European Policy Statement

Norges musikkhøgskole har blitt tildelt ”Erasmus Charter for Higher Education” for all deltagelse i EU’s nye  rammeprogram, ERASMUS+ 2014-2020. Bakgrunnen for tildelingen er godkjenning av vår European Policy Statement.

European Policy Statement

Please describe the structure at your institution for the implementation and organisation of European and international mobility (division of tasks, operational and communication methods).
Please provide the direct web link with the contact details of the international office (or equivalent) in your institution dealing with the implementation and organisation of European and international mobility:

The International Office is integrated in the general educational administration led by the Director of Academic Affairs. The Office reports annually to the Academic Board with statistics on mobility, partner institutions, economy related to mobility activities and a summary of the evaluation reports from outgoing and incoming students. This to ensure the quality in the exchange activities. The  International Office has contact with the teachers and heads of the different faculties in planning teacher mobility and takes care of the process from the planning to the evaluation from the teachers. Communicating with teachers and faculties makes it possible to include the individual and institutional perspective in mobility activities related to the overall institutional international strategy.  Student mobility is advertized on the webpage. Students are informed about exchange possibilities through meetings and individual guidance. Student applications are approved by the main teachers and the heads of the different faculties.

Please explain the academic credit system and the methodology used to allocate credits to the different course units followed by your students abroad. In addition, please provide the direct web link where the methodology is explained:

ECTS credit allocation at the Norwegian Academy of Music (NAM) is based on a full-time student’s workload corresponding to minimum 1620 hours per academic year. This in turn generates 60 ECTS if all courses and practice are successfully completed and other program requirements are fulfilled.

This workload corresponds with current Norwegian guidelines and practice in the field of higher education. The student workload (number of learning hours per academic year) includes lectures and other forms of teaching, tutoring sessions, seminars and group work, field work, project work, library work, practice and the student’s own independent work, related to the curriculum and the required or recommended amount of repertoire.  

More specifically, the 1620 hour student workload is based on 40 hours a week for a period of 40 weeks per academic year in order to ensure the achievement of expected learning outcomes.

Please explain if all courses taught at your institution are described in the Course Catalogue and in which languages.
In addition, please provide the direct web link to your Course Catalogue:

The electronic course catalogue is at the moment only in Norwegian due to development and revision. Translation will start during the autumn term in the academic year 2013/14.  Master programs and the 3rd  and 4th  year in most of the  Bachelor programs can be carried out in  English. Electives offered at NAM change each year. Degree and credit students are informed about electives taught in English before study starts, making it possible to choose the necessary credits for a full time study. A course catalogue over electives taught in English can be found on:  


Please describe the institutional procedure for the approval and monitoring of inter-institutional agreements for study and teaching mobility and/or learning agreements in case of traineeships (work placements).

Bilateral collaboration is evaluated by relevant faculties and the Principal’s Advisory Board. NAM approaches, through the Rector, relevant institutions with the aim of establishing collaboration.  The Rector signs all new agreements. Forms developed by AEC are used within higher music education. Teacher mobility is used as a tool for monitoring inter-institutional agreements and reports after teacher mobility activities are evaluated. Feed-back from students after exchanges provide vital information concerning prolonged collaboration. The international coordinator makes monitoring visits to partner institutions during the year to evaluate the quality of the collaboration. Conferences within higher music education are used as meeting venues for discussions on collaboration. NAM’s Academic Board annually evaluates reports on international collaboration and student mobility. Learning agreements are signed before study mobility takes place. Teacher contracts are signed before teacher mobility takes place.

Please describe your institution's language policy for preparing participants for mobility, e.g.: course providers within or outside the HEI. If possible, please provide the direct web link for your language policy:

NAM’s library has a large collection of language courses available for the students. If a new institution in a new country is included in the portfolio of collaborating partners, the library will purchase a language course for the students to borrow.

Information from the national ERASMUS office on available language courses is distributed to the students who have been accepted by partner institutions for an exchange. The Norwegian Grant Authorities support a 4 week language course for students before the start of the academic year with a special grant. Some of the partner institutions organize language courses or collaborate with universities offering courses.

Please describe mentoring and support arrangements for incoming mobile participants and outgoing students for study and traineeships.

A welcome reception is organized with an information meeting where representatives for the Student Welfare Organization are represented. Each student makes an appointment with the International Office for individual discussions concerning finalizing the LA , and practical arrangements/questions concerning the individual course of study. Students are offered bedsits through SIO, the Student Welfare Organization. Music students receive weekly individual tuition, chamber music and group tuition which make it possible to follow them closely. After some weeks they are invited to a conversation at the International Office evaluating the exchange and solve possible problems.

Outgoing students are followed up through monitory visits and mail contact with the students and the international office at the host institution during the exchange period.

Please describe your institution's language support for incoming students and staff with a minimum of 2-month mobility period.
If possible, please provide the direct web link for your language policy:

The Academy organizes a Norwegian language course for foreign students/staff, equivalent to 10 ECTS. The course is arranged during the autumn term, 4 hours per week, with an oral and written exam. The course is described with content, learning outcomes, organization and working methods, work requirements and final assessment. The English subject description is distributed in the first lecture.

Regarding the above two Charter principles, please describe the mechanisms your institution has in place to recognise mobility achievements for study and traineeships in enterprises.
In addition, please provide the direct web link for this recognition procedure:

For outgoing students all activities included in the learning agreement and documented as approved in the transcript of records are recorded in the student’s grade protocol and approved as equivalent to studies carried out at NAM. When the final concert examination has been carried out at NAM and the diploma is printed, it will include documentation proving that the student has carried out an exchange period.

Incoming students will, after the exchange period, receive a transcript of records stating the exchange period, and confirming the courses completed during the exchange period with ECTS.

Please describe your institution's measures to support, to promote and to recognise staff mobility.

Staff mobility grants are announced annually. Staff members have to contact their immediate superior and present a project as the basis for a visit. Approval from the immediate superior results in an application. In addition to the SM grant NAM covers the extra costs involved with the activity. The mobility action is acknowledged as part of the regular workload and as a competence initiative. Participating is recognized as a component in the assessment of the staff member and used as an argument when local salary negotiations are carried out each year. Higher music education institutions are often small institutions, dealing with many of the same challenges. Staff mobility is therefore an important tool to experience other ways of organizing activities.

Please describe your institutional measures to support, promote and recognise the participation of your own institution’s staff and students in European and international cooperation projects under the Programme.

The reason for collaborating in international projects is, as stated in EPS, to participate, contribute, meet, learn and develop contacts. Participation is recommended by the faculties and decided upon by the Principal’s Advisory Board. NAM contributes in the planning process, the implementation with teacher resources and students and with dissemination and evaluation. Participation often results in extended collaboration such as mobility, curriculum development, joint modules and artistic/academic development. Teacher participation is included in the teachers’ workload at NAM and students receive credits for participation, included in their final diploma. NAM contributes with financial support in addition to possible external funding both to students and teachers.

Please describe your institution's international (EU and non-EU) strategy. In your description please explain a) how you choose your partners, b) in which geographical area(s) and c) the most important objectives and target groups of your mobility activities (with regard to staff and students in first, second and third cycles, including study and training, and short cycles). If applicable, also explain how your institution participates in the development of double/multiple/joint degrees.

The Norwegian Academy of Music, has a vision: “the institution aims to be one of the most well recognized institutions within higher music education in Europe”. In an international context this means to participate, contribute, learn and compete.

To achieve these goals NAM participates actively in several international organisations, among others: the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Academies de Musique et Musikhochschulen,(AEC),  the Association of Nordic/Baltic Academies of Music, chaired by NAM, Music Institutions with Doctoral Art Studies (MIDAS), Nordic research network  Music, Culture and Health , European Chamber Music Association,the International Consortium of nine universities with a PhD program in music therapy, and coordinates the largest Nordic network within higher music education.

As a participant in the thematic network “Polifonia”, NAM has been represented in the working groups established by the AEC since 2007.

Institutional collaboration is based in the different faculties and expresses as such the Academy’s overall international strategy. Collaborating partner institutions are suggested by the different faculties and approved by the Rector/Academic board, which also evaluates the agreement portfolio annually. With West-European classical music as NAM’s main area, collaborating partners are mainly European institutions with the same focus. The Academy also offers study programmes within fields that demand other specialities which also include institutions outside the European Area. Strategic partnership is a part of NAM’s strategy and from 2012 NAM has started to sign bilateral agreements including, in addition to mobility, research collaboration, participating in examination juries and sharing the experience of outcomes from different development activities. NAM has for some years had collaboration with institutions outside the EU/EAA where the goal has been to support institutional development at the other institutions. These activities are financed with external national funding.

Study programmes in English have been developed for the two last years (3rd-4th) of the Bachelor programs and master level, in order to attract foreign regular and exchange students to the Academy and increase mobility. NAM will assess whether to develop a bachelor program in music performance offering all tuition  in English from the 1st year. The Academy is amending its webpage which means that at the moment information for international students is not satisfactory. The development of the new webpage and information on study programs have high priority and will be developed continuously. A new English speaking staff member has been employed to facilitate information in English.

International collaboration and participation in the EU programmes means that the academic quality must be maintained, developed and presented outside the institution. International collaboration is vital from a quality assurance perspective and is used as a tool for a critical analysis of NAM’s own activities through annual reports to the Academic Board.

The ERASMUS programme is the main tool for mobility. Through student and teacher mobility, participation in bilateral/multilateral projects and active participation in the Polifonia thematic network/AEC, NAM aims to maintain and increase activity and continue to be a visible and important partner on the international scene. Students in the 2nd part of the Bachelor program and students on master level are invited annually to participate in mobility activities. NAM’s ambition is to have collaborating partners in the different corners of Europe, in this way including different cultures and performing and interpretation traditions. Teacher mobility is the most important activity to maintain and develop new international collaboration. Representing NAM in an international context, teachers are the main resource to attract the best students and create interest among international colleagues. Teacher mobility is therefore given high priority. Most of the students never participate in mobility activities and to create an international environment at the home institution teacher mobility is important. The ERASMUS programme and activities are presented on NAM’s web page.

Questions about sex, race, social or economic background are never relevant during the process of accepting students or teachers at the Academy. Acceptance is based purely on musical/academic skills.

The Academy’s premises are adapted for handicapped students.

NAM is involved in a Nordic curriculum development project where a joint degree study program within improvised music will be launched autumn 2013. A joint master program in chamber music  within the European Association of Chamber Music is discussed. NAM has received the DS Label and through the information strategy the goal is to develop the webpage with all the information necessary making in possible to apply for an ECTS label.

If applicable, please describe your institution's strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme.

International projects are an integral part of the institution’s artistic/academic  development work. Participation is a way of presenting the institution in a broader context for collaborating partners, to present the academic/artistic standard and compare the quality with partner institutions.

 NAM has organized an administrative unit with the task of facilitating conferences, intensive projects and other international events.  Initiatives to take part in or organize international  projects, come from the faculties or the Principal’s Advisory Board. If initiatives are taken, the strategy states that approval by the management is necessary, based on applications describing content, how the projects are related to the institution’s artistic/academic focus areas (the Academy has 4 focus areas of priority in its strategic plan), and a realistic  budget. A working group will be established with representatives from both artistic/academic and administrative staff, responsible for the project, with the duty to report back to the Principal’s Advisory Board if the project is not planned and implemented as described in the approved project plan. Dissemination of results is always an important part of the evaluation of and approval of a project.

To give the students international experience NAM has stated, as a part of the institutional strategy, that the institution will encourage participation in international projects and the faculties will, if possible, through applications, support the students financially with grants making participation possible.

NAM also has as the ambition to ensure economic support for the PhD candidates  and 3 cycle scholars in the” Artistic Development program” for participating in international projects and conferences where they are given the opportunity to  present their projects on an international arena. This also applies to the academic/artistic staff. 

Please explain the expected impact of your participation in the Programme on the modernisation of your institution (for each of the 5 priorities of the Modernisation Agenda*) in terms of the policy objectives you intend to achieve.

NAM has increased its number of students from 475  in 2008/2009  to 600 in 2012/13. This means that the number of graduates from NAM is increasing. Several “short cycle” courses offered at NAM are changed annually in response to demands from society. New areas of competence developed at NAM through artistic development work and research are in this way conveyed to new students, students who normally have a degree before participating in short cycle courses.

NAM works continuously to develop and improve their quality through a quality assurance system adopted by NAM’s Board and approved by the  Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education .Through continuous evaluation of the application process, study programs, internationalization, completion of studies and examination, learning environment and student participation, academic/artistic staff expertise and administrative support NAM has a good basis for developing quality and relevance in teaching and research training.

As an active institution on the international higher music education arena, NAM has a huge network of cooperating institutions. Students are therefore offered opportunities during their study period to gain additional skills and experience other learning environments abroad. NAM support student participation on the international arena financially.

NAM has established a cooperation council with the working life. The council has elaborated a strategy with focus on, among other issues, indentifying challenges for music education in the future with the aim of maintaining quality, relevance and assessing and advising how study programs can focus on innovation and entrepreneurship and giving guidance on work placement in education. NAM has established agreements concerning placements with several national organizations and institutions and in collaboration with external organizations arranged relevant meetings and conferences. NAM’s ambition is to offer contract research to working life and to ensure that the working life earmarks financial resources for further education and relevant courses. NAM aims, through systematic research and artistic development work, to strengthen the quality in the educational pathway and within the field of music and culture.

NAM has developed a governing structure, approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Education, defining each level in the organization and their responsibility with a board consisting of elected internal members, and external members appointed by the Ministry of Education. NAM is financed through grants from the Norwegian Ministry of Education.  There are no student fees. Part of the annual budget is dependent on the student flow. Effective study planning and the follow-up of the individual student is therefore crucial for the institutional funding.


Sist oppdatert: 2. september 2014