Every year, the Prime Minister invites business leaders to summits on research and higher education. Among those invited at this year’s summit in February was Digitread’s chairman Helge Kjeilen.

The theme of the summit was how universities, colleges and the business community can cooperate better, so that we educate graduates to ensure they meet future business demand. The focus was also on how we can encourage more students to start up their own business which could, in turn, create new jobs.
“These are very important issues, and we are particularly concerned with the cooperation between business and academia. For example, we collaborate closely with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and HSN Kongsberg on a number of research projects and summer projects involving students. In connection with the study on Systems Engineering, we have taken on master’s students who study 50 percent of the time and work with us for the remainder. One semester of this study program is conducted at foreign educational institutions. As a consequence, the studies take three years to complete instead of one and a half, but in return the students bring with them valuable experience and knowledge that they cannot acquire in the same way either through books or through attending lectures,” Kjeilen explained when we asked him why Digitread participated in the summit.

Group discussions on key topics
The actual meeting started with an introduction from Prime Minister Erna Solberg, followed by several other presentations by, among others, CEO of Norsk Hydro, Svein Richard Brandtzæg and Steinar Holden who is a professor in the Economics Department at the University of Oslo. These were followed by group discussions on various topics.
“It is always inspiring to gain an insight into the experiences of others and to have the opportunity to share thoughts. It is very important that we produce students capable of getting good jobs. With ever-increasing digitization within almost every area of society, new challenges will be created and thus we need students who have the right background.”
“All in all, this was a very good meeting that I am glad we participated in. I hope the politicians received useful input for the new parliamentary report that they are creating on cooperation between the educational institutions and working life. The purpose of the parliamentary report is to enable people to access relevant expertise at a time when competence requirements are changing dynamically. These are things we are very concerned about, ”concludes Kjeilen.

Photo: Stortinget

PUBLISHED: February 27th 2019