Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education (SFU)

Academic communities with the status of 'Centre for Excellence in Education' (SFU) demonstrate excellence in teaching and education, and develop  innovative practices in education. The ambition of the prestigious national initiative is to foster excellent research-based education.

    The Norwegian ‘Centres for Excellence in Education’ (SFU) is a prestigious national initiative to stimulate excellence in higher education. The initiative was established in 2010 and has since its inception awarded SFU status to eight Centres for Excellence in Education. SFU is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Higher Education and Research and administered by Diku - the Norwegian agency for international cooperation and quality enhancement in higher education.

    The ambition of the initiative is to contribute to the development of excellent quality in higher education. SFU status is awarded to academic communities that have already demonstrated excellent quality and innovative practices in education and that have plans in place for further development and innovation. One of the important requirements the centres must meet is that they must disseminate their results and knowledge to the wider education community.

    The initiative also seeks to contribute to developing new forms of student involvement and partnership.

    Call for proposals 2019

    In 2019, there will be a call for proposals for up to six new Centres for Excellence in Education. Read the call on the SFU programme page.

    Professor Stephanie Marshall, vice-principal (education) at Queen Mary University of London will chair the expert panel that assesses the bids for new centres. 

    The expert panel consists of six experts in higher education and quality development, including a student representative. The panel will review all the applications and conduct site visits to a select group of finalists. 

    The process is expected to conclude by the end of 2019.  

    Academic communities with SFU status

    bioCEEDCentre of Excellence in Biology Education
    CCSECenter for Computing in Science Education
    CEFIMACentre of Excellence in Film and Interactive Media Arts
    CEMPECentre of Excellence in Music Performance Education
    EngageCentre for Engaged Education through Entrepreneurship
    ExcITEdCentre for Excellent IT Education
    MatRICCentre for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching
    ProTedCentre of Professional learning in Teacher education


    Midterm evaluation 2020

    The Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education receive the initial grant for a period of five years with the possibility to renew their status for an additional five years after a midterm evaluation. The midterm evaluation is carried out towards the end of their first funding period.  

    In 2020 the following four centres will undergo a midterm evaluation: 

    • Centre for Computing in Science Education (CCSE) 
    • Centre for Excellence in Film and Interactive Media (CEFIMA) 
    • Centre for Engage Education through Entrepreneurship (Engage) 
    • Centre for Excellent IT Education (Excited) 

    To conduct the midterm evaluation an expert panel has been appointed to evaluate the centres and give their assessment of whether the centre(s) should have their status renewed. After the expert panel makes their recommendation the final and formal decision is made by the Diku board. 

    The expert panel is composed of a total of eight individuals, including two student representatives.  

    You may read more about the panel and their experience here. 

    Calls for applications and assessment

    • 2019 - Call for applications

      Diku will award funding for new Centres for Excellence in Education in 2019. The selection process is expected to conclude by the end of 2019. Go to the 2019 call for applications.

    • 2019 - Expert panel

      Diku has appointed the following members to the expert panel to evaluate SFU applications in 2019 (alphabetically after committee leader):

      Professor Stephanie Marshall (Committee leader)

      Stephanie Marshall is Professor in higher education from the University of Manchester. is acting Vice-Principal for Education at Queen Mary University of London. She was head of Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2012-2018. Prior to her work for the HEA, Stephanie has worked on management and teaching excellence. She developed York Certificate of Academic Practice while at the University of York. Stephanie has developed and managed the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, a UK organization for the development of educational leaders in higher education, which also worked in research and management in this field. Further, she is an author and editor of several books on higher education management. She has been a member of the expert committee which assessed applicants for Germany’s Excellenz initiative. Stephanie participated in the revision of the SFU criteria in 2016 and lead the expert committee that assessed SFU applications in 2016. Stephanie was a member of the expert panel which performed the mid-term assessment of bioCEED, CEMPE and MatRIC in 2017. 

      Associate professor Astrid Elbek 

      Associate professor Astrid Elbek works as Head of Development at the Danish Royal Academy of Music. She is a rhythm musician and composer and participated in developing the rhythm musician education at the Royal Academy of Music. She has had a range of board positions, for instance in the Danish Government’s Music Council. Astrid is also a board member in the Danish Evaluation Institute which works for quality, education, teaching, and learning in Denmark. She has headed and participated in several international accreditations in arts, music, and dance. Astrid was a member of the expert committee that assessed SFU applications in 2016.

      Dr. Janusz Janczukowicz MD, PhD, MMEd, FHEA 

      Janusz Janczukowicz is the head of the Center for medical education at the Medical University of Lodz. The center develops and researches teaching methods in medical sciences. He is also Vice Dean for Education and Assessment Methodology at the same university. In his research, Janusz has focused on interprofessional education, intercultural competence, gender, diversity, inclusiveness and medical, and academic professionalism. Janusz has held several board and chairman positions related to his work with medicine, and medical education. He is an Executive Committee member of the International Association for Medical Education (AMEE), with special responsibility for developing cooperation with the other health-care professions and international organizations. He heads the project, Evidence-based Recommendations for Education, which works on bringing results from educational research into teaching in medical and healthcare education. Janusz was disciplinary expert in medicine for the SFU call in 2016.

      Professor Liudvika Leišytė

      Liudvika Leišytė is Vice Director of the Centre of Higher Education, Technische Universität Dortmund and a professor of higher education. She held her postdoc at Harvard University’s Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. Liudvika has her PhD from The Center for Higher Education Policy Studies at the University of Twente where she worked as a senior researcher. Liudvika’s research focuses on universities’ organizational transformation, governance, quality enhancement, and digitalization in higher education, and she has published a number of books in these areas. Liudvika is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee, and has been a member of a range of higher education policy committees and institutional quality evaluation teams in higher education in Lithuania. She is a reviewer for different research councils in Europe. In 2003-2013, Liudvika served as the coordinator of evaluation teams for the European University Association’s Institutional evaluation program. Liudvika also has experience of Norwegian higher education through her MPhil degree in international comparative education from the University of Oslo.

      Student Øystein Parelius 

      Øystein Parelius is appointed to the expert committee by the Norwegain Union of Students (NSO). He is a student at the bachelor’s program in economy and administration at OsloMet. Øystein also has a bachelor’s in political science from Nord University. Throughout his time as a student, Øystein has been a student representative locally and nationally. In these engagements, Øystein has been chair of the student union in Bodø, been a member of the executive committee at NSO, and been a board member of the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen).

      Professor Richard Reece

      Richard Reece is Professor of Molecular Biology at The University of Manchester, where he is also Associate Vice-President for Teaching, Learning, and Students. Richard has a PhD from the University of Leicester and worked as a postdoc at Harvard University for five years. In the Manchester, he has worked in research and teaching on molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology and genetics and, in his institutional role, is responsible for identifying and developing teaching and learning excellence in a variety of different guises in a wide range of disciplines. Under the auspices of the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), Richard devised and implemented an accreditation scheme for UK biosciences degrees. His work involved extensive discussions with students, academics, industrial partners and government agencies to draw up and roll-out an accreditation strategy. Beginning with the accreditation of degree programs that give students a significant exposure to the rigors of research, Richard has now, in conjunction with the RSB, developed accreditation schemes for Foundation programs, three-year BSc programs, four-year MSci programs, stand-alone Masters programs, doctoral training programs and international accreditation. He has assessed programs and institutions in the UK, Europe, South-East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Richard was a member of the expert panel which performed the SFU mid-term assessment of bioCEED, CEMPE and MatRIC in 2017.

      Associate Professor Torgny Roxå

      Torgny Roxå is an Associate Professor and educational developer at Lund University. Roxå has a long-standing and broad experience in quality development in higher education. He led the development of the first pedagogical Academy, Lund Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP), a framework for awarding excellence in teaching. This model has inspired both Swedish, Norwegian, and other international institutions. Presently, Torgny is working on the implementation of a new quality enhancing system based on the experiences from the ETP system. His research is focused on the strategic development of learning cultures in higher education institutions. He has been appointed distinguished scholar in educational leadership at McMaster University, vice president for the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and visiting professor at Ulster University. 

    • 2019 - Overview of applicants and host institutions

      Potential consortium partners are not included in the list.

      Centre nameHost institution
      C21Enhance Centre for Enhancement of 21st Century Skills in Higher EducationUiT The Arctic University of Norway (NO-UiT)
      Centre for Excellence in Interprofessional EducationUiT The Arctic University of Norway (NO-UiT)
      Centre for Integrated Earth System Science EducationUniversity of Bergen
      Centre for Integrated and transdisciplinary education in spatial planningNorwegian University of Life Sciences
      Centre of Excellence in Maritime Simulator Training and AssessmentUniversity of South-Eastern Norway
      SCOPE - Center for excellence in medical and nurse educationNTNU- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
      Ecology for Language LearningNTNU- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
      Center for foreign language education excellence in societyUniversity of Bergen
      Be-Ing: Becoming EngineerNTNU Fakultet for informatikk og elektronikk
      Centre for Computational Rhetoric LearningNTNU- Norwegian University of Science and Technology
      Centre for Experiential Legal LearningUniversity of Oslo
      Centre for Excellence in Education for BioMedical Laboratory ScientistsWestern Norway University of Applied Sciences
      Centre for Performance-Based Electronic MusicUniversity of Agder
      REDE - Resilience and Ethics in Dance EducationOslo National Academy of The Arts (KHiO)
      Oslo Academy for Studies in International HistoryUniversity of Oslo
      LEAD - Centre for Excellent Journalism EducationVolda University College
      Research-based Strategic Technological Approaches to Russian TeachingUiT The Arctic University of Norway
      Centre of Interprofessional Interaction with Children and YouthOsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University
      Centre of Excellent Simulation and eLearningUniversity of Stavanger
      Centre for Sustainable Health Care EducationUniversity of Oslo
      Centre of Excellence in Nursing EducationUniversity of Agder


    På vei mot det fremste - 2016

    Developing Educational Excellence in Higher Education - 2019

    Previous calls and historical data

    The initiative was administered by Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) from 2010 until 2018. You will find information about previous calls and historical data  on NOKUT's website.