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A tight spot for Norway’s private colleges

Compared with high-profile, research-focused universities, private university colleges tend to stay out of the spotlight. But higher education reforms in Norway have raised questions about the relationship between funding for small, specialist institutions and the quality of their services. A report, published on 2 June, said that private institutions should have to be fully accredited to receive government funds.

Norway’s eight private colleges cover a wide range of art and music education, as well as architecture, theology and farming. A five-year transitional period should be implemented to help these private institutions to adjust, the report suggested.

Harald Hjort, managing director of the Barratt Due Institute of Music, one of the private institutions, says that traditional accreditation has some downsides. For example, it requires teaching staff to have the institution as their main employer, which in music education could be a barrier to quality.

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