Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment and Behavioural Research in Education

As of 1 January 2013, the Centre for Behavioural Research (SAF) and Lillegården Resource Centre will merge to form a new national resource centre, focused on the learning environment and behavioural research.

The centre's formal name will be Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment and Behavioural Research in Education. The center will be part of the University of Stavanger (UiS) and consist of two divisions, located in Stavanger and Porsgrunn respectively.

The establishment of the centre is the direct result of Mld. St. 18 2010-2011 Report to the Storting “Learning Together” (pdf, in Norwegian).

National Spearhead Centre
The centre will assist the national educational authorities with services and advice to realize the state's prioritized initiatives in educational policy through competency development and improve the quality of the learning environment for pre-school children, students, apprentices and adults. This will be achieved through professional development, research, outreach activities and relevant teaching.

– Now the UiS will have a national spearhead centre in learning environment and behavioural research and this will provide us with many opportunities. We want the centre to be a leader in research in our field. We want our research, together with our current, active work towards the municipalities, to contribute to competency development in kindergartens and schools. It is also important for us to continue to be the academic community that the media turn to for professional viewpoints on current issues, says Centre Director at SAF, Unni Vere Midthassel.

Honouring agreements
Simultaneously, she emphasizes that the centre is concerned with operations essentially being as they were. This means that research, teaching, supervision and competency development, directed towards practice fields will remain the Centre’s main focus.

The Centre Director also points out that all agreements that have been entered into by the two centres will be honoured and followed through by the new centre.

The Centre's Tasks
The Ministry of Education and Research has outlined the following tasks for the new centre:

  • Conduct targeted research and disseminate results of research and development in the given area of responsibility. According to the Norwegian Universities' Act, § 1.5, the centre will be granted complete academic freedom and responsibility to conduct research.
  • Maintain sustained contact with relevant national and international academic communities and stay informed of the latest international developments.
  • Take initiatives to kick-start research and development work, in those areas where the knowledge base is weak or lacking.
  • Initiate and contribute to the implementation of quality improvement measures for educational activities in the Centre’s areas of responsibility. This will be done in cooperation with the higher education sector and kindergarten and school owners.
  • Contribute to competency development and local efforts to create a learning environment that promotes academic, personal and social development for children, students, apprentices and adults, including those who need extra facilitation and assistance
  • Be an active player in the collaboration with the educational and psychological counselling service and assist them in system-oriented work with learning environments in schools and kindergartens.
  • Assist the HE sector in their efforts to realize prioritized national initiatives, particularly competency development in basic education for the primary target groups and competency-building for teacher trainers.
  • Cooperate with the UiS by contributing to the institution’s teacher training and Ph.D. training in relevant fields
  • Cooperate with other relevant actors, including national centres and Statped

Text: Alexandra Halsan
Translation: Shalini Frøiland


Photo of the Hulda Garborg building at the university campus.

The centre's headquarters is located in the Hulda Garborg building at the UiS campus in Stavanger.