Knowledge for a better society

Knowledge for a better society

Strategy, 2018-2025



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Academic freedom is a prerequisite for research quality, critical public debate and trust in research-based knowledge. The principle of academic freedom forms the basis of all research conducted at SU.

Our research poses questions and generates new knowledge that addresses key societal challenges nationally and internationally. The Faculty has strong research groups in all our subject areas. Interaction between applied research and basic research generates synergies that increase the knowledge base in society. The Faculty has outstanding research communities that lead and participate in international research networks and projects. Externally funded projects provide scope for initiative in academic development.

We have a particular responsibility for practice-oriented research. Active user participation contributes to identifying research questions and to producing research results that provide a basis for better practices in both the public and the private sector.

Our research is conducted in a responsible way and complies with recognized standards in research ethics. Our researchers strive for transparency and openness in all aspects of the research process.

Artistic development work is on an equal footing with research. Art and artistic research have intrinsic value, representing a key value in learning, knowledge development and social development.

Strategic development goals

The Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences will:

Develop nationally and internationally outstanding research communities, lead international research networks, and be attractive partners for leading academic environments internationally

Pave the way for development and renewal in all academic environments through clear academic priorities in the use of our research resources, and stimulation of research groups

Develop academic environments in the forefront of practice-oriented research that contribute to innovative solutions to social challenges

Expand our academic room for manoeuvre through external funding

Develop organized research training of high international quality, and give our PhD candidates qualifications conducive to skills development in working life, including outside academia

Education and learning environments

Education and learning environment

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The breadth of the Faculty provides a unique offering of study programmes. Education is research-based and relevant to practice. The programmes develop reflection, critical thinking and analytical skills. The programmes are characterized by flexible and new learning methods and use of learning arenas where pedagogical and technological opportunities are actively used. Our teaching staff have a high level of academic competence and good pedagogical skills. Continuing and further education is a key aspect of the programmes offered.

The Faculty has attractive and quality-assured programmes of study with an international dimension. Several of the programmes are the most sought-after in Norway, and certain programmes make their mark internationally. We educate very highly qualified graduates who are in great demand in the job market. The programmes of study set high standards, and they require motivated and skilled students. They are deeply rooted in robust academic environments.

Students have an excellent learning environment with teaching methods that actively involve them. A flexible and customized infrastructure promotes learning, contributing to well-being and a sense of belonging. Together with the quality of education, this results in a high degree of completion within the nominal period.

Strategic development goals

The Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences will:

Educate sought-after graduates with strong skills in their disciplines and the ability to respond to complex societal challenges in a lifelong perspective

Develop challenging programmes of study that actively involve students and are characterized by knowledge-based development of the learning environment

Develop innovative cooperation with the field of practice and the working world that promotes mutual development of quality

Provide research-based, innovative and exploratory learning processes, and be a key contributor to NTNU’s initiatives in learning and education quality

Improve quality and use of resources through coordination of the portfolio of study programmes and cooperation in connection with the courses offered



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We offer programmes of study and contribute research that makes us better equipped to face future societal challenges.

Our knowledge of the individual, society, organization and learning creates a foundation for innovation and creativity. Our broad societal perspective emphasizes changes in services, practices and processes as a prerequisite for renewal in public- and private-sector activities. Interaction between our academic perspectives, technology and natural sciences promotes sustainable development, and makes us an attractive collaborative partner.

We develop and apply innovative research-based teaching forms and methods. Our programmes of study provide students with the skills to translate research into new practices. We equip students to meet tomorrow’s requirements for adaptation, transformation and development in existing or new careers.

The Faculty contributes to creating beneficial, effective and knowledge-based solutions that lead to renewal in the public and private sectors through both research and education.

Strategic development goals

The Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences will:

Contribute to innovation and creativity, providing a foundation for sustainable development

Create renewalin the public sector through our research and education

Strengthen collaboration with the public and private sector through long-term cooperation agreements in strategically important areas

Provide the basis for understandings of innovation at NTNU through our expertise in society, organization and learning

Educate graduates with relevant skills in change and collaboration who can take on complex challenges in a future job market



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SU ensures that insight and knowledge developed by our research communities contributes to a knowledge-based public debate.

Dissemination and communication of research results, new knowledge, new ideas and new practices are an important part of the Faculty’s mission. Our dissemination and outreach are open and user-oriented, contributing to the use of knowledge from research and teaching in society.

Our researchers are represented in relevant arenas and in relevant channels. They highlight the Faculty’s academic communities as visible actors in society.

SU stands out as one of Norway’s most attractive places to work and study within our subject areas. Our broad offering of programmes is in demand and highly visible to potential applicants and employers.

We work strategically with recruitment of students, and we attract good applicants through targeted communication that highlights the quality, distinctive character and social relevance of our study programmes.

Strategic development goals

The Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences will:
Ensure that research and research results benefit society through targeted dissemination and outreach through open digital channels in the public domain
Play a clear role in contributing input to public debate and the development of society by identifying, defining and disseminating knowledge about and solutions to societal challenges
Highlight the quality and relevance of the education offered by the Faculty to potential applicants and employers
Strengthen dissemination and outreach skills among employees and PhD students