Newsletter from the University management 18 April
On the management’s agenda
A proposal for the new Strategic Plan has been updated
Pro Vice-Chancellor Bo Ahrén, particularly responsible for the University’s external engagement, writes in the summary of his current projects, that a proposal of the new Strategic Plan has been drawn up, and will be discussed with the University Board and a group of so-called “critical friends”, i.e. representatives of other universities and organisations. It highlights a clear objective that LU is to work to produce knowledge within education, research and external engagement: “Lund University is an example of generating knowledge that is a source to future knowledge and sustainable development”. Bo Ahrén also addresses the most recent meeting of the Business and Industry Council and the Arts Council, as well as the progress of the work to strengthen the University’s external engagement in Helsingborg and other parts of northwestern Skåne. Read more about the work on the Strategic Plan and the various external engagement issues here
The interdisciplinary approach is a factor for success
The other week, the University management met with LU’s so-called “Linnaeus Environments” (research environments that receive Linneaus funding from the Swedish Research Council). “They shared with us that a factor for their success had, not surprisingly, been their interdisciplinary approach. They claimed that meeting and speaking with people from different parts of the University had been tremendously beneficial. They had also noticed a change in attitude in connection with the call for applications for the Linnaeus Environments – suddenly, it was considered a competitive advantage rather than a disadvantage to be open to interdisciplinary research”, writes the Vice-Chancellor in his blog, stressing that interdisciplinary work is clearly important. Another issue that came up was how long-term funding is to be resolved. As it stands, this remains unclear.
Inspiring recruitment and teaching strategies
The University management is currently discussing the budget and quality assurance with the faculties. Torbjörn von Schantz writes in his blog that he was impressed by the Faculty of Law’s work when it comes to recruitment and teaching. For example, the faculty shows care for its doctoral students in that it provides mentoring, makes sure to pick up on any student in need of support, and purposefully works to widen its recruitment. The Vice-Chancellor also addresses the “Flipped Classroom” method, which is used at several faculties and enables students to study at their desired pace, while allowing teaching staff the time they need for in-depth meetings. “... I believe this is the way forward in a time when contact hours are a scarce commodity. With the Flipped Classroom method, we can use our resources more efficiently and methodically”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz.
Debate in Lund about the right to have children – and the right to have “the right children”
On 26 April, there will be another Debate in Lund – this time on the theme: “The right to have children – and the right to have ‘the right children’”. Many yearn to have children and there is an increasing number of options for those who experience difficulty in this area. Donations of eggs and sperm are common, and uteruses can be “loaned” or transplanted. In theory, in the future it could be possible to replace genes that have to do with things other than diseases – looks, intelligence, athletic or artistic abilities.... The topics for discussion will include how much society is to invest in those who yearn for children the opportunity to have them, and if people are to be able to have “right” children”.
The last day of April is celebrated virtually as well
We are approaching the celebrations of 30 April and 1 May, where we, according to custom, put on our University caps, the students address the Vice-Chancellor, and we get to listen to the beautiful singing of the Lund University Male Voice Choir. This is a solemn occasion for many people, but not everyone is able to attend. The Lund University Foundation (LUF) has therefore created a virtual website for international alumni and others interested, where they can follow online the events that take place. Read more on the LUF website
LUCRIS is underway
LUCRIS is Lund University’s new research information system that will replace LUP (Lund University Publications) as the registration interface for scholarly publications, and includes other research information, such as information about researchers, research groups, projects and research-related activities in areas such as external engagement. LUCRIS is now available for data entries, and a first version of the public portal will open internally today. The official launch of the public portal will be on 9 May. Read more on the Staff Pages
Higher education news
UHR requests strategies for widened recruitment
The Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) was commissioned by the Government to map and analyse the way higher education institutions work to widen their recruitment, and have now presented the report “Can excellence be achieved in homogeneous groups of students?”. Universitetsläraren writes that “UHR notes that although higher education institutions, since 2001 under the Higher Education Act, are to ‘actively promote and widen recruitment to higher education’, the relationship between social background and transition to higher education has remained the same over the past ten years”. UHR recommends that the Swedish Government delegate the higher education institutions with the task of developing a strategy on how to promote widened recruitment and widening participation. The strategy should include both an intended work approach and objectives that can be followed up.
“Dramatic decrease of new doctoral students in Sweden”
The number of doctoral students in Sweden is decreasing. Sweden already has the most generous conditions for doctoral students in the world, and now an investigation proposes measures that would increase the costs even further, making it even more expensive to recruit new people. This is inconsistent with the goal that Sweden is to become a leading knowledge nation, writes professors at Stockholm University Rikard Forslid and Jonas Häckner in Dagens Nyheter. Both the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) and the Swedish Junior Hospital Doctor’s Association (SYLF) have protested against this proposal on behalf of doctoral students at four universities.
“A welcome map is to help refugees within higher education”
“The European University Association (EUA) has developed an interactive map for refugees. It shows, in real time, the activities that universities, organisations, and others, offer to refugees in higher education”, writes the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) in its international newsletter. The map includes study programmes, preparatory and bridging courses, financial assistance and organisations that can recognise academic qualifications. Read more here