Humanities cutbacks hit women

(Photo: Colourbox)

Several humanities courses will no longer be offered at Norwegian universities. The University of Tromsø has discontinued Master's programmes in German and French, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has stopped offering courses in linguistics, applied linguistics, Christianity studies and the Master’s degree in art criticism. At the University of Oslo, theatre studies is now at risk of closure.

Dean Kathrine Skretting of NTNU says that lack of funding is the reason several courses are stopped.

"It's all about money. A key aspect of the financing system is that it is results-based. Almost 50 percent of the funding allocated to the faculty varies according to the number of ECTS points or credits we produce and the number of students who sit for the examination," she says.

A common characteristic of the discontinued courses is that they are popular with female students. Gerd Bjørhovde, chair of the KIF Committee, is worried about this trend.

She believes that the universities should be aware of the gender perspective when courses are discontinued.

Read the full story at Kilden Information Centre for Gender Research in Norway

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