bioCEED: An excellent opening

bioCEED: An excellent opening

Top image:  Mayor Christin Kristoffersen unveiled the plaque and handed it over to associate professor Pernille Bronken Eidesen, leader of the UNIS part of bioCEED. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS

The new Centre of Excellence in biology education, bioCEED, opens formally on 30 April in Bergen. But UNIS jumped the gun and had a preopening ceremony for students and staff last Friday. About a hundred people attended the ceremony, including the mayor of Longyearbyen.

31 March 2014

The auditorium Lassegrotta was packed as students and staff gathered to hear about the new centre. Accompanied with bubbly drinks and snacks, the leader of the UNIS part of the centre, associate professor Pernille Bronken Eidesen, introduced the concept of the centre to the 100 people in audience.

bioCEED – Centre for excellence in biology education, is funded by the Research Council of Norway with NOK 3 million per year for a five-year period.

The centre is led by the Department of Biology and of Education at the University of Bergen, in collaboration with the Department of Arctic Biology at UNIS and the Institute of Marine Research.

Biology students showing movie about UNIS life

The students showed a short, funny movie about the life of biology students at UNIS. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS

Develop a learning culture
The main aim for the centre is to contribute to the development of excellent quality in teaching and highlight that education and research are equally important for higher education institutions, Eidesen said.

– Our aim is to switch from a teaching culture to a learning culture. We want to engage the students in their own learning and test and develop new teaching methods and share the experiences we have, Eidesen told the audience.

More student internships with future employers, investigating the employers’ needs and expectations and make students aware of their transferable skills, are also important factors of bioCEED.

Four current biology students had a spot-on interview session where they reflected on the biology education they get at UNIS and what can be improved. Overall, Sigbjørn (Norway), Callum (Australia), Caitlin and Luci (United Kingdom) were satisfied with their studies at UNIS.

– For the first time I feel like a biologist, said Caitlin.

But the students said they feel that the UNIS studies need more structure and asked for more assignments, such as writing articles and more opportunities for being part of on-going research activities. They greeted the plan for more internships with enthusiasm, hoping that such internships should include relevant work.
– It is important for us to learn what jobs we can actually get after we are finished with our studies. There are probably many career opportunities, but we just don’t know about them, Luci said.

The ceremony ended with the unveiling of the Centre of Excellence plaque by Longyearbyen mayor Christin Kristoffersen.

More information:
Please visit the bioCEED webpage

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