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News from the University Management, 1 November

On the management’s agenda

Global strategic analysis in order to meet future challenges

During the University Board meeting last week, a global strategic analysis was presented, addressing global changes and trends which may come to affect the University’s activities. “Hopefully, the analysis will not only raise discussions within the board on how to meet new challenges, but also serve as a basis for discussions within all activities at the University”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog. The analysis was requested by the board’s risk committee, which has highlighted three challenges that the University should pay particular attention to: the role of universities as providers of research and communicators of knowledge in times when the conditions for knowledge and information dissemination have changed radically; the utilisation of the University’s range through collaboration; and need to increase exploitation of the opportunities offered by digitisation – especially within undergraduate education.

An open approach or a closed approach – which is the way forward?

“It’s important to consider the University’s open vs closed approach to the outside world. Openness permeates each of the priority areas laid down in our strategic plan as they all relate to collaboration with wider society or between levels within the organisation in one way or another”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz in his blog. A current area of collaboration is one with donors and philanthropists, as exemplified by the opening of the Ravensbrück Archives and the unveiling of the jubilee sculpture a few weeks ago.

LU news

Welcome to the Academy of Music’s annual Christmas concert

Lund University and the Malmö Academy of Music are inviting all employees to the Academy’s Christmas concert on Friday 15 December at 19:00 in Lund Cathedral. The evening will offer music full of the Christmas spirit performed by a large choir, chamber choir, symphony orchestra, ensembles and soloists under the direction of Mats Paulson. Employees can pick up a free ticket on presentation of the LU card at the Arken bookshop, next to the cathedral. The free tickets are available from 17 November to 5 December. The number of free tickets is limited. Tickets for accompanying guests can be purchased at Arken and at the entrance to the cathedral in connection with the concert.

Time for Campus Open in Helsingborg

For the sixth consecutive year, Campus Helsingborg is arranging Campus Open which will take place on 17 November. This year’s main theme is the digital city and the hyped sharing economy. The day will include popular science lectures, some light refreshments and a chance to look around the premises that were once a rubber factory.

In search for the innovations of the future

Sparbanken Skåne and LU Innovation are jointly awarding SEK 200 000 for the innovations of the future. Employees and students within all disciplines at Lund University are welcome to apply, by 13 December 2017 at the latest. Find more information on LU Innovation’s website

Higher education news

China accounts for an increasingly larger proportion of research findings worldwide

“There are numerous indications that universities must look eastwards if they want to maintain their frontline position in research. This has been claimed in an analysis by the British Council”, writes the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) in its international newsletter. In 1996, the United States, Japan, the UK and Germany accounted for half of the world’s research publications. By 2015, this figure had dropped to 39 per cent, while China increased it publications by more than 14 times, from 2 per cent of global publications in 1996 to 16 per cent in 2015. Today, China invests five times as much money in research and development compared to the UK.

“Academics stressed from having too much control”

A knowledge overview of the situation in 34 countries, conducted by Professor Roland Persson at Jönköping University, shows that academics are stressed from having too much control. This was reported in Universitetsläraren, the magazine for members of the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF). The overview, which is the first of its kind, shows that control, the pressure to perform, publication requirements and aspirations for excellence cause severe stress. Organisational models that introduce more control in public activities are called new public management, NPM. Roland Persson does not find that NPM in itself causes stress, but rather its application. He says, in Universitetsläraren, that “Applying an organisational model taken from industry and introducing it to academia shows an inability to understand that researchers need autonomy to work”.

“Safer conditions for scholarship-funded doctoral students”

The conditions for scholarship-funded doctoral students need to improve, according to the Government which has, therefore, adopted several amendments to the Higher Education Ordinance. One of the new amendments involves increased insurance coverage for scholarship-funded doctoral students, so that it also applies if the period of study is extended due to illness or parental leave. “Higher education institutions will also be obliged to appoint scholarship-funded doctoral students when the remaining period of study for the student is equivalent to three years full time, with the exception of scholarships provided within the framework of an aid and capacity-building programme, an EU-funded or equivalent programme”, writes the Government in a press release.

 

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