Mandate for the Norwegian Centre for Science Education

Adopted by the Ministry of Education and Research on 25 November 2010

Mandate

The Norwegian Centre for Science Education shall make contributions towards the implementation and execution of national educational policy so that children, youths and adults are provided with equal and adapted education of a high quality and as part of an inclusive community.

With its function as a national resource centre, the Norwegian Centre for Science Education shall contribute towards improvements in the quality of science education. The centre shall help increase motivation and interest for the sciences at kindergarten and at all compulsory school levels.

Commission

Central tasks for the centre include implementation and use of the national curriculum, framework plan for content at kindergartens and assignments and national campaigns, encompassing quality developments, assessments and development of expertise. The centre's activities shall be linked to the principal goals laid down for the sector, with a long-term perspective.

The centre shall help reinforce efforts related to the sciences in compulsory school and kindergarten. In addition to the common core subject of science, the centre has a particular responsibility for the science and technological subjects within the programme area of science in upper secondary education. The scope for the centre's activities shall be nationwide. The centre’s main activities shall be based on knowledge and research, and the centre shall have targets for dissemination of the results from research, experimentation and development work within the centre's area of responsibility. This dissemination shall mainly be based on the Internet and shall provide support to schools and school owners in the form of knowledge-based material regarding good practice. The centre shall maintain contact with relevant national academic groups and shall at all times be fully informed of international developments.

The centre shall take the initiative for and execute quality development measures related to educational theory for specific disciplines in cooperation with school owners and institutions of higher education/teacher training. The centre shall assist colleges and universities in their efforts to realise national targets(efforts?) to promote knowledge development in compulsory education.

The centre shall assist national educational authorities, providing advice and services related to the efforts to realise national educational policy within their area of responsibility.

The centre shall cooperate with and provide assistance to other national centres regarding the centre's own academic area and regarding general aspects of the centre's activities. This cooperation shall also cover the RENATE Centre and regional science centres. The centre is entitled to accept work financed by external parties, including research, provided this is covered by the centre's mandate. However, research activities may not be financed via the centre's basic subsidies.

Target groups

Teachers, school directors, kindergarten and school owners and educational personnel in kindergartens are all central target groups for the centre. The centre shall also provide assistance to higher education institutions/teacher training institutions in their efforts to develop knowledge.

Organisation

The Ministry of Education and Research has delegated responsibility for the (academic)/professional management and follow-up of the centre to the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. The management of the centre is placed at the University of Oslo, pursuant to section 1-4, fourth paragraph of the Act relating to universities and university colleges. A specific cooperation agreement has been established whereby the University, with its management organisation, shall help ensure that the centre realises its mandate and executes its assignments.

The centre shall be run by a centre director who has professional and management responsibility for the centre's activities.

The centre may appoint an professional reference group who may provide advice and support to the centre director with regard to the realisation of the centre's mandate and annual commission document. The reference group may also provide advice regarding academic and educational issues within teaching for the common core subject of science and within the science programme subjects.

Management

The management of the centre takes the form of annual commission documents. Two management meetings shall be held every year, or more if required. The centre receives an annual basic subsidy from the Directorate for Education and Training in order to allow them to execute the tasks described in the mandate and commission document. The centre may be allocated special tasks which are either financed by the basic subsidy framework or via supplementary subsidies.

The centre shall submit a set of annual accounts and an annual report to the Directorate for Education and Training for approval. The centre shall also submit an annual plan and budget for each year to the Directorate for approval. The centre must be prepared to compile status and situation reports when so requested by the Directorate for Education and Training. All communications with national educational authorities shall be channelled via the Directorate for Education and Training.