HiOA’s Board Approves OsloMet
The final name proposal for the new university is OsloMet - Storbyuniversitetet in Norwegian, and OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University as the English version. "I am very pleased that the board approved the name proposal so that we could send the final university application today," says Rector Curt Rice.
HiOA’s board formally approved the names OsloMet - Storbyuniversitetet and OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University in a 6-5 decision at its December 15th meeting. The Norwegian and English variants were included in the formal application for university status that was sent to the Ministry of Education and Research immediately after the decision was reached.
“It’s great to see that a majority of the board lent its support to the name OsloMet and recognize the advantages the name offers us,” said President Curt Rice after the vote.
“The fact that the name includes Oslo,” Rice continued, “captures our institution’s mission, signals that we are adopting a bold new abbreviation, and enables us to distinguish ourselves from other Norwegian institutions - not least the University of Oslo - will serve us well as transition to becoming a university.”
“I am enormously grateful to everyone who has worked tirelessly and contributed to helping us reach our goal of university accreditation. NOKUT’s endorsement of its expert committee’s recommendation earlier this week and the fact that we have now sent off our formal application to the Ministry are two early Christmas presents for all of us at HiOA.
A Lively Debate
The new name was the subject of considerable debate during the board meeting. Among the critiques that were aired were that Storbyuniversitetet is inadequate as an equivalent for “metropolitan,” that the proposed abbreviation was unpopular among some employees, and that OsloMet came across as too “fancy.”
Other board members emphasized their support for the name, arguing that it will attract notice - not least outside of Norway - and that it expresses something important and fundamental about our identity as an institution.
Still others made the point that the extensive media coverage of the name debate that preceded the board meeting has been a blessing in disguise insofar as broad swaths of the general public are now aware that HiOA is slated to become a university.
During the meeting, a motion was advanced to remove OsloMet from the formal version of the proposed Norwegian name. The proposed alternative, Oslo Storbyuniversitet , was defeated by an 8-3 vote, in part because the name in question risked being confused with the University of Oslo.
What happens next?
The road toward university accreditation and name selection dates back to 2015 and a great deal of time and effort has been invested along the way.he board considered a range of name proposals at its June 15th meeting earlier this year. OsloMet emerged at that time as the name that commanded the most board support. Since June, considerable effort has gone into bringing the Norwegian and English names into alignment.
With the board having approved a new name on December 15th and the submission of a formal application for university accreditation the same day, HiOA has taken another big step closer to acquiring university status.
Provided that the Ministry approves HiOA’s application, it will be left to the King-in-Council to grant final approval, both to HiOA’s application and the proposed new name.