News from the University management 3 May
On the management’s agenda
The University management 2.0 greets the spring
On the first of May, in accordance with tradition, the University management met the students on the steps to the main University building to respond to the students’ unions’ address to the vice-chancellor. ‟It is always a special feeling to go out onto the steps of the University building and be met by the banners and flagbearers of the student nations”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog.
‟We need to highlight science and facts in society”
Last week, thousands of people gathered around the world for the March for Science. Several LU researchers joined the march in Copenhagen. ‟On the occasion of this march, together with several other representatives of knowledge and science, I co-authored an opinion piece on SVT Opinion to underline the importance of society basing its decision-making on facts and evidence-based knowledge. I am worried about the tendency we observe today – whereby the world’s most powerful politicians take decisions that go against evidence from researchers and experts, in the area of climate change for example”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog.
The opinion piece highlights a number of points to reinforce the role of knowledge in society and the principle of basing decision-making on a scientific approach.
‟Contract education is strategically important for societal development”
‟A government inquiry into contract education is currently underway. The resulting report, to be completed in June, is extremely interesting for a number of reasons. One such reason is that the government funding available for education is limited and other, complementary strategies are required to meet society’s education needs both nationally and globally. Another reason is that it is no longer sufficient to acquire knowledge once in your life, when you are young; it needs to be topped up throughout a person’s life in a process known as lifelong learning”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog.
‟Outside academia, in industry and the public sector, there is also a great need for professional development, which is why we are now reviewing our strategy for contract education. If we are able to tailor study programmes to meet society’s future education needs, it would be a good way of contributing to the solution of future challenges”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz.
New board complete
The Government has now decided which external members are to sit on Lund University’s board. The new composition applies as of 1 May this year to 30 April 2020. ‟The external board members are incredibly valuable as they often have other perspectives on our organisation and see things to which we are blinded by familiarity”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog. The external members of the board of Lund University as of May this year are: Ambassador Jonas Hafström, chair (extension), senior vice-president Magnus Mandersson (extension), professor Jens Oddershede, public healthcare director Ingrid Bengtsson-Rijavec, director general Anna Stellinger (extension), vice-chair Wanja Lundby-Wedin, author Gunnar Wetterberg and head of finance Annika Winsth. Representatives of teaching staff have also been appointed. They are Tommy Andersson, Ann-Katrin Bäcklund and Anne L’Huillier.
‟Jubilee-celebrating KAW makes significant contributions to the University”
It is a great honour for Lund University that the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW), which is celebrating its hundredth anniversary, held the first of six scientific jubilee symposia in Lund, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog. KAW is one of Europe’s largest private research funding bodies and has contributed a total of SEK 24 billion to Swedish research over the years. Out of that total, SEK 2.9 billion have gone to Lund University, which was the largest recipient of project funding from KAW between 2011 and 2016. ‟Not least, KAW has invested SEK 460 million in beamlines for MAX IV and in the Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine. But KAW has also provided significant grants to individual researchers and research projects. In recent years, the Wallenberg Scholars and Wallenberg Academy Fellows programmes have been developed and have become very significant”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz.
April was an eventful month for LU
In her blog, Eva Wiberg writes that April was a very eventful and rewarding month for the University. Among other things, she mentions Global Week at the beginning of the month, which focused on various aspects of internationalisation for LU employees and colleagues from our international partner universities.
April also offered the opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our cooperation with California, the Lund University/University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), which is LU’s oldest exchange programme. This event was marked by meetings both in California and in Lund. “We value our partners and hope that this is only the beginning of more years to come of fruitful collaboration and exchange”, writes Eva Wiberg in her blog.
Last but not least, the deputy vice-chancellor is delighted that so many international students have applied to LU’s Master’s programmes. The number of applicants increased by 23 per cent compared to last year. The number of fee-paying students rose by 500 to a total of 1 815 students. Read more in the deputy vice-chancellor’s blog
New presentation material about the University
A new presentation package has now been produced, including brief and accessible descriptions of Lund University. The package consists of a short film, a Power Point presentation, an updated presentation brochure and brief profile texts. The material can be used in its entirety or as part of other presentations you prepare for visits or conference participation, social media, various channels requiring a general presentation of the University, etc. The content aims to generate interest in Lund University and to provide a quick overview. The material is available on the Staff Pages.
Soon time for Sustainability Week
The science week dedicated to the Digital Society recently ended and the 350th anniversary celebrations now continue with Sustainability Week from 15 to 20 May. Sustainability Week is organised by Lund University together with the City of Lund, and also involves a large number of organisations, companies and public authorities – as well as Lund residents and others in the region who are working for a sustainable future.
Eva Wiberg appointed vice-chancellor in Gothenburg
Last week the Government decided to appoint Lund University’s deputy vice-chancellor as the new vice-chancellor of the University of Gothenburg. She will take up her position as vice-chancellor this summer. Her appointment as vice-chancellor of the University of Gothenburg is to run from 1 July 2017 until 30 June 2023. The recruitment of a new deputy vice-chancellor for LU is currently underway.
Higher education news
UNESCO recommends positive discrimination for higher education
‟There is overwhelming evidence that measures aimed at disadvantaged groups increase access to higher education. Therefore, positive discrimination should be used to widen admissions from these groups. These measures can take the form of special admission quotas, bonus points on test results or taking the applicants’ background into account. This is what emerges from a new UNESCO study”, according to the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) in its international newsletter.
Investigator is to submit proposals for governance of higher education institutions
A special investigator (Pam Fredman) is to conduct a general overview of the governance of higher education institutions, including resource allocation, entitled ‟Governance for strong and responsible higher education institutions”. ‟The aim is to develop governance to effectively and appropriately support the goals for Sweden to be one of the world’s leading countries for research and innovation and a leading knowledge nation”, writes the Government in a decision. The investigator’s proposal is to include a system for governance and resource allocation and be completed by 3 December 2018.
More degree programmes but fewer applicants
‟The range of higher education study programmes on offer has increased by one per cent compared with autumn 2016. But significantly fewer young people have applied to universities and university colleges for this autumn – many are choosing to work rather than continue studying in the prevailing positive economic climate”, writes the Swedish Council for Higher Education. The number of applicants has dropped by between 0.5 and 7 per cent. Applications to LU also decreased; both the total number of applicants overall and those who put LU as their first choice is lower than last year.