UiO in brief
The University of Oslo (UiO) is Norway’s largest and most traditional institution for research and higher education. The overarching strategic goal of UiO is to strengthen its position as a research university of high international standard.
The sculpture "Air" at Blindern Campus
Photo: Suzanne-Ann Stämpfli
Four scientists at UiO have already won Nobel Prizes for their research and one, Fritjof Nansen, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Shanghai Jiao Tong ranking (Academic Ranking of World Universities) in 2012 placed UiO as first in Norway, third in the Nordic countries, seventeenth in Europe and sixtyseventh worldwide.
The University of Oslo (UiO) was founded in 1811 by King Frederik VI, and is the oldest and largest institution for research and academic training in Norway.
The Royal Frederik University opened its doors in the autumn of 1813 with a staff of five professors and one master, and with 17 students. During its first years, lectures were held in rented premises, but in 1833, the first University buildings were ready.
During the autumn semester of 1852, students and teachers were able to move into the new, modern premises at Karl Johans gate 47.
The University grew slowly but surely and by its centenary in 1911, the number of students had grown to 1,550. Lectures in some subjects had to be held at premises other than University buildings – some in the middle of the city and others at the Tøyen estate, which had been a royal gift to the University. A few years later, in 1914, the new University Library was opened in Drammensveien.
The move from the centre of Oslo to Blindern began in the 1930s, when buildings were established for studies in mathematics and science. The extensive large development of Blindern came when the number of students exploded at the beginning of the 1960s.
Over a ten-year period a number of new, large buildings were erected at Blindern, for example the Administration Building, the Welfare Building and buildings for the Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences faculties and for preclinical dentistry. The dental clinic in Geitmyrsveien was expanded and a biology building erected at Blindern.
The last large buildings erected were the Medical Faculty’s preclinical department at Gaustad, the Informatics buildings at Gaustadbekkdalen, Helga Eng’s House and Georg Sverdrup’s House (the new University Library at Blindern).
In 2011, UiO had approximately 27,500 students (of which about 2,900 are Ph.D. candidates) and approximately 7,000 employees,
Goals and structure
The University of Oslo aims to provide higher education, conduct research and expand knowledge of scientific methods and results.
Various types of professional personnel contribute to fulfilling these goals. Just over half of the 5,900 employees hold scientific positions while the remainder are involved in administration, operation/maintenance, the library and the technical sector.
There are eight faculties at the University of Oslo:
- The Faculty of Theology (TF)
- The Faculty of Law (JUS)
- The Faculty of Medicine (MED)
- Faculty of the Humanities (HF)
- Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (MN)
- Faculty of Dentistry (OD) (Norwegian)
- Faculty of Social Sciences (SV)
- Faculty of Education (UV)
The University also has approximately 60 institutes and various centres.
The University of Oslo Library, which is located in a large new building in the middle of the Blindern campus, two museums and collections, and a hospital are also affiliated to the University.
The biological station at Drøbak, the high mountain ecology station at Finse, the Barony of Rosendal (in Sunnhordland) and the Norwegian Institutes in Rome, Athens and St. Petersburg are also affiliated units.
Organization and management structure
The University of Oslo has a unified management structure with the exception of the Rector and the Director of the University, who together are UiO’s top management.
The University Board is the University’s highest governing body. The Board is headed by the Rector and consists of 11 elected representatives from the scientific, technical/administrative personnel and students environments, as well as four external representatives. The University Director is the secretary for the Board and is responsible for putting the Board’s decisions into effect.
The faculty and institute levels are headed by deans and heads of institutes with the elected bodies as their highest governing bodies.
The administration at all three governing levels, in collaboration with the elected leadership, plans and arranges the governing body’s work. The administration is also responsible for putting into effect decisions that are made and for current operations. The central administration takes care of a number of common functions for the faculties and basic units.
The University’s administrative organization has gone through a comprehensive decentralization process which has resulted in a large degree of local decision-making authority and local responsibility in fields such as finance and personnel administration.