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Newsletter from the University management 1 December

On the management’s agenda

A personal goal to raise the status of training

Torbjörn von Schantz participated in a conference on teaching and learning in higher education last week and writes in his blog that he is a “strong advocate of teacher training in higher education, supervisor training and leadership training. One of my personal goals is that the status of training is to be a lot higher the day my role as Vice-Chancellor ends than it is now.”  He supports the requirement for teacher training in higher education for employment.

Call for action on publishing research in Open Access

 “The University has signed a call for action initiated by the League of European Research Universities (LERU) that concerns the opportunity to save money by publishing research in Open Access”, writes the Vice-Chancellor in his blog and continues: “We are opposed to universities having to pay both high subscription fees to journal publishers and in addition often having to pay ‘publishing costs’ in order to get research published.”

“Our research facilities are investments – not costs”

The newly formed Business and Industry Council has had its first meeting, which addressed the question of cooperation in relation to MAX IV and ESS. “Cooperation with wider society is key if we are to gain maximum benefit from the major research facilities”, writes the Vice-Chancellor on his blog and in an opinion piece with Pro Vice-Chancellor Bo Ahrén for the newspaper Sydsvenskan. The returns from the research facilities was also the theme of a conference in Brussels, where the participants included political representatives of the EU Commission, the Vice-Chancellor and Sweden’s Minister for Higher Education and Research, Helene Hellmark Knutsson. Torbjörn von Schantz says that one impression from the conference was “that politicians tend to see these research facilities as costs rather than investments that give back returns in the form of job opportunities, growth and development. There is every reason to change this view and it chimes well with my ideas on getting companies and the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation involved in the facilities”.

LU news

A unique opportunity to meet Peder Winstrup

On 9 December, all staff, students and others who are interested have an opportunity to meet the University’s founder, Bishop Peder Winstrup (1605–1679). The mummy and several other fascinating artefacts from the coffin will be on display at the Historical Museum 10:00–20:00. This will be the last opportunity to see him before he is returned to Lund Cathedral. Free admission. More information is available at http://www.luhm.lu.se

Book publisher to spread Lund research internationally

In cooperation with Manchester University Press, the UK’s third-largest academic publisher, the Faculties of Humanities and Theology at LU are starting a book publishing company. The aim is to channel first-class Lund research straight into international scholarly discussions. Publication is only in English and will start on a small scale. The books will be published simultaneously in printed form and in Open Access, which means maximum distribution and exposure. Selection will be according to a strict and independent peer review process. The decision to publish will be made by an editorial board with representatives from widely differing subjects. Read more on the LU website 

Higher education news

Universities must get serious about internationalisation

“Higher education institutions must realise that they are in a new situation with global competition for the most talented researchers and students. For that reason, there must be a change in the rules that hinder universities from competing with other leading universities internationally”, write Andreas Göthenberg and Olle Wästberg, from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT) in an opinion piece for the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), concerning the forthcoming research bill. “The most important raw material is no longer oil or iron ore – it’s knowledge”, they write and comment that there is much to indicate that Swedish higher education institutions are too provincial and do not take internationalisation as seriously as they should. “International competitiveness requires a presence in other countries, an international orientation and reputation, which is why work and research abroad should also be given a higher qualification value. One year abroad is not to be a lost year in a career”, they continue and urge management at Swedish higher education institutions to prioritise these issues. 

EU has appointed a new high-level advisory group

Seven internationally recognised researchers are members of the EU Commission’s new high-level scientific advisory group, the Scientific Advice Mechanism. The independent group was appointed a few weeks ago. The members come from different parts of Europe and from different disciplines, but there is an emphasis on science and technology. The aim of the group is to ensure that the Commission receives the best possible scientific advice prior to decisions on various matters, writes the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) in its international newsletter. Read more here

“New foundation funds researchers who have faced rejection”

“The highest grade from the European Research Council (ERC), but still no funding – this need not mean that it is all over. Now, a newly formed consortium of foundations is offering support to Swedish researchers who fail at the finish line for ERC funding”, writes the journal of the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF), Universitetsläraren. The foundations involved in the consortium are the Erling-Persson Family Foundation, the Kempe Foundations, the Ragnar Söderberg Foundation and the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences – all non-governmental foundations that are embarking on a joint initiative for the first time. The idea is to provide funding equivalent to the ERC’s to those who have recently got the highest grade in ERC’s Starting Grant, but have been consigned to the group that received no funding. One aim is to counteract the loss of momentum that can affect researchers and research groups as they wait for ERC funding. Those researchers that have got that far have a good chance of receiving funding in forthcoming rounds, and one requirement is that they keep applying. 

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