Norwegian women with Indian heritage smash national average to become doctors

One in every five women in Norway with Indian heritage becomes a doctor, according to a report in the Scandinavian country.

Norwegian women with Indian heritage smash national average to become doctors

The high proportion of the demographic taking the medical career path is in part due to the influence of their parents, according to a report by national broadcaster NRK.

“The medical profession is highly respected in India. You hear that from your parents, and you are influenced by that,” Doctor Archana Sharma, whose parents moved to Norway from India, told NRK.

The high status of the medical profession in India influences career choices in Norway, the broadcaster writes.

The Institute for Social Research in Oslo has found that, for Norwegian women between the ages of 26 and 35 and with Indian heritage, almost one in five have completed medical studies.

By comparison, only one in 100 women with Norwegian-born parents in the same age group become doctors, according to the study, which was reported by newspaper Utrop.

“Many people experience very strong expectations that they will go into higher education, preferably within the type of high-status professions which provide security and good pay,” sociologist and project manager for the study Arnfinn Midtbøen told NRK.

“This shows that the migration [of the women’s parents, ed.] was successful,” Midtbøen also said.

An Oslo medicine student told NRK that her parents valued higher education without pressuring her.

“They have encouraged me here and throughout my childhood, but I felt no pressure to choose medicine. I think it is very common in Indian families that parents encourage children from an early stage to go into higher education,” Anisha Sharma told the broadcaster.

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‘We produce too many oil engineers’: Norwegian engineering student rep

A student leader at one of Norway’s top engineering schools says that too many engineering programmes in Norway are focused on oil.

'We produce too many oil engineers’: Norwegian engineering student rep
File photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB scanpix

The emphasis on oil engineering is bad for Norway’s future in green energy, according to Omar Samy Gamal of the Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologists (Norges ingeniør og teknologorganisasjon, NITO).

“Several Norwegian engineering programmes are intoxicated on funds from the oil sector. Now it’s time for detoxification and innovation, and engineering and technology study programmes are not keeping up,” Gamal told broadcaster NRK.

The engineering student, who completed his bachelor’s degree in 2015, says he learned the same things as colleagues that graduated in 2005.

“The world is in the middle of a technological revolution, and the only concern here in Norway is how we can recruit more oil engineers,” he said.

According to a report by NRK, 36 percent of NITO’s students do not think their studies are equipping them for digitalisation and the increased use of robots.

Citing studies that predict fossil fuel energy will be completely phased out by 2050, Gamal told the broadcaster that more emphasis should be placed on renewable energy.

“Young people realise that the future is green and they want to work in a forward-looking field. That is to say, they want to have a job after 2050,” Gamal said.

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Fewer students than ever are now applying for oil-related classes at other universities, including Stavanger, Molde and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, reports NRK.

Political advisor Elnar Remi Holmen at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (Olje- og energidepartementet) told the broadcaster that he was disappointed in the comments coming from NITO.

“This is poor form from the NITO students. We will need more oil engineers for decades to come,” Holmen said.

Holmen’s department maintains that oil and gas will be an important part of energy sources worldwide for a long time to come.

Neither was there much support for Gamal’s view at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet, NTNU).

“The statements from NITO are very generalising and partly misleading. The future for the Norwegian oil industry is well described in for example the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Oljedirektoratet) annual report,” Egil Tjåland, head of department at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum, told NRK.