Candidate for the NTNU Board


Hi, my name is Erik Solberg Finnes. Firstly, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read my candidate presentation, and I hope you’ll take the time to read the other candidates’ presentation as well.

I’d like to start by telling a story. Once upon a time, there was a student in an accounting subject. The student enjoyed his studies and worked eagerly on the subject. Naturally, the student worked mostly in Excel, since that’s what one does in business. This student’s exam, however, was on paper, and they were given blank, not sqaured, sheets. The student, who had worked the whole semester in Excel, now had to spend time during the exam to draw the tables for his account by hand. This happened at NTNU in 2019, and I find it appalling. There are cetainly countless similar stories from all manner of subjects at NTNU, and I want to do something about it. I think the NTNU board needs to arrange for the purchase of enough equipment and software so that students can have decent exams. If exams are to be digital, that should be in order to test one’s abilites in the right way, no to digitalize for the sake of digitalization. Vi are a technical university, and I think this is the least students should be able to demand.

The reason I begin with this anecdote is that my motivation for running is a wish that all students at NTNU should have an unproblematic progression through their studies. Exams are an incredibly important part of one’s studies and how our lives will be after the university, and therefore I desire a bigger focus on precisely that.

Erik Solberg Finnes

Age: 21
Studies: Economics and Administration (Bachelor), 2nd year

It is also a problem that the exams often slip through the quality assurance system at NTNU, in other words the reference groups, who often only deals with the lectures and/or seminars. Exams must be held to a higher standard, which means decisions must be made at the highest level to buy equipment and software in all three NTNU cities. Additionally, there must be a way for students to evaluate their exam.

The other major issue I wish to work with at NTNU is the intake of new students. Every fall, over 9000 new students arrive. From the day they accept their spot at NTNU, I think they should have the possibility to speak with students who’ve studied the same subject, if they want to. Therefore, I want to work to ensure that NTNU give the freshmen week organisations (fadderordninger) the possibility to contact new students. I know there are some GDPR problems here, but there are solutions.

Lastly, I want to say that NTNU must work harder on the work life relevance of their studies. Some faculties in particular needs to work harder on this, and I know the work has begun. I think both ‘Future Humantities and Social Sciences’ and ‘Future Technology studies’ are projects that will greatly contribute to this. Still, it’s important that students here and now are doing well, not just students in 5-10 years. Personally, I worry that the merge of similar study programmes across the three NTNU cities could lead to a decrease in quality – therefore, we need students at all levels who can shed light on these problems, including on the board.

I really hope you will vote for me, because I would like to be that student. But I have an even greater favor to ask: If you experience anything in your studies that you’re not happy with, do not hesitate to contact your student representatives, be it on the class, study programme, department or faculty levels. All these representatives are the students’ voice up towards the different levels at NTNU, and if we are to be heard, we must be present, and speak our minds, on all levels!

Together, we students at NTNU can prove that a future with high quality of studies is in store for us, that «Fremtiden FINNES» («the future exists»).

How should NTNU look in 5 and 10 years?

My vision for NTNU is that the institution shall continue with research-based education, and be in the top league of research in the world, but that it should also be an institution that carries the students’ perspective with it all the way.

Most of all, I wish NTNU to be the leader in Norway of having the fewest drop-outs, not just because out studies are great, but because I want us to create a sense of community – that being at NTNU is good, both socially, physically, psycosocially, digitally and pedagogically, in a way that benefits the students. NTNU shall strive to ensure that no one is alone, and that getting a degree at NTNU is to be part of a great community.


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