Visit from the Prime Minister

Text: Line Lauvsnes Oddekalv , Photo: Gaute Hareide/HVO

- Updated

Prime Minister Erna Solberg met with students and was given a tour of the brand new media building when she visited Volda University College (VUC). Active teaching methods and plans for a new innovation centre was also on the agenda.

The Prime Minister was on a tour of the county (Møre & Romsdal) and rounded up the trip with an exclusive sneak-peak in the brand new media building, the Sivert Aarflot-house, at VUC.

- Feel free to stop by more often, said Rector Johann Roppen jokingly, as he welcomed the Prime Minister and her entourage. Roppen alluded to the fact that the last time a sitting Prime Minister visited VUC was in 1978.

Together with VUC Director Karen Lomeland Jacobsen, and the Deans of the Media and Social Science Faculty, Kate Kartveit and Randi Bergem, Roppen showed the prominent guests around the VUC campus. 

The world’s finest media house – the Sivert Aarflot-building

The tour of campus started at the construction site for the Sivert Aarflot-house, which the Media Faculty soon will move into. 

- In this building, our 500 media students will be able to take advantage of great facilities with state of the art equipment, and perhaps the nicest views of any news studio, said Dean Kate Kartveit.

- We are not allowed to call it the best media house in Norway, so we will refer to it as the world’s finest media house, Rector Roppen added with a smile.

Prime Minister Solberg got to see examples of student productions and met with recent graduates such as Simone Honstad Tafjord which talked about her experience as a student at the BA in PR & Communication at VUC. 

Foto: Gaute Hareide/HVO
Student Simone Honstad Tafjord (left) shares her experience as a student in the Bachelor’s programme PR & Communication at VUC. Dean Kate Kartveit and Prime Minister Erna Solberg listens. (Foro: Gaute Hareide/VUC)

«Floating» editing suites, brand new radio- and TV-studios, opean areas to mingle and state of the art equipment is what media students can look forward to as the new media house opens at the start of the 2021/2022 academic year. This coincides with the 50th anniversary for media studies at Volda University College.

Foto: Gaute Hareide/HVO
Foto: Gaute Hareide/HVO

Modernisation of Strøm-building to follow

VUC Director Karen Lomeland Jacobsen took the opportunity to thank the Solberg Government for the 10 million Kroner allocation to support modernisation of the Strøm-building on campus. These funds will now allow VUC to refurbish the building that the Media Faculty now moves out from. 

Prime Minister Solberg also got to see how this modernisation will enable more student-active forms of teaching as she was given a tour of the new auditorium “Vekselstrøm”, a newly renovated auditorium with facilities for innovative teaching and learning.  

Solberg met with students from the Department of Planning and Administration and was shown examples of how the Teacher Education at VUC implements technology in their training. 

3D-printing and a Lego robot, work with primary sources and a discussion of what Norway ought to do when the enormous oil fund runs dry, were topics used as examples in these demonstrations. The Prime Minister then could not help herself from commenting that the oil fund will be carefully managed by the government. Solberg was impressed with the demonstration of the innovative teaching methods and the presentations from the students. 

Tearing down the Aasen-house to spur innovation

The last building on the VUC campus tour was the oldest, and soon-to-be-demolished, Aasen-building where plans for the new Norwegian Innovation Centre were presented.

Martin Foldal from the local business incubator, Sunnmøre Kulturnæringshage, and entrepreneur and founder Tarjei Munthe Vassbotn from the start-ups Nofence and Tagr, presented the plans for the innovation centre from the perspective of the centre and businesses using this space. They also commented on the benefit of such a centre for the wider region.

Foto: Gaute Hareide/HVO
Foto: Gaute Hareide/HVO

Cooperation between students, innovators and the local industry, entrepreneurship, research and development, were main points in the presentation. It was also noted that Volda University College would be a key partner and user of the innovation centre.

The Prime Minister ended the tour with another jem on campus, the new sports hall Volda Campus Sparebank1 Arena, before her entourage went to the local airport to fly back to the capitol.

- Remember, we are only 1 hour from Oslo, said Martin Foldal of the Innovation Centre as a concluding remark for the visit.

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