our motto well ingrained:
Volda – the place you’ll never forget.
Training of teachers has a long history in Volda; starting in 1861 – almost 160 years ago. In 1922 Volda hosted the largest teachers training academy in Scandinavia. At the time Volda was associated with traditional values such as Christianity, Norwegian language culture – and temperance. So it was safe to send daughters and sons to Volda. And it still is. This is a very peaceful place – we have nothad a murder here in 100 years!
But becoming a teacher, becoming part of academic culture is challenging. And it always has been. And it should be be.
Just like the nature surrounding Volda is both beautiful and challenging and you need to put in effort and acquire skills in order to enjoy nature – and to survive.
Nature in Norway is beautiful – but can be unforgiving: We have deep seas, high mountains and brutal avalanches.
We wish students staying in Volda to know this. You need knowledge to love and enjoy nature – actually in order to survive.
Surviving as a young teacher today also can be quite a challenge. What will you face?
A wide sea of deep knowledge.
Steep mountains of problems in a changing world.
An avalanche of new technologies and tools.
Technology which only a few years ago was available only to well-equipped media corporations and highly specialized experts, is today available not only to schools and teachers – but also to each and every student.
Volda University College has also been a school of media and journalism for almost 50 years. Before I was elected rector I was a professor in the media department. An important idea underpinning our media teaching has been to give students easy access to professional tools. We want them to master the technologies of communication – not to callon experts to create a message.
This is what we also expect teachers of today and tomorrow to be able to do: To know the tools and enable young people to manage the tools and use them critically for better learning and communication.
So, if you can handle all of this, the sea, the mountains and the avalanche, you will climb mountains and see the wider world. And be able to convey your experiences to young children: to give them dreams and ideas. And this you can see in their shining eyes.
Now – I wish you all to enjoy and participate and be uplifted through the conference: ITS Volda.
Welcome to Volda – the place you’ll never forget.