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Newsletter from the University management 3 May

On the management’s agenda

LU Open: “It is all about clarity, sustainability and the long-term view”

The staff at LU Open have written an opinion piece in the regional newspaper, Sydsvenskan, about restructuring within LU, whose implications include the closure of LU Open. The University Management has now responded to the article, writes the Vice-Chancellor in his blog. The reply states that restructuring is very difficult, and that the reason for the closure is not related to staff having done a poor job – on the contrary – the reason is a serious deficiency in the organisational positioning of LU Open. The office is part of the administration and not the faculties and departments, which is where the students and researchers engaged by LU Open are. “The decision is all about clarity, sustainability and the long-term view ­– something that benefits all those involved, both within and outside Lund University”, writes the Vice-Chancellor together with Pro Vice-Chancellor for external engagement Bo Ahrén and University Director Susanne Kristensson.

“We will have a gender-equal sector”

The gender equality issue has been very much in the spotlight since a member of the Green Party refused to shake hands with a female TV reporter. “This has developed into a crisis for the party and led to a heated debate throughout the country. For me, it is a given that public authority representatives like myself and politicians in parties that stand for democracy and gender equality treat and meet women and men in the same way”, writes the Vice-Chancellor in his blog. He also questions how good LU is on gender equality, in a sector with considerable differences between men and women in career terms. The Vice-Chancellor has been assigned by the University Board to draw up objectives for how the University is to achieve gender equality by 2020. The proposal for how to achieve this is to be presented to the University Board in June. “Gender equality applies to the whole foundation of academia – to pave the way for equal opportunities for everyone to realise their dreams”, writes Torbjörn von Schantz, who adds that gender equality will become a parameter regarding funding.

“International collaboration strengthens the economy”

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Eva Wiberg represents LU in global matters and is very involved in internationalisation issues. “I believe society improves from more of these meetings – that’s what drives me. I see the benefits of having as many people from LU as possible be given the chance to broaden their horizons – researchers, administrative staff and students”, says Eva Wiberg in the latest issue of LUM. She considers that global challenges and shrinking EU financing necessitates deeper collaboration with carefully selected international partners. Read more on the LUM page

LU news

LU rises in environmental rankings – but is still not certified

LU is ranked No 33 of 185 assessed public authorities and No 8 of 27 higher education institutions in the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s rankings of public authorities. This is a dramatic improvement on last year’s ranking at No161. However, the University has not yet gained environmental certification.

Students pay their respects to the Vice-Chancellor on 1 May

In accordance with tradition, the Lund University students’ union president pays respects to the Vice-Chancellor every year at noon on 1 May. The president pays respects with a speech on the steps of the University’s main building and the Vice-Chancellor then makes a speech in reply.

Higher education news

Swedish government aims for open access from 2025

From 2025, research publications and artistic works that are financed by public funding are to be published in a way that makes them freely available. That is the Government’s aim, says Eva Stensköld, Desk Officer for the Division of Research Policy at the Ministry of Education and Research in an interview with the online research magazine Curie. One of the important issues that needs to be addressed in a transition to open access concerns qualification for, and allocation of, research funding. Many of the journals that have the highest “impact factor” are subscription-based. Eva Stensköld says that it is important to switch publication systems. “It requires sensitivity and above all a willingness to cooperate from all those involved – researchers, financiers, universities and publishers. […] Parallel publishing could be necessary during a transition period”, she said.

MOOCs are popular in developing countries

In developing countries, 49 per cent of participants in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) gain a certificate for completed courses, and a further 30 per cent complete courses without receiving a certificate, writes the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF) in its international newsletter. These are far higher figures than in the USA and other developed countries. Read more

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