A characteristic of the Norwegian working life model is the employees' participation and co-determination in the administration and management of the companies. The knowledge institutions must be organized and managed in a way that ensures participation and co-determination, and where employees are shown confidence and are not exposed to unnecessary control and reporting systems. Government management must be superior and facilitate that the institutions can fulfil their societal mandate. The goal must be an overall policy that governs the research and knowledge sector in an overall way rather than in detail, and institutional leaders who give their employees the same professional room for manoeuvre.

The Co-Determination Barometer shows that the members of NAR are experiencing a growing distrust in the workplace in step with increasing eagerness to control and reform, bureaucratisation, top management, efficiency, and the de-bureaucratization and efficiency reform. This is detrimental to research and education as a core activity.

Universities and university colleges are important bearers of culture and should have academic and artistic freedom and be academically independent of the state. Gradually, it has become many government agencies that universities and colleges have to deal with. The sum of the control signals has become too large, and this makes the control indistinct and unnecessarily complex. The individual institution must be governed through the broad involvement of employees and students, and collegial bodies are necessary to ensure influence over academic issues and priorities.

The research institute sector fills an important function as a supplier of research-based knowledge to the business sector, public authorities, and others. The sector is diverse, and there are large gaps in framework conditions and employees' opportunities for professional development in the institutions.

In knowledge institutions where research is part of the social responsibility, such as archives, libraries, museums, and health trusts, it is important that the scientific staff are given framework conditions that make it possible to fulfil the research part of the institutions' social responsibility.

To ensure the best possible use of research funding, there is a need for more cooperation and a clearer division of responsibility between the various research-performing sectors. Insofar as institutions are competing for the same research conditions, a level playing field must be maintained.

Mergers and network formations in the research and knowledge sector must aim to improve the quality of knowledge production and must be followed by research-based evaluations.

NAR will strive to ensure that:

  • Governance, organisation, and management of the institutions in the research and knowledge sector must consider the complex objectives of the institutions and ensure the involvement of the employees.
  • A trust reform is implemented in the research and knowledge sector that includes increased co-determination, fewer performance goals, less reporting, increased basic funding and stronger protection of academic freedom.
  • Universities and university colleges are public administrative bodies with special authorisations and are guaranteed institutional autonomy.
  • In their choice of governance structure, universities and university colleges should ensure that both students and staff enjoy transparency and have real co-determination.
  • The universities and colleges themselves decide whether the Rector should be employed or elected, and appointment of the Rector through election should be the normal arrangement in the Higher Education Act.
  • Collegial bodies are maintained at all levels, and universities and university colleges themselves are allowed to decide whether academic leaders should be elected or appointed.
  • There is an appropriate division of labour between the research-performing sectors, where consideration is given to cooperation, complementarity and a level playing field.
  • Mergers in the research and knowledge sector are voluntary, anchored in the institutions' social responsibility and have increased quality as a goal.
  • Reforms and mergers in the research and knowledge sector must be followed by research-based evaluations.