Greetings from Iselin Nybø, Minister of Research and Higher Education, start of academic year 2019-2020, Volda University College

Starting higher education is a big step, and for many of you, Volda might be a completely new town. Choosing Volda as a study place is an excellent choice.

In competition with the whole world, we need the wisest heads. Norway can never be the cheapest, but we can be the best. To do that we have to find the balance between maintaining society whilst also developing it – and that we must do together.
In this audience there are future community builders needed for the Norway we create tomorrow. This is one of the reasons for the government to give priority to Volda. Finally, a state-of-the-art media building will be built, and ready for use in just two years. We are very pleased with that. I hope you are too!
But a new media building is one thing, another thing is to be a new student today. Maybe today is a little scary? But that is fine. All the big things in life are a little scary. That is also why they are worth doing.
5) You will gain new knowledge and new friends. Research shows that the friends you make when you are between 15 and 25 years you usually keep for the rest of your life. Maybe you meet many of them for the first time today?
I also recommend you get to know the entire college and explore the mountains that surround Volda. Do something that engages you! Whether it is to join Amnesty or to work as a quiz master in the student house Rokken. There are possibilities for everyone here.
6) Acquiring knowledge has no end date. As you know, knowledge is power and those who are able to acquire new knowledge will also be best equipped for the future.
Society’s major changes – the green shift, digitalisation and automation form the backdrop for why a constant refill of new knowledge is so important.
7) On Facebook you can read that many people attend the “school of life”. Learning all your life is not a mistake. It is actually a goal for this government. But the quality of education will be far higher if you attend an institution like Volda University College. Either way, lifelong learning is needed for the big changes already affecting our working lives today.
The technological changes we are experiencing now are moving at a rapid pace. Half of what we know today may be outdated or imprecise in a few years.
8) Although the changes are happening fast out there, the skillset you learn here in Volda will make you better equipped for tomorrow. It is important to learn, but sometimes it is even more important to learn how to learn. Those techniques and methods never go out of fashion.

In this audience there are future community builders needed for the Norway we create tomorrow. This is one of the reasons for the government to give priority to Volda. Finally, a state-of-the-art media building will be built, and ready for use in just two years. We are very pleased with that. I hope you are too!

But a new media building is one thing, another thing is to be a new student today. Maybe today is a little scary? But that is fine. All the big things in life are a little scary. That is also why they are worth doing.

You will gain new knowledge and new friends. Research shows that the friends you make when you are between 15 and 25 years you usually keep for the rest of your life. Maybe you meet many of them for the first time today?

I also recommend you get to know the entire college and explore the mountains that surround Volda. Do something that engages you! Whether it is to join Amnesty or to work as a quiz master in the student house Rokken. There are possibilities for everyone here.

Acquiring knowledge has no end date. As you know, knowledge is power and those who are able to acquire new knowledge will also be best equipped for the future.

Society’s major changes – the green shift, digitalisation and automation form the backdrop for why a constant refill of new knowledge is so important.

On Facebook you can read that many people attend the “school of life”. Learning all your life is not a mistake. It is actually a goal for this government. But the quality of education will be far higher if you attend an institution like Volda University College. Either way, lifelong learning is needed for the big changes already affecting our working lives today.

The technological changes we are experiencing now are moving at a rapid pace. Half of what we know today may be outdated or imprecise in a few years.

Although the changes are happening fast out there, the skillset you learn here in Volda will make you better equipped for tomorrow. It is important to learn, but sometimes it is even more important to learn how to learn. Those techniques and methods never go out of fashion.

But knowledge is not something that comes for free. It is perhaps a little strict to say this on your first day. But you have to work hard. Although knowledge does not come for free, higher education is free in Norway. And that is something we should not take for granted. It is a freedom and an opportunity our great-grandparents did not have.

It is a freedom and an opportunity many young people in many parts of the world do not have. Remember that – and use this opportunity!

This government has high expectations for the universities and university colleges – and we have high expectations for you students as well. You should also have high expectations for the teachers – and for the quality of teaching. In order to raise the quality of higher education, we now require that the teachers have educational competence – in addition to solid competence in the subject they lecture.

It is also important to me that you enjoy yourself and are well looked after. Especially those who may face some greater challenges than others. This year, for the first time, all students are by law entitled to a student ombudsperson! Mentoring schemes are also introduced to help and guide new students.

When you finally sit absorbed in the books and the exam is approaching, it is easy to forget the world out there.

But we are many outside this bubble waiting for you to finish. Because we need you to contribute with your knowledge, so that together we can make Norway better.

You are now on the starting line of your student years. Consider that feeling for a while. It is a good feeling. But the academic run is not a sprint – although it can feel a bit like one during the exam periods. It is more like a marathon.

Therefore, it is fine to spend the time next to your studies doing fun things, like a hobby or an activity.

And maybe even come home a little late after a party. I wish you all a good semester start. And I hope you all have a wonderful and rewarding year here in Volda.

Thank you!

Skrevet av

Johann Roppen

Professor dr.polit, rektor ved Høgskulen i Volda frå 1.8.2015.