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Strategy and focus areas

The universitys main profile is profession and work-oriented, providing socially relevant education. Its research and education are both characterised by close interaction with regional society and working life.

strategy illustration

Our vision

USN shall be regionally anchored and internationally recognised


Our values

Illustrasjon bærekraft

No-one knows exactly what the future holds, but we do know that it will be shaped by new knowledge.

Studenter i arbeid med næringslivet

It is when education, research and practice meet in innovative ways that magic is created.

Illustrasjon av student og som får veiledning fra arbeidslivet

USN doesn’t just talk about its close links to public and private sectors – we actually put our words into action.

Strategic objectives

Based on our social mandate and our values and in order to realise our vision, the USN shall place priority on the following:

  1. Research-based and work-integrated education of a high international standard that promotes critical reflection and strengthens innovative skills.
  2. Several outstanding and internationally competitive academic milieux and research at a high international level.
  3. Student-active learning processes and digital competence in all education.
  4. Flexible education for lifelong learning.
  5. New knowledge, insight and solutions relevant to society and working life in the short and long term.

Importance of the strategy


For education and knowledge transfer

Competence for a changing society and working life

We develop study programmes in collaboration with our surroundings, include work experience in our education programmes, and ensure that our students have the competence to develop the social and working life that they become a part of.


Sustainable social development

We shall develop knowledge which highlights the challenges being faced by society and working life and which will help to provide solutions in line with the UN sustainability goals. Knowledge about global challenges, a high level of ethical awareness and a mindset for sustainability characterise all the education offered by the USN.


Innovative ways of working

We promote learning through research-based tuition and learning methods and our tuition also includes emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship.


Digital competence in a digital society

We develop digital competence in all our education programmes. We offer relevant, innovative tuition and learning processes that are adapted to suit our digital society.


Flexible and adapted education

We make education available to different groups of students and help to remove any barriers to access to knowledge and competence. We offer education programmes that promote lifelong learning.


International education partnerships

We provide our students with the opportunity to acquire international experience through international partnerships.


Knowledge transfer culture

We improve our dialogue with the outside world in order to facilitate a knowledge-based public exchange of words, and for enabling knowledge to be used.

For r&d, artistic development work and innovation

Interdisciplinary and professionally relevant research
We place emphasis on conducting research by engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration.



We contribute to innovation and cultural, social and economic value creation by conducting basic and applied research. We develop the knowledge base required for new mindsets, solutions, services, practices, processes and products in cooperation with the public, private and voluntary sectors.


International research collaboration

We participate in international research and development networks and establish partnerships in order to strengthen research collaboration across national borders.


Groundbreaking and sustainability-enhancing research

We carry out research and development work of a high international standard that promotes sustainable social change in order to deal with climate and environmental challenges and contribute towards social inclusion, levelling out social inequality, sustainability of the welfare state and vibrant local communities.


New models for co-creation and interaction

We develop new knowledge by engaging in new, creative forms of cooperation in regional and national partnerships.