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News from the university management 1 September

On the management’s agenda

The demand for student housing will not decline

Vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz writes in his blog that when the Swedish National Union of Students (SFS) recently published their annual housing report, it was no surprise that Lund, together with other major student cities, was red-listed due to how difficult it is for students to get a lease. He also writes, however, that we are moving in the right direction, as Lund is building more student housing than ever. He continues: “Despite this, we certainly should not become complacent. According to the SFS report, it takes on average a year to obtain a dorm room in Lund. The number of LU students will remain high in the coming years and this is an important message from us to all housing construction companies: The demand for good, cheap and secure housing will not decline!”

Many international students arrive in Lund

The other week, over 2000 international students from all over the world were welcomed in Lund during Arrival Day. The students were welcomed already at Kastrup and were accompanied to Lund where they received help with various practicalities. Deputy vice-chancellor Eva Wiberg writes in her blog: “It is so nice to see the students arrive with their bags and all of their different expectations, trying to capture the atmosphere of the city. I hope that all students will have an exciting and inspiring period here in Lund”. Read more in the deputy vice-chancellor’s blog 

Associate senior lectureship a way to reduce precarious employment

During the summer, the Swedish government decided to review how to improve the career paths for junior researchers and how to make their employment situation more secure. “This is a very important study which I will follow with great interest”, vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz writes in his blog. When the vice-chancellor met with colleagues at the University of Copenhagen he learned that only a minority of their teaching staff received their salaries with the help of external funding. As previously stated, the vice-chancellor would like an increase in the amount of basic appropriations to secure good terms of employment, and he also wants to “express support for associate senior lectureships as the start of a career in academia. If the University advertises a vacancy for a position as associate senior lecturer, the junior researcher who applies (e.g. a returning post-doc) will know that there are good opportunities for them to have a career within academia and to remain working at the University. It increases security and certainly the willingness to move on and seek employment at other higher education institutions”. Our current way of supporting junior researchers through external funding results in leaving them outside the promotion system.

Nominate candidates for U21 awards

Nominations are now open for the 2016 Gilbert Medal and the U21 Awards. Deputy vice-chancellor Eva Wiberg writes in her blog that she would very much like to see employees and students within the U21 network nominate candidates. “This is an excellent opportunity to highlight and recognise outstanding achievements within internationalisation”, she writes. The Gilbert Medal is awarded to someone outside the U21 network who has made an outstanding contribution to internationalisation of higher education, while the U21 Awards are presented to someone within the U21 network. Read more on the deputy vice-chancellor’s blog

LU news

Housing speed-dating to help more students find accommodation

On Thursday 10 September, BoPoolen and the tenant organisation Hyresgästföreningen will be hosting a housing speed-dating event in the AF building, where vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz and chair of the municipal board Anders Almgren, among others, will participate. The aim is to give those who offer housing and prospective tenants a chance to meet and network. Learn more and register on BoPoolen’s website

Electrons are spinning in MAX IV

Less than 300 days are left until the opening of MAX IV, but the accelerator group at the MAX IV laboratory has already successfully led the electron beam all the way around the large 3 GeV ring for the first time. Now they are fine tuning the 140 magnetic blocks containing over 1 400 magnets that lead the electron beam around the ring. Read more on LU’s website

Higher education news

“Swedish higher education must be internationalised"

“Sweden’s education policy must be reexamined if we are to survive global competition. Increase internationalisation, implement equal terms for all students and reform the resource allocation system”, say representatives of Saco and the Centre Party student council in an opinion piece in Dagens Nyheter. They argue that the quality of higher education is currently being undermined, while the proportion of international students is too small. Furthermore, they believe that the rules are too complicated for prestigious international education institutions to establish themselves in Sweden. As international competition is becoming more intense, Sweden must be able to meet its demands, which would require measures in three areas in particular: internationalisation of higher education, implementation of equal terms for all students, and a reform of the resource allocation system. Read more on Dagens Nyheter’s website (Swedish)

Let researchers do research instead of spending their time on applications

“Applying for external funding is more trouble than it is worth”, writes the director of the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) Git Claesson Pipping in an opinion piece in Curie. She wants universities to receive a larger proportion of basic appropriations compared to external funding. “There are already internal research systems for peer review at universities. Trust them and give researchers more time to do research instead of spending their time on applications and assessments”, she writes. She wants the ratio between direct and external funding to return to being 60/40, as it was 30 years ago. She continues: “Professors, lecturers and research fellows spend approximately 1/5 of their time on applications. Add to that the time they spend in peer groups to support a system of external funding, that is, assessing proposed projects. The Swedish Research Council’s peer review groups include 800 people”. Read more on Curie’s website (Swedish)

 

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