Scholarship policy

The International Summer School at the University of Oslo (UiO) has a long history of granting scholarships to students from all over the world to attend our academic summer program.

The International Summer School (ISS) has since its establishment in 1947 facilitated scholarships, stipends and grants to students worldwide to attend the summer courses. Funding may be provided from public and private sources, as well as from The University of Oslo itself.

ISS and our scholarship policy aim to:

  1. Promote UiO’s global responsibility

  2. Stimulate academic solidarity and transformative dialogue across borders 

  3. Support internationalization abroad and at home 

  4. Strengthen the production and communication of knowledge in a multicultural context.

For ISS, the scholarships we offer are central enablers for bringing people together to share and learn across diversity. This is also essential to nurture ‘the international classroom’ which ISS continuously aspires to.

Read more about priority areas and selection criteria for ISS scholarships for 2019

  1. Promotion of UiO’s global responsibility

The scholarship scheme is an important element of ISS’ and UiO’s global commitment and to the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. Along with numerous higher education institutions worldwide, UiO has through many years been dedicated to delivering to sustainable development locally, nationally and globally.   

For the ISS, this means recognition of an interconnected world in which we have a common responsibility for creating a better and more peaceful world and cultivating a sense of shared citizenship among members of the global community. We wish to contribute through our values, our curriculum and educational approach, through broad access to our institution, and through our administrative practices.

Given the attendance at ISS of over 30 000 students from more than 150 countries since the institution was established in 1947, the Summer School would like to think that in a small way we have strengthened relationships worldwide. An active and dynamic international classroom with a diverse geographic distribution supports the goal to promote UiO’s global responsibilities in multiple ways.

  1. Stimulate academic solidarity and transformative dialogue across borders

ISS has a long tradition for bridging boundaries, both real and metaphorical. This is achieved through a combination of infrastructure, practices, experience, and people. We wish to ensure that students from around the world, regardless of financial or cultural background, can gain access to learning and experience in fields that directly address global issues such as human rights, peace, sustainability, and health. Therefore, we prioritize scholarships to our Master courses. We see that increasing access to our courses especially for students from lower and middle income countries of the world enhances the perspectives provided in the curriculum and the interactions in these classes.

ISS places emphasis on student democracy and participation, in part through stimulating an ISS Student Council as part of the UiO Student Parliament. Our scholarship program welcomes students from various academic traditions, and also students at risk who have sought asylum in Norway.

We work towards facilitating and encouraging intercultural engagement, while we remain mindful of inequalities and the power dynamics at play in such meetings. It is our goal to go beyond passive tolerance to facilitate active and transformative dialogue among students.

  1. Support internationalization abroad and at home

Apart from enhancing competency for a global labor market, internationalization through higher education fosters cross-cultural sensitivity and a number of other soft skills. Various testimonies and studies describe how cross-border students gain so-called “transversal skills”, also referred to as 21st century skills, through international exchange. These include increased tolerance, self-confidence, problem-solving abilities, curiosity and decisiveness. Drawing on this knowledge and experience, ISS wishes to be a platform for internationalization where our students develop increased insight, deeper understanding and empathy, as well as co-creating knowledge about common solutions to shared challenges in our global world.

Strategic cross-border partnerships within academia are an important aspect of supporting sustainable internationalization. This enables a larger coalition of higher education institutions to collaborate in studies, research and in sharing good practices among education professionals at all levels. Reciprocity and equity in partnerships are fundamental principles, in idea as well as practice. The International Summer School wishes to support these processes by facilitating participation by students at all levels from partnering universities of UiO. We have therefore provided opportunities for eligible applicants from partner universities to apply for some scholarships every year. The size and type of these scholarships may vary, depending on the specific partnership agreements between our respective universities. For USA and Canada, we are in addition facilitating scholarships from a number of private donors through the ISS North-America Branch Office.

Furthermore, the ISS scholarship program wishes to contribute to the practice of ‘internationalization at home’, at the University of Oslo and in Norway. Consequently, we have also chosen to open for program students at UiO to apply for ISS scholarships. By diversifying the student base so that more Norwegian students are included in the international classrooms, they are given the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge from the geographic diversity at ISS. Thus, they have the possibility to study an internationally oriented syllabus and discuss global issues in an international classroom without leaving Norway. At ISS, UiO students can experience education in English which improves their global academic citizenship. Participation may also stimulate students’ interest in going on an international exchange, and give international experience to those who do not have the possibility to study abroad. Additionaly, being part of the ISS experience may contribute to strengthened international networks in the students’ respective academic fields. It is our hope that while UiO students can be ambassadors for their alma mater, international students will also benefit from increased interaction with local students during their stay at ISS and gain insight into Norwegian academia.

  1. Strengthen the production and communication of knowledge in a multicultural context

A major component of ISS’ work as a higher education institution is to strengthen the communication and production of knowledge. All ISS courses aim to encourage an interactive and experiential learning process. Cultural and professional diversity in the classroom ensures comparative reflection and provides a foundation for critical understanding, discussion and debate that expands our perspective and comprehension.

Students share and learn from each other, and such diversity also allows for informative comparison with education systems worldwide. Furthermore, diversity and variation increases the likelihood that intrinsic assumptions are challenged. This in turn promotes rethinking and reformulation of assumptions; practices that are important for democratic deliberation and critical thinking. These are also key qualities of ‘the international classroom’ which ISS aspires to.

Through the scholarship program, ISS gets the opportunity to select among a larger group of applicants and thereby compose more diverse and gender-balanced classes. So it may be said that it is in our self-interest to provide a scholarship program which secures a dynamic and multi-faceted learning environment! The scholarship recipients are a key asset to ISS and fundamental for the quality of education and environment we have managed to create every summer.

Norwegian language training is one of the UiO’s and ISS’ areas of expertise, and our courses represent a unique opportunity for students of Scandinavian studies living outside Scandinavia to learn Norwegian. We wish to support the various institutes and educational communities providing Scandinavian studies around the world, and furthermore to strengthen a global network within this area. One way of facilitating this is by enabling more Norwegian language students from all over the world to attend the Summer School together. Qualified students at such educational communities are therefore eligible for ISS scholarships for doing Norwegian language courses at levels II-IV. ISS also organizes teacher seminars to strengthen ties and build relationships between Scandinavian programs around the world and UiO. A substantial part of the financial support channeled through ISS for students and teachers of Scandinavian studies is provided by the Norwegian Government through The Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku).

Priority areas for ISS scholarships and selection criteria

On the basis of the strategic focus mentioned in the four goals, ISS will offer scholarships within our available funding to the following groups of applicants for the summer session of 2019:

ISS scholarships are awarded for a limited number of available spaces per course. Important selection criteria are:

  • Recognition of student qualifications
  • Relevance of ISS study to the applicant’s academic and/or professional background
  • Applicant’s motivation, willingness to be challenged and how s/he wishes to use the ISS experience in their personal and/or community development
  • Needs-based factors
  • If the applicant has applied for a scholarship earlier but not received one.

It is important for ISS to secure fair and equal treatment and transparency. We also take into consideration world inequalities as part of our decision-making at the time of selection. On the basis of the above criteria, we will strive to compose classes which are diverse on the basis of geographic, gender and professional distribution.

Published Dec. 4, 2018 12:45 PM - Last modified Dec. 4, 2018 12:45 PM