On Monday 16th March, Arne Osland (Director of Devlopment) and Richard (Larry) Lamont (Rektor) visited the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer.

The Academy was founded in 1938 as a protest against the totalitarian ideologies in Europe and was named after Fridtjof Nansen, the Norwegian  polar explorer, scientist, author and humanist. The Academy is a folkehøgskole (for students wishing to take a pre-university year of study) with courses available in ‘Ideas, Cultures & Society’, ‘Creative Writing’ and ‘Creative Arts’. All students participate in classes in philosophy, international security politics and cultural history. It seeks to understand humanism as basic values that unite people across religious, political and cultural divides. For over 75 year, active work for human rights, freedom of expression and democracy continue to be of great importance at the Nansen Academy. Whilst Arne and Larry were visiting, they attended a lecture on the politics of the Middle East delivered by Axel Wernhoff, Swedish Ambassador to Norway.

The Academy also shares it campus with the the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue (NCPD. The centre provides experience-based knowledge of ongoing conflicts and practical dialogue and reconciliation and draws its experience from peace education for diaspora groups (refugees) in Norway and dialogue work internationally, with particular focus on the Western Balkans.

Following on from discussions with Rektor Unn Irene Aasdalen and Assistant Rektor Heidrun Sørlie Røhr, there are plans ahead for cooperation and partnership between the Nansen Academy and UWC RCN given our strong mutual commitment to peace and a sustainable future. One scenario to follow up is for our Winter Programme students to visit the Academy in mid-December to connect with their students and to take part in a seminar at the NCPD – a very exciting prospect.