Tekst: Per Straume

- Oppdatert

Guest speaker and Mayor of Vanylven Municipality, Lena Landsverk Sande, and Rector Johann Roppen.

Mayor of the municipality of Vanylven, Lena Landsverk Sande and Rector of Volda University College, Johann Roppen, spoke to the students during the semester opening.

– To those who are new students in Volda - and maybe new students in general - Welcome to Volda University College. Here you will meet open doors and many opportunities. Go through these doors – take advantage of these opportunities. Meet new people. Create the future in company with your fellow students, teachers and everyone else who you will meet during your studies, said Rector of Volda University College, Johann Roppen.


The rector was proud to announce that some 100 new international students from more than 30 countries have chosen Volda University College for their studies, and that there are more than 200 international students altogether at the college.

– In Volda there is a mix of the local, regional and international, and you can enjoy getting bits of all this - if you want! It is up to you. It is you who will create both your own future and the future of those near you. And the future of everyone else for that matter. But we do not create this future in isolation - we create it together in interaction with others. And here in Volda we want students to experience cooperation, collaboration and teambuilding with other students, teachers, staff and the community outside the college.

Guest speaker at the opening ceremony, the Mayor of the municipality of Vanylven and the 2nd candidate for the Liberal Party (Venstre) for the county of Møre & Romsdal in the upcoming Parliamentary election, Lena Landsverk Sande, was also speaking about the fact that we as humans cannot create and develop much in isolation. She was also adamant that students must stand up for their beliefs and let their opinions be heard.

– You who are students should not be afraid to speak your minds. You must stand up for what you believe in, even if it seems as this is contrary to the majority. Your ideas, thoughts and beliefs are important and they can change the world. That is why it is vital that you contribute to the community and speak your mind. Be respectful of the diversity of opinions and focus on the fact that we often need to compromise to achieve good results, said Sande.



Students will learn and grow in the community that is Volda University College, and the academic offer at the college is highly relevant for the future society says Rector Johann Roppen.

– One might ask, what is the value of social science and humanities in the world today? Recently we have seen a partial answer to this question in President Donald Trump and the concept of Fake News. Through the discussion of fake news, important aspects of social science and humanities have been lifted to the top of the global agenda. What is true? What is false? What can we trust? Can we trust research and scientific knowledge? If not, what is the alternative? At Volda University College you will study education, public governance, social work, history, media, and languages. You will be trained in critical analysis and ethical reflections. In sum, this will provide you with the tools to navigate the world of today. These are crucial skills for the future of our public sector, educational institutions and cultural and media organizations. In our modern society, continuous cultural, economic and technological change is the only certainty.


Many of the new students have no knowledge of Volda prior to coming here, apart from the reputation the college has for a lively and caring student environment. However, this great student environment does not just happen by chance. Rector Johann Roppen emphasized the need for students to take care of themselves and their fellow students at the end of his speech.


– Keep the doors open also among your fellow students. Take care of each other and take responsibility. Ask your colleagues how they are doing, and care about the answer. Moving to a new place and discovering yourself in a new setting is perhaps easier in a small town like Volda compared to the bigger cities. Still, you must promise me to take care of each other, whether it is in school, in your spare time, or on social media.

– I wish you the best of luck with your studies at Volda University College

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