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A STRONG PRESSURE TO CHANGE The welfare state under financial pressure Globalised economy Universities as a growth instrument The unique role of universities.

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Presentation on theme: "A STRONG PRESSURE TO CHANGE The welfare state under financial pressure Globalised economy Universities as a growth instrument The unique role of universities."— Presentation transcript:


2 A STRONG PRESSURE TO CHANGE The welfare state under financial pressure Globalised economy Universities as a growth instrument The unique role of universities as ”knowledge producers” challenged Increased demands to adapt challenge academic core values Traditional forms of governance challenged

3 2007-2010 2009-2012 2011-2012 UNIVERSITY BOARD TERM

4 Decision by the University Board Vision conference, management meeting, breakfast meetings

5 Focus on tomorrow’s GU High quality in education, research and cooperation with the surrounding community Clear civic engagement Increased internationalisation

6 Focus on complete environments GU shall be characterised by complete environments and close links between research, education and cooperation Strong educational environments shall be able to develop their research and strong research environments shall have an educational responsibility For quality reasons, researchers shall become more involved in first-cycle education. All teachers shall, as far as possible, have research or development work included in their job descriptions. Cooperation with the surrounding community shall be a natural part of both research and education

7 ResearchEducation Cooperation Contract education External lectures Life-long learning Degree projects Placements Programmes Bildung Entrepreneurship education Freestanding courses Contract research Putting research to practical use Meeting places Communication Collaboration projects Centres of expertise and research Research projects Research environments Attitudes, equality Doctoral education Research links Internationalisation

8 Education at the University of Gothenburg The University of Gothenburg spends about 60 percent of its Government appropriation on education. Some of the University’s programmes have among the highest applicant-per-place ratios in the country. The strategic plan for 2011-2012 provided that the University of Gothenburg would remain a large university in terms of education but that it should not be further expanded, to avoid asignificant imbalance between education and research. In 2011-2012 all educational programmes are being evaluated (BLUE 11) with an aim to increase the quality of the University’s education.

9 Preliminary conclusions GU shall be a broad university characterised by diversity and high-quality education. Broad programmes provide many alternative entrance points for students. There is no conflict between being broad and being specialised. Breadth helps us identify talent. We must dare to give extra attention and resources to students who show engagement. GU should try to emphasise certain specialised programmes in its profile. We are currently focusing on breadth at the master’s level and need to prioritise. GU has no specific responsibility with respect to the regional labour market; rather, it is an international university – that is how we contribute the most to the region.

10 Programme or course university? The University of Gothenburg has expanded by adding a number of vastly different programmes over the years. Besides traditional academic programmes, the University offers both vocational programmes closely linked to the needs of the labour market and freestanding evening courses. The programmes have increased at the expense of freestanding courses – by ten percent over the last 15 years – and the evening courses have been reduced by half over the same period (from ten to five percent) The demand for alternative forms of education is increasing – for example distance education.

11 Preliminary conclusions GU shall continue to offer a large variety of freestanding courses. This is in line with the University’s responsibility to promote life-long learning and a high level of general knowledge and skills in society. GU must also respond to the student demands for clearly defined programmes that target various professional areas and that add profile to the University’s catalogue of courses and programmes. GU shall develop models to integrate programme courses and freestanding courses. Courses delivered in alternative formats relying on digital technology shall be offered, for example distance education.

12 New models to strengthen teaching and learning? The PIL unit at GU has built up a basic programme for teaching and learning in higher education and a supervisor programme, and has also started a number of pedagogy projects. Uppsala University has a pedagogic academy and a teaching career ladder in place. Lund University enables teachers to apply to have their teaching competence assessed. These measures are linked to a special salary raise at both universities. Workshop discussions have addressed what this means for the career ladder up to Docent/Reader.

13 Preliminary conclusions GU shall actively develop its teaching and learning activities by continuing to build on its pedagogy unit, with an aim to increase the overall quality of the provided education. A pedagogical academy should be established and the assessment of pedagogical qualifications must be given more attention. The possibility to introduce a special academic career path should be explored. It shall be possible to develop teachers’ pedagogical work based on science. GU should develop good pedagogical environments instead of focusing on individual teachers.

14 How can the internationalisation of GU’s education be improved? The University of Gothenburg aims to be an international university. While the research is clearly very international, we are not there yet with our education. Potential measures include: Increase the international elements in courses and programmes. Develop more courses taught in English. More international programmes at the advanced level. Increase teacher and administrator mobility. Increase student exchange activities. Improve the infrastructure with respect to for example housing and other services for incoming students

15 Preliminary conclusions Long-term efforts to identify the steps necessary to strengthen the international profile must be commenced immediately. Increased teacher/administrator exchange activities is an important step to gain more international impulses. GU should create incentives to stimulate educational environments focusing on internationalisation. GU should focus on a smaller number of international advanced programmes with a high level of attractiveness instead of great breadth.


17 Research at the University of Gothenburg Both national and international research policy has become increasingly focused on competition between environments and higher education institutions. Examples of this include an increased performance-based funding, stricter requirements regarding profiling of top-level research and larger research-related initiatives. There are many signs that GU as a research university slowly has become less competitive on average, at the same time as the research evaluation RED 10 indicated that we have at least ten world-class research environments. RED10 points to a severe lack of external recruiting and clear career paths.

18 Preliminary conclusions GU shall strengthen its research – it is necessary in order to remain competitive and constitutes the base for high-quality education and cooperation with the surrounding society. Independence in research is important. High quality requires that the research is determined based on the criteria of the scientific community. The universities have the best prospects for mono-disciplinary basic research, and mono-disciplinary initiatives increase the chances for innovative interdisciplinary research. World-class research is what benefits the surrounding community in the long run. There must always be room for externally funded applied research.

19 Breath or specialisation? RED10 showed that GU has great breadth in its research, while at the same time the level of very advanced research is high. A total of 103 research environments were evaluated in RED 10. Twenty-eight were found to be very strong (outstanding, excellent) and twenty-two were labelled as weak (good, insufficient) Several of the weak environments are very strong in education.

20 Preliminary conclusions GU’s strong research areas must be developed further. Incentives for renewal efforts and external, broadened recruiting must be created. Broad research is critical to the ability to develop advanced specialised research. GU must actively prioritise research, for example to identify new areas and research belonging between established disciplines. Research that strengthens GU’s first-cycle education is important for profiling purposes, not least to create complete environments.

21 Research norms A study of the research culture at two GU faculties showed that the following statements are typical expressions of the current norms and have negative effects on the recruitment of young researchers. Research is a calling – you cannot become a successful researcher unless you are constantly thinking about your research. If you re not ready to sacrifice your social life for your research, you should not consider an academic career. In order to become a successful researcher, you have to work abroad for at least two years of your academic career.

22 Preliminary conclusions GU shall be an attractive place to work, where staff and students treat each other with respect. GU‘s norms of competition may reduce its attractiveness, and must be discouraged. The student environment shall be stimulating and inviting. All environments for research and education shall maintain high standards with respect to gender equality and equal treatment in general. GU shall demonstrate zero tolerance for non-compliance with basic ethic principles of research and education.


24 Education and cooperation at GU Education is an important part of the University’s cooperation with society at large. Examples of cooperation include:  Professional education and training in close cooperation with the labour market.  Parts of programmes and freestanding courses with clear links to working life.  Degree projects conducted in collaboration with non-academic actors.  Contract education.  Alumni contacts.

25 Preliminary conclusions GU shall involve alumni in all of its education. The alumni’s experience is an effective link to the labour market and increases the quality of the education. The number of adjunct teachers shall increase. GU shall offer elements of programmes and courses with clear links to the labour market. On request, students should be offered mentors from relevant areas of working life.

26 Research and cooperation Cooperation is a prerequisite for complete environments. Making research useful is very important for – for example – the public sector, businesses and industry, and politics. The cooperation task includes provision of information about the University’s activities, cooperation with the surrounding community and promotion of putting research to practical use.

27 Preliminary conclusions GU shall continue to develop meeting places (such a centres of expertise and research) for experts from various disciplines and knowledge areas in cooperation with the surrounding community. GU shall work strategically to manage knowledge assets in relevant research environments and shall make resources available to facilitate utilisation of research findings.


29 Focusing on the vision An international university that provides education, research and cooperation of high quality, and that makes a difference in society.

30 Action plan, three-year rolling. Yearly assignment linked to budget.

31 Seminar BLUE 11 15 March UB 14 June Final discussion UB 6 September Decision University Board (UB) 13-14 March Discussion Seminar: vision, leadership and work environment 28 March Vice-Chancellor’s management meeting 10 April Vice-Chancellor’s breakfast meetings SO, WHAT’S NEXT? UB 26 April Discussion


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