Foreign students dominate oil research / News / The Foreigner

Foreign students dominate oil research. Trend concerns university staff. 95 of 96 applications for a PhD at the University of Stavanger’s Institute of Petroleum Technology have come from foreigners.Anxious “Almost everyone here is from Iran,” one of the students, Farzad Shariatpanaki, tells Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

oil, phd, masters, doctorate, students, research, university, stavanger, oslo, institute, petroleum, technology, foreign, foreigners, iran, pay, salary, norway, norwegians



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Foreign students dominate oil research

Published on Tuesday, 19th January, 2010 at 14:23 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 19th January 2010 at 15:00.

Trend concerns university staff.

Laboratory
Laboratory
Photo: Guri Dahl/Statoil


95 of 96 applications for a PhD at the University of Stavanger’s Institute of Petroleum Technology have come from foreigners.

Anxious

“Almost everyone here is from Iran,” one of the students, Farzad Shariatpanaki, tells Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

According to the paper, this worries Aslaug Mikkelsen, rector at the university. At last week’s Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) meeting in Sola, she told delegates that only one applicant is Norwegian.

Her concerns are shared by Knut Bjørlyyke – a 71 year-old geology professor at the University of Oslo: “Research has become a profession for foreign workers. Conditions in Norway are getting close to those we mostly associate with some Middle Eastern states, where foreigners do most of the hard work, whilst the population lives off the oil income”, he writes in his commentary in DN.

Bjørlyyke goes on to lament that the teaching and working language is English – claiming that this isn’t unproblematic – and says he would have retired long ago if they’d found a qualified candidate to fill his position.

Pay

Mikkelsen claims the oil industry is also worried about the lack of qualified Norwegians, but believes they have contributed to the problem by offering such high salaries. Master’s degree students start on well over 600,000 kroner per year.

In addition, academics aren’t paid well. Bjørlykke says an associate professor with a PhD and a professor begin off at 440,000 and 520,000 kroner per year, respectively.

A problem?

However, Alireza Rezaeidoust, another Iranian student at the institute, can’t understand why Norwegians are so bothered about such high numbers of foreigners.

“We feel connected. We are part of an environment here,” he says.

And despite both Mikkelsen’s and Bjørlykke’s concerns, though, the high number of foreigners working within the field of petroleum is part of a worldwide trend.

“95 percent of technology students are foreign, even in the USA,” says Reza Rostami, a third Iranian student.



Published on Tuesday, 19th January, 2010 at 14:23 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 19th January 2010 at 15:00.

This post has the following tags: oil, phd, masters, doctorate, students, research, university, stavanger, oslo, institute, petroleum, technology, foreign, foreigners, iran, pay, salary, norway, norwegians.





  
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