Regulations for Universities Norway (UHR)

Adopted on 8 May 2000, last amended 15 November 2017.

§ 1. Objectives

Universities Norway (UHR) is an interest organisation for accredited institutions, pursuant to the Norwegian Act relating to universities and university colleges, 1 April 2005.

UHR shall help to promote the quality, coordination and the division of work in the higher education sector, nationally and internationally. Through cooperation and shared solutions, UHR shall contribute to increasing the influence and presence of the higher education sector, and to creating understanding of the sector’s significance for sustainable societal development.

Universities Norway is the English name of Universitets- og høgskolerådet (UHR).

Cooperation within UHR does not interfere in the institutions’ area of authority as defined in legislation. Measures taken in UHR’s governing bodies and strategic units are thus not binding for member institutions. Decisions made by UHR that target the member institutions are normally in the form of recommendations.

§ 2. Primary tasks

UHR shall play a strategic and visible role in Norwegian knowledge policy, including by:

  • creating arenas for cooperation, quality development, coordination and the sharing of information and experience
  • working towards a good financial framework for the institutions, via budget proposals and the relevant political processes linked to available resources
  • being an active and visible player in the debate on education and research
  • being a shared point of contact between higher education institutions and authorities in cases of shared interest
  • initiating or providing statements to relevant inquiries, hearings or proposals, and providing recommendations in cases of shared interest
  • representing the sector internationally
  • providing relevant leadership training for members

UHR may assume other tasks, provided that they contribute to the development of the higher education sector.

§ 3. Governing bodies

UHR is led by a Council of Representatives and a Board.
The Board establishes rules for subordinate bodies and guides their work via directives and budgets.

§ 4. The Council of Representatives
a) Composition

The Council of Representatives comprises member institutions and the National Union of Students in Norway (NSO).

Each member institution provides two representatives from the institution’s general management. Elected rectors and administrative directors represent institutions with this organisation. Member institutions with unitary management send the rector and one representative of the general management, appointed by the institution.

The National Union of Students in Norway (NSO) has four representatives.

b) Election of chair and deputy chair

The Council of Representatives selects UHR’s chair and deputy chair

from among the rectors of the member institutions. Elections are conducted with a simple majority for a term of two years, and re-election for one further term is possible. The election is conducted using a proposal from an election committee appointed by the Council of Representatives. Parties other than those proposed by the election committee may also be elected.

If the chair and deputy chair resign and there is at least one year of the person’s term of office remaining, the Council of Representatives elects a new chair or deputy chair for the remainder of the term. If less than one year of the term of office remains, the Board elects the new chair or deputy chair.

c) Tasks

The Council of Representatives can make statements on anything of general shared interest within UHR’s area of interest.

The Council of Representatives shall deal with the following:

  • The strategy of UHR
  • Fees and budget
  • Audited accounts and audit statement
  • Statement of the Board’s activities
  • Membership of the organisation

Election of the chair, deputy chair, members and substitutes to the Board; appointment of the election committee and registered auditor

d) Rules of procedure

The Council of Representatives convenes once each year. Agenda and documents are distributed two weeks prior to the meeting. The meetings are open.

The Council of Representatives is called to an extraordinary meeting when the Board finds it necessary or when demanded by at least one-third of the institutions. An extraordinary meeting may be called with a minimum of three weeks’ notice.

The Council of Representatives is quorate when at least half the members are present. Votes in the Council of Representatives are normally passed by simple majority.

Each member has one vote. The Chair’s vote is decisive in the case of a split vote.

Elections in which no agreement is reached must be recorded in the minutes. Votes on membership require a two-thirds majority.

§ 5. The Board

a) Tasks

The Board can make statements on anything of general interest within UHR’s area of interest. The Board shall propose UHR’s strategy and present this for consideration by the Council of Representatives.

The Board shall:

  • make decisions in relation to the authority delegated to the Board by the Council of Representatives
  • produce the annual report, accounts and budget
  • ensure the sound operation of the organisation
  • cooperate with national and international players
  • prepare the Council of Representatives’ meetings and enact its decisions
  • appoint the General Secretary.

b) The Board’s composition and elections

UHR’s elected chair and deputy chair are the chair and deputy chair of the Board.

The Board’s term of office is two years, with two opportunities for reappointment. The National Union of Students in Norway (NSO) has a one-year term of office.

The Board must have six representatives from universities and large university colleges, three representatives from specialised university institutions and small university colleges, and the chair and deputy chair of the NSO.

The Board must be composed of rectors and directors, or vice and pro-rectors from institutions with unitary management. Rectors must be in the majority. The Council of Representatives elects board members with personal substitutes. Personal substitutes must be from a different institution to the corresponding board member.

If a board member resigns and there is at least one year of the person’s term of office remaining, the Council of Representatives elects a new member for the remainder of the term. If less than one year remains of the term of office, the person is replaced by their personal substitute.

c) Rules of procedure

The Board convenes a meeting as often as necessary.

The Board is quorate when at least six members meet and the Board’s chair or deputy chair are among those present. Every board member has one vote. The chair’s vote is decisive in a split vote. Votes in which consensus is not reached must be recorded in the minutes.

Board meetings are open, but the Board may close individual proceedings through simple majority. Minutes and documentation are published on UHR’s website.

§ 6. The General Secretary

The General Secretary of UHR is normally appointed for a term of six years with the opportunity to apply to renew the appointment for another term. The General Secretary leads UHR’s secretariat within the framework decided by the Board, and within the given functional description of the position.

The General Secretary must, in consultation with the chair of the Board, examine and provide guidance on the cases that are presented. The General Secretary is the Secretary of the Council of Representatives and the Board and has the right to speak and present proposals.

The General Secretary keeps the Board regularly informed about important circumstances.

§ 7. Amendments to the regulations

Proposed amendments to the regulations may be put forward by any person with attendance rights on the Council of Representatives.

A proposed amendment is first considered by the Board, which then present it to the Council of Representatives for a decision. Amendments may be accepted by the Council of Representatives with a two-thirds majority of those members present.

§ 8. Entry into force

UHR’s regulations enter into force on 1 January 2018.