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CONTEMPORARY PAGANISM COURSE

 

CONTEMPORARY PAGANISM COURSE

THAT WILL BE OFFERED

SIMULTANEOUSLY ONLINE AND AS A

REGULAR GRADUATE SEMINAR IN NORWAY.

James R. Lewis writes:

I currently teach at the University of Tromsø (UiT) in Tromsø, Norway. Norway is a small country with only seven “full” universities (we also have a 2nd-tier system of ‘Høgskolen,’ roughly comparable to University Colleges in the UK). UiT is the fourth largest university in the country. http://www2.uit.no/www/inenglish)

For a number of years, our religious studies program has attracted very few students. As a cost-cutting measure, the administration is now threatening to cut out our graduate program (and the grad programs of certain other departments) after 2013 if this trend continues.

 In response to this threat, we have considered various creative options, including offering our M.A. online, in English. (Almost everyone in Scandinavia speaks fluent English.) Students pay a nominal registration fee (I think it’s equivalent to a few hundred dollars USD) each semester, but NO tuition (even foriegners pay no tuition). If we go forward with this idea, a student in the program would have to physically visit Norway only once, namely at the end of the program for her/his oral exam/oral presentation (which can also be done in English).

To see if we can attract online students to our program, in the fall I will be teaching a course on contemporary Paganism that will be offered simultaneously online and as a regular graduate seminar. If this experiment is successful, we will then revamp our entire M.A. program so it can be offered online. (I should note that we are a small department, which means that we will not be able to offer a variety of different classes.)

Though the Norwegian system is flexible in many ways, they’re not flexible about one’s disciplinary background. An individual applying for this program would need to have either a B.A. in religious studies, or a B.A. in another subject with coursework equivalent to a major in religous studies (which I’ve been told is eight courses). Students completing the M.A. would then be able to apply for admission to our Ph.D. program. I should add that the quality of Norwegian Higher Education is quite good, and that a UiT degree is as solid as a degree from any other good school.

Please pass along this information if you happen to know anyone you think might be interested. They should contact me directly at james.lewis@uit.no.

James R. Lewis

Førsteamanuensis

Universitetet i Tromsø

Institutt for historie og religionsvitenskap

Faultet for humaniora, samfunnsvitskap og lærarutdanning

Room N-313

Breiviklia

N-9037 Tromsø

Norge

james.lewis@uit.no

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Written by SOPHIA WELLBELOVED

February 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

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