Organisational changes at NSD

The Norwegian government is reforming the directorates and infrastructure organisations within research and higher education. NSD’s services and activities are divided between two new public bodies: A new administrative body mandated to deliver services to higher education and research, and the new directorate for higher education and skills.

Last changed: 08/12/2021

The new bodies will be organised directly under the Ministry of Education and Research.

NSDs services remains within the new bodies

NSD has awaited the government’s decision regarding NSD’s future organisation for some years, as it is part of a wider structural change within research and higher education in Norway.

The goal of the structural change is to remove overlapping services and responsibilities in the current set-up and to ensure better and more efficient services for users in research and higher education.

Core tasks to the new service delivery body

NSD’s core tasks and responsibilities related to research data management will be transferred to and continued under the body, which will be called Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Sikt).

This also includes our GDPR related services as a national resource and competence centre for privacy issues, and our international responsibilities, including the services that support the European Social Survey (ESS).

Sikt will contribute to international and national strategies and goals, such as the FAIR data goals for research data and offering digitized services for research. The goal is to have efficient use of resources and to provide better and more coherent services to the users.

In addition to NSD, the service delivery body will consist of:

  • Services from Unit – the Directorate for ICT and joint services in higher education and research
  • Uninett – The ICT infrastructure company for Norwegian research and education

As of 1 January 2022 the Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Sikt) is operational as an administrative body directly under the Ministry of Education and Research. The name is yet to be decided.

ERIH PLUS and statistical services for higher education and research to the new directorate

NSDs statistical services for higher education and research (DBH) and services indexing academic journals, such as ERIH PLUS, will become part of the new directorate for higher education and skills.

The directorate will be established on 1 July 2021. The new directorate maintain responsibilities for internationalization and quality in education, and work to strengthen the population’s competence in a life-long learning perspective.

In addition to the services from NSD, the new directorate will consist of:

  • Diku – the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education
  • Skills Norway
  • tasks from Unit – the Directorate for ICT and joint services in higher education and research,
  • tasks from NOKUT – the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education
  • Universell – National Coordinator of Accessibility of Higher Education in Norway

A good framework for NSD’s services

“The structural change provides a good framework for collaborating more closely at a national level to fulfil NSD’s basic purpose, which is to promote and provide easy access to high quality data, and give services to research and higher education – and to take advantage of new digital opportunities,” says Kvalheim.

The reorganisation of NSD’s services was expected, as it is part of a wider structural change within research and higher education in Norway.

Vigdis Kvalheim: “It is somewhat special that this decision coincides with NSD’s 50th anniversary. However, the name or organisational structure as such are not crucial elements here; the framework conditions for delivering high quality services are.”

“I believe this change will provide a good basis for strengthening the infrastructure services relating to research data and data protection that the research community has built together with NSD over the last 50 years,” Vigdis Kvalheim added.

As one of the founding Service Providers of CESSDA, NSD has played an important role within CESSDA. NSD’s expertise in data management and data protection continues to be of value to researchers both in Norway and abroad, and we are grateful for their support in both CESSDA Internal and European projects,” stated Ron Dekker, Director of CESSDA.

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