Humanities cutbacks hit women

More and more humanities fields are being discontinued at Norwegian  universities. Many of them are popular with female students. Gerd  Bjørhovde, chair of the KIF Committee, is worried about this trend.

Several humanities fields will no longer be offered at Norwegian universities. The University of Tromsø has dismantled its master’s degrees 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.

One of the fields being discontinued is applied linguistics at NTNU. Associate Professor Ellen Andenæs is concerned.

“Both we and our cooperating partners are worried. We are the only academic community in the country that works empirically with communication across language, modality, sign language and scientific language,” says Andenæs.

“Weakens the humanities”

“We are specialists in health communication. Many decisions within the health services are taken across areas of expertise. This is complex communication, and it is an area in which we have special competence,” says Andenæs.

She says that their research activity is

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