Nord University and the Sami heritage

Never before has Nord University offered more Sami studies than now. “I’m proud and humbled,” says Rector Hanne Solheim Hansen.

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Wind behind Sami. The Sami flag waving in the wind at Rørstad near Nord University, Levanger. Photo: Asbjørn Kolberg. ​​​

6 February is the Sami National Day and once again Nord University will be celebrating the occasion this year by holding a Sami Week in both Bodø and Levanger. 
​​Nord University has national responsibility for conducting research and offering education on the Southern and Lule Sami languages andculture. Obviously this involves an obligation and everything indicates that the university is particularly aware of its responsibilities. 

"As the Rector of Nord University, I feel that we have a commitment to take extra care of the Sami heritage and help to strengthen and develop the Sami language and culture since we know how important the Sami have been and are in "our" county.”

"I am therefore both proud and humbled by the fact that we now have an even more extensive Sami study portfolio than we have ever had before," says Rector Hanne Solheim Hansen. 

Unique global education

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Cooperation agreement, autumn 2021. Rector Hanne Solheim Hansen from Nord University and Rector Laila Susanne Vars from Sami University College. Photo: Mai-Lis Eira, Sami University College. 

Nord University is the only university in world that offers primary school education (GLU) in the Lule Sami and Southern Sami languages. During the autumn of 2021 Nord University set up workplace-based kindergarten teacher training with a Sami profile. Nord also offers several other Sami-related studies such as “Rhythmic choir direction, joik and traditional music" and "With joik as a starting point".

On the research front Nord University also has a successful and dedicated Sami research group. Under a joint venture with Nordland Research, the University has a number of employees involved in Sami issues on both the academic and administrative fronts, including employees with a Sami background. 

Last year the University also entered into a joint venture agreement with Sami University College in order to further improve Sami higher education and research.

Centre for Sami Studies​

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Lahkoe biejjine, vuorbbe biejvijn, happy birthday. Asbjørn Kolberg is a professor at Nord University who has been coordinating the Sami Week at Nord University in Levanger. Photo: Tor Dybdal-Holthe.​ 

In its 2030 strategy the University states that it will be improving its Sami studies and increase the scope of its interdisciplinary Sami research. 

"It is important that we are reminded of our social mission on a daily basis, " says Asbjørn Kolberg, a professor at Nord University.

"This includes educating enough Southern Sami and Lule Sami kindergarten and primary school teachers. This is essential in order for these languages to be sustainable. We are particularly pleased about the fact that this year Nordland Research and Nord University are taking the first steps to set up a dedicated Centre for Sami studies", says Kolberg in a recent article written on the occasion of the Sami National Day

Facts about Sami at Nord University

Nord University has national responsibility for offering higher education on the Southern and Lule Sami languages and culture. 

The Faculty of Education and Arts offers the following Sami studies: 

  • Southern Sami GLU, Levanger
  • Lule Sami GLU, Bodø
  • Lule Sami, Bachelor's degree, Bodø
  • Southern Sami, beginner's level

During the autumn of 2021 Nord University set up workplace-based kindergarten teacher training with a Sami profile

Nord University in Southern Sami is Noerhte universiteete and in Lule Sami it is Nuortta Universitiehtta.