Professor Mette Halskov Hansen, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages

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

Mette Halskov Hansen

Personal website


  • Professor Anders Elverhøi, Department of Geosciences
  • Professor Andreas Føllesdal, Centre for the Study of the Legitimate Roles of the Judiciary in the Global Order
  • Professor Marianne Elisabeth Lien, Department of Social Anthropology
  • Professor Einar Lie, Department of Archeology, Conservation and History
  • Professor (prodekan for forskning) Hilde Nebb, Faculty of Medicine


My motivation for running for election is a profound interest in research and educational policies, based on my years of experience from international cooperation in these fields. I have served as the head of two multi-disciplinary departments (Dept. of East European and Oriental Studies and Dept. of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages), and as the Dean of Research of the Faculty at Humanities, 2007-2010.

I have studied Chinese, anthropology and literature at Aarhus University, Denmark; School of Oriental and Asian Studies, London; and Shandong University, China. My PhD is from Aarhus University, 1996.

I came to UiO as a postdoctoral candidate in 1996, and have since then become very familiar with the “inner workings” of the university, especially during my time as a Dean of Research when I had the opportunity to work with colleagues from all the different faculties. In addition to my own research and teaching, I have tried to work for academic and disciplinary collaboration and openness, and I have helped initiate and establish new international study programs and integrated studies abroad. All these experiences will inform my work on the university board.

The following issues are specially important to me:

UiO in the world

The Nordic countries are becoming increasingly attractive for academics and students from abroad, and not just from Europe or North America. This provides UiO with good opportunities to further strengthen its international research profile. In recent years the university has taken a number of steps to improve its recruitment policies and welcome foreign scholars. I believe UiO can do even more to open up and move out into the world, for example through new study initiatives, new forms of centers abroad, or other types of institutionalized international cooperation.

Educational experiments and creativity

Graduates from UiO have to compete in an increasingly internationalized job market. In this respect, UiO’s strong research profile is a clear advantage. Based on this, we now need to further improve the quality of teaching and supervision through more dynamic and coordinated initiatives and experiments. The courses we offer have, of course, to be of a high academic standard, firmly grounded in research. But we also need to take into consideration the fact that our graduates compete for jobs in an ever more complex society and labor market.

Research funding

UiO, like other European research institutions, is under strong political pressure to secure funding from major sources such as ERC and other EU funded programs. Also alternative research funding institutions, such as the Norwegian Research Council, are now looking towards the EU when formulating their strategies and criteria for success. Research groups as well as individual researchers directly experience this, and the university has to continue, even strengthen, its support to those who have a chance to succeed. At the same time we need a long-term commitment and strategy to support smaller research groups and individuals who produce research of a high quality without external funding.

Internal cooperation

The university board plays an important role both as an initiator of broader processes of change, and as a guardian against quick fixes. I want to contribute in a constructive way to debates and decisions that matter to UiO as an organization, and as an important work place for tens of thousands of academics, administrators and students. There is room for improvement in internal cooperation at UiO (vertically and horizontally), and in the social environment which is crucial to also securing a dynamic and inspiring research and teaching environment.

Other supporters

  • Kjersti Bale, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages
  • Grete Brochmann, Department of Sociology and Human Geography
  • Dag Harald Claes, Department of Political Science
  • Halvor Eifring, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages
  • Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Department of Social Anthropology
  • Tor Egil Førland, Department of Archeology, Conservation and History
  • Atle Grøn, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages
  • Dag Haug, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas
  • Ingjerd Hoëm, Department of Social Anthropology
  • Anne Kveim Lie, Department of Health and Society
  • Arnt Maasø, Department of Media and Communication
  • Ola Mestad, Centre for European Law
  • Dag Michaelsen, Department of Public and International Law
  • Gro Bjørnerud Mo, Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages
  • Jorunn Møller, Department of Teacher Education and School Research
  • Hedvig Nordeng, School of Pharmacy
  • Tarald Rasmussen, Faculty of Theology
  • Inger Johanne Sand, Department of Public and International Law
  • Hanne Gram Simonsen, Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies
  • Kristian Stokke, Department of Sociology and Human Geography
Published May 6, 2013 7:13 PM - Last modified Feb. 7, 2020 4:50 PM