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Norwegian Universities Want Equality For Men

An updated version of the Gender Equality Act, aimed at ensuring equality for men in academia, will be presented this year.
Norwegian Universities Want Equality For Men
The University of Oslo along with UiB want to reserve spots for men. Photo: Bjørn Erik Pedersen

Psychology study programs at both The University of Oslo and The University of Bergen are much more popular amongst women than men. These two universities want to reserve 30% of the places for men in their Psychology study programs.

The Ministry of Education denied their request last year, claiming that giving men that opportunity would be against the Gender Equality Act.

Gender Equality Act Out of Date

“When the Gender Equality Act was established and equal opportunity work started, there was a need to prioritize women. But we believe that a gender equality act today must provide equal opportunities for both women and men,” Vice Headmaster of the University of Bergen Oddrun Samdal told NRK.

The Gender Equality Act was passed in 1978 in order to ensure that women have equal opportunities to education and work. 

As part of this act, higher education institutions can reserve a certain number of places for women in study programs that are generally male-dominated.

For example, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology reserves 30 places for women in their 5-year civil engineering program. This is to ensure that there will be a better balance of women in that field and that women will have equal opportunities.

We Need Both Genders

Jarle Eid, the Dean of the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Bergen explains to NRK that psychologists of both genders are needed.

“We know that it is important for many people going to a psychologist to be able to choose if they want a woman or a man. For that reason, we must educate psychologists of both genders.”

More Women Than Men in Academia

According to Statistics Norway’s most recent study of higher education students, there were more women in academia than men in 2015. This study included students in Norway as well as Norwegian students studying abroad. There were 283,115 students total, 113,833 men and 169,282 women.

1985 was the first year that there were more female students than male student. It has remained that way ever since.

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