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Mariel Aguilar-Støen

Candidate for the University Board among permanent employees with teaching and research positions.

Mariel Aguilar-Støen, Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment.

Nominated by:

  • Helene Aarseth, Professor, Centre for Gender Research
  • Anne Birgitte Rønning, Professor, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, HF
  • Inger Skjelsbæk, Director, Centre for Gender Research
  • Sidsel Roalkvam, Director, Centre for Development and the Environment
  • Benedicte Bull, Professor, Centre for Development and Environment
  • Gro Birgit Ween, Associate Professor, Section for Ethnography, KHM
  • Ragnhild Hennum, Dean, Faculty of Law
  • Malcolm Langford, Professor, Department of Public and International Law, JUS
  • Inga Bostad, Professor, Department of Education, UV
  • Kari Nyheim Solbrække, Professor, Institute of Health and Society, MED
  • Hilde Bondevik, Professor, Institute of Health and Society, MED
  • Arnfinn Midtbøen, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, SV
  • Jon Haarberg, Professor, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, HF
  • Anne Eriksen, Professor, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, HF
  • Dan Banik, Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment
  • Tanja Winther, Professor, Centre for Development and the Environment
  • Nina Witoszek, Senior Researcher, Centre for Development and the Environment
  • Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, SV
  • Ingerid Straume, Senior Academic Librarian, Library Director's Staff, UB
  • Karen Lykke Syse, Associate Professor, Centre for Development and Environment
  • Arve Hansen, Researcher, Centre for Development and Environment
  • Jason Miklian, Researcher, Centre for Development and Environment


Mariel Aguilar-Støen
Mariel Aguilar-Støen

I am running for election as the representative of the permanent academic staff to the UiOs board and if elected I will work to strengthen the university´s democracy and autonomy and to make our university a good working place for everyone. I have been fascinated by the idea of the University that has prevailed over time due to its ability to adapt to changes in society while maintaining its core values

I am professor of Human Geography and work at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) where I have experience as representative to the board. I have represented the Centers placed directly under the university´s board in the working group for North-South cooperation, and I have together with other colleagues started the “Forum for International Researchers at UiO”. I am also member of the Academic Forum at UiO. At SUM I lead the research group “Rural transformations” and “Young and promising”, a support career development initiative of young talents in temporary positions. I also coordinate the interdisciplinary research school at SUM. I am part of the working group for research support at SUM and member of the interfaculty initiative of research support. I have lead and participated in research projects funded by the Research Council of Norway and the European Union. I have also lead pedagogic development work. I have a broad network of contacts with colleagues in Europe, North America and Latin America and in my research I cooperate with researchers from both the Global South and the Global North.

My background makes me a candidate that has important experience to bring to the university´s board. I believe that with my international and interdisciplinary background, as well as my experience working in a research intensive Centre with a MA program, I am well equipped to be an attentive and including representative for all the permanent academic staff at UiO.

Election Platform

In my work at the board I will focus on three areas, the university´s social mission, diversity and internationalization

1. The University's social mission

The university has played an important role in the democratic development of Norway and, since 1970s it has been central for social mobility and equality. In a world that stands in the middle of many interrelated crises: climate change, loss of biological diversity, increased polarization and inequality, the role of the university as an independent developer and disseminator of knowledge is more important than ever. There is an increased press on the university regarding how the institution should be governed as well as in the shaping of the content of education. The principles of study quality and the formation of competent citizens should be defended and strengthened. I am committed to education of high quality that challenges, forms and contributes to qualify and inspire young people´s participation in democracy.

I will work to support UiOs work on

  • Continue to have elected rector and inspire to increased participation in elections.
  • Anchor decision-making beyond the deanships, broader in the collegium and down to all UiOs diverse environments.
  • Development of teaching that cultivates critical thinking, reflection and cooperation in all education levels.
  • Sustainability, climate change and the environment will be guiding principles for all our activities, from infrastructure to education and research.
  • Strengthen leadership competence among the staff who want to take leader positions in all levels, so that more who want, dare and can run for election.
  • Promote research initiatives that are rooted in UiO's many and diverse research environments and that prioritization of research topics takes place in close dialogue between university management, leaders at the faculties, centers, museums and research environments.
  • To be a premise provider for public debates in Norway through relevant research dissemination through all possible channels.
  • Stimulate and shape incentives for the staff and students to communicate research results in Norwegian and participate in the public debate in Norway where it is relevant.
  • Stimulate meeting arenas across faculties, centers and museums so that the collegium can develop its competence in research dissemination, education and research collaboration.
  • Develop frameworks for the involvement of students, or recently graduated master candidates in research through strengthening the position of research assistants as a real recruitment position that inspires young people to a career in academia.

2. Diversity

Diversity both gender and ethnic, but also epistemic and organizational make research stronger and the institution better able to adapt. UiO is a complex institution with diverse forms of organization and affiliation modalities. The recent commitment to interdisciplinary study programs is possible because the university has an epistemic diversity – in the form of disciplines – and previous interdisciplinary experience from its research intensive centers and museums. Unfortunately universities in Norway are experiencing pressure to streamline all their activities from education offers, teaching, career paths, research applications, dissemination, channels for publication, publication language to the evaluation of researchers and of research quality. Research freedom is pressed across the world, and this pressure does not come only from authoritarian politicians. Current models for research funding press research freedom and research that is driven by curiosity. I mean that diversity, freedom and integrity strengthens society’s trust in academia and the university´s ability to fulfil its social mission.

I will work to support UiOs work on

  • Protect academic freedom and promote research integrity
  • Develop incentives and a framework to fulfill its responsibility to develop Norwegian as a research language.
  • Develop a personnel policy for the entire research career from vit.ass. to the emeritus, which takes into account the diversity of needs and wants.
  • Develop a policy so that publishing in other languages than English becomes meritorious.
  • Increase the balance in who teaches at the university so that students meet both young career researchers as well as more experienced researchers in their education.
  • Develop and promote new practices for the evaluation of research quality and research activity beyond quantitative indicators.
  • Work continuously to develop and strengthen systems and practices that ensure research integrity.

3. Internationalization

Internationalization has changed research and the university in many positive ways. At the same time internationalization presents challenges both to individuals and the institution as such. Now that UiO leads the European Circle U initiative we need a broad discussion on the compromises that internationalization involves. The corona pandemic has shown us how vulnerable we are in a globalized world and at the same time how dependent we are on cooperation across countries and sectors and how important the free, independent and public funded research is to meet crises. I am concerned about how to make internationalization a two-ways process, in which UiO has something completely unique to offer to international students and researchers and in which these can contribute to build UiO.

I will work to support UiOs work on

  • Participate in international initiatives in a responsible and sustainable way.
  • Be a good working place for everyone independently of where they have their education from and their academic position
  • To plan for broad competence development for staff in temporary qualification positions, so that young researchers are qualified for a further career in academia or other research-intensive sectors in Norway and elsewhere in the world.
  • Improve the offer and accessibility of Norwegian language for all international staff and all international students who want to learn Norwegian, as a step to promote better integration into the university and the Norwegian society at large.
  • Cooperate with scholars abroad including colleagues from outside Europe and North America.
  • Continue to support the programs “Students at risk” and “Scholars at risk” and use its voice to defend and support threatened scholars and research environments across the world.
  • Continue developing competence in all levels of UiO, to receive and better integrate international researchers coming to Norway, including Norwegians who have had their education in other parts of the world
Published May 14, 2021 12:26 PM - Last modified May 19, 2021 1:36 PM