Thanks to the project of the EEA and the Norwegian grant program "Mobility in Political Science and Sociology" (EEA / NFI / S / 2015/024), several faculty members at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology of the University of Latvia, including myself, had the great opportunity to go mobility trip to Oslo and Akerhus University College (Norway).
The Faculty of Social Sciences in Oslo and Akershus University College consists of five department. The essential difference from my home university is less courses and contact hours for academic staff (for example, there are three courses per semester, each 10 ECTS, with a contact hour varying from 24 to 40 hours), a significantly higher proportion of group work and the final written examination that can last up to 6 hours.
The staff of the faculty, which I met, basically works in research in one of the 14 faculty research groups. Along with international projects, grants funded by the Norwegian government represent an important share of research budgets. Since, my interest was related to the SUSTINNO National Research Program on Social Sustainability and Social Innovation, therefore I focused on studies on social policy and poverty.
During the mobility, several research topics were identified in which Norway and Latvia's counterparts share similar interests, significant developments and experience, which could lead to successful joint research projects in the future. The next expected result is that some guest lecturers could attend Department of Sociology in the autumn of 2017.