News from the University Management 30 September
On the management’s agenda
Larger than expected increase in the budget proposal
“I did not expect any major budget increases for our sector because of the major societal challenges our country is facing. But now I am cautiously optimistic”, writes the vice-chancellor in his blog, after an announcement on the budget proposal by research minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson of a funding increase of SEK 390 million for 2017 and a subsequent continued increase in government funding to just over SEK 2.8 billion by 2020. “This is a significantly larger addition of research funding to our sector than we expected”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz. He is also satisfied that the minister appears to have heeded demands for increased direct government funding, in an announcement that such funding to higher education institutions would gradually increase by a total of SEK 1.3 billion up to 2020. The Government has also heeded LU’s proposal to expand the teacher training programme by increasing its funding to almost twice the amount. “We have received targeted funding that enables us to significantly expand the programme. I take it that the Government has seen that our proposal is timely – there are several societal challenges that we can help solve. The shortage of teachers is one of them, and we have been proactive on this issue”, writes the vice-chancellor.
“Half-time check to ensure more gender equal recruitment of professors”
The University board has set a goal for the University to be gender equal by 2020, which means in practice that at least 40 per cent of professors appointed from this year until 2020 are to be women. Now Torbjörn von Schantz has decided that, in his capacity as vice-chancellor, he will check the recruitment process for professorships half way through and – if necessary – interrupt the process. “The new procedure we have introduced is to ensure that there are qualified applicants of both genders before a recruitment goes on to the expert assessment stage”, he writes in his blog. The faculties are to ensure that there are qualified applicants of both genders before the applications are passed on to the experts for assessment. If this is not the case, the vice-chancellor is to be informed and to receive a report on why this is so. “I think this is an excellent way for us all to reflect on appointments and gender equality”, writes the vice-chancellor.
"Lärosäten Syd network – southern Swedish higher education institutions can benefit from each other’s strengths"
Lärosäten Syd includes LU, Malmö University, Kristianstad University, Blekinge Institute of Technology and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences/Alnarp, as well as the latest member: Halmstad University. The network was set up for several reasons, including the universities’ wish to cooperate on mobility and the fact that they are all regional and local stakeholders with great responsibility in a number of important areas such as growth, industry, culture and the labour market. “I am personally convinced that we in the network can benefit from one another’s strengths. Malmö University, which will receive official university status in 2018, has a strategic location enabling it to recruit young people that we traditionally have not found it easy to reach here in Lund, and I think we could benefit from that” writes the vice-chancellor in his blog.
Interesting meetings in Italy and Lund
In her blog, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg writes that she was one of the speakers at a conference in Italy entitled “Knowledge and Mercy: The Third Mission of the University” – a symposium part of the World Conference of University Rectors. Vice-chancellors from all continents attended, and there was even time for a visit to the Quirinale Palace where they met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Pope Francis at the Piazza San Pietro in the Vatican. Back home in Sweden, Lund received a visit from US ambassador Azita Raji who met with the University management. “I think that it is very valuable to meet with foreign missions on a regular basis. We discussed how joint research projects could be facilitated, and in particular after the recent signing of a bilateral research cooperation between Sweden and the US on cancer research”, writes Eva Wiberg in her blog. Read more on the deputy vive-chancellor’s blog
The vice-chancellor’s management council – live
For the first time, the vice-chancellor’s management council is opening its doors to all employees and students in an open seminar – “Vice-chancellor’s management council – live!”. On 27 October in the Palaestra building, the management council will discuss, with open doors, a number of future issues. All employees and students are welcome to listen, discuss or ask questions directly to the management council. The council consists of the vice-chancellor, the deputy vice-chancellor, the pro vice-chancellors, the University director and all the deans/equivalents and student representatives.
Employee survey reminder: what LU news do you want?
Recently, SIFO emailed out a survey to all LU employees to find out what they want to read about in University-wide channels, including LUM. Do you want a chance to influence the outcome but haven’t replied? Check your inbox for an email from “Sifo för Lunds universitet”. Most people received it on Friday 23 September.
Inauguration ceremony for 38 professors
On 14 October there will be a formal inauguration ceremony for 38 new professors in the main University auditorium. Read more (Swedish) (pdf)
Higher education news
Freely accessible research can counteract fraud
“The findings from publicly funded research are to be available to everyone. Research results must, in the long run, be published at a lower cost without affecting the quality review process. In order to achieve this in Sweden, more stakeholders must act”, write Sven Stafström, Swedish Research Council and Gunilla Herdenberg, National Library of Sweden, in an opinion piece in Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. “Openness contributes to knowledge growth and competitiveness and, not least, participation, engagement and interest in research. Greater access to research findings also increases opportunities for reproducing results and thereby provides the conditions to counteract research fraud”, they write.
No connection between high tuition fees and quality of education
“There is a limit at which tuition fees reduce accessibility, and there is no connection between high tuition fees and quality of education. The latter applies particularly to private American universities. This statement came from OECD director Andreas Schleicher in the recent launch of this year’s Education at a Glance, the annual report on education in the OECD member countries”, writes the SUHF in its international newsletter.