Hvem har tid til å delta?

Published: 8 Oct 2021

A debate around the internationalization of Norwegian universities was clumsily set into motion last week by Cecilie Hellestveit from Folkerettsinstituttet. In short, she argued that the Norwegian public sphere is impoverished as a result of foreign scholars taking all the Norwegian academic jobs and neither having the will nor ability to contribute to the public debate. While I disagree profoundly with Hellestveit reasoning she is certainly right that internationalization of Norwegian universities poses dilemmas that warrant concern. However, rather than prompting discussion, the debate was de-railed by the rektor or NMBU, Curt Rice, who countered with an even clumsier assertion that she should apologise and that journalists should stop citing her. Predictably, if boringly, this has led to an outcry about freedom of speech. I can empathise with Rice’s hurt, as a international academic myself, Hellestveit certainly provoked me. But one can and should rebut her argument without resorting to censorship.