Super student application numbers for BIO!
Tuesday this week the numbers from this year’s student applications were revealed by the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Services (Samordna opptak). It is clear that the students have observed that the petroleum age is on the wane, and that the bioeconomy represents the future. Both petroleum technology and the programmes in geosciences experience a continued decline from last year, and have for the first time fewer students than study places . This is a dramatic situation.
For the BIO programmes the trend is opposite and extremely positive. For the bachelor programme in biology we have 142 first priority applicants to 75 study places, vs 113 applicants last year. The integrated master programme in aquamedicine (fish health), which was expanded to 25 study places last year, has 58 priority applicants (normally thirty-some). And the brand-new integrated master (siving.) programme in aquaculture and seafood has 52 applicants to 15 study places. Also the environment and resource management programme (natural science direction) has relatively many applicants (26) to 15 study places. This is really marvelous, and implies that we for the first time ever (I think) may have a grade point limit for all our study programmes.
It is especially encouraging and interesting that the demand for R2-maths applied to the siving-programme didn’t scare the students away. As we know, the ministry has plans to introduce compulsory R2 math competence for all science programmes, including biology, over a couple of years. This means that math competence has to be introduced to students all the way from elementary school, or even kindergarten. Here a vigorous effort is needed, if we are to have a sufficient number of students with R2 competence to fill the biology programmes in the future.
The week has also lead to other interesting acitivites for myself: (1) start of construction of the National Algae Pilot facility at Mongstad, duly published in both local TV and press, (2) opening conference for the Center for Digital Life in Trondheim, and (3) the faculty’s spring seminar at Solstrand. Here the highlight was PhD fellow Sunniva Rose’s talk on pink blogs and nuclear physics.
This week also saw the publication of the salmon genom in Nature, a long term project finally concluded and made public, with important contributions from the bioinformatics environment in Bergen, among others with Inge Jonassen among the coauthors. We also saw a level 2 publication from BIO this week, by Alexander Otterlei, Daniel Jensen, Are Nylund and coauthors in BMC Veterinary Medicine. Congratulations to all of them!