Annual Report and budget documentation adopted
Outcomes in competition for research grants and more international students remain good. On 20 February, when Uppsala University’s Annual Report for 2018 was discussed in the University Board (Consistory), the conclusion was that the University was continuing to develop well. At the meeting, it was also decided which student unions are to represent the students over the three-year period ahead.
During the year, to boost skills provision, the University applied for permission to introduce the European Charter and Code (the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their Recruitment, which give individual researchers uniform rights and obligations throughout the EU). The number of employees has risen slightly (to 7,108), as has that of newly admitted PhD students, while the number of students remains stable (24,534 in terms of APEs, i.e. “annual performance equivalents”, a measure of the University’s educational output). There was a rise of some 30 per cent in the number of fee-paying students, to 617 APEs. Students travelling abroad in exchange programmes made up the highest total for five years, but the number visiting Sweden declined. Seven new study programmes began at Campus Gotland during the year, in such areas as sustainable visits and sustainable management of cultural heritage. Further new study programmes at the University are planned. For the third year in succession, there were fewer students receiving education than the number corresponding to the funding cap. There are still saved APEs corresponding to SEK 45 million.
During the year, the University’s regional, national and international cooperation was consolidated. Internationally, this included expansion of research and educational activities in Vietnam and development of new collaborations with South Africa and Japan. The U4 international university network (Ghent, Göttingen, Groningen and Uppsala) celebrated its 10th anniversary during the year and, jointly with the University of Tartu (Estonia), is to apply for a pilot project in the European Commission’s European University initiative. Regionally, an agreement with GE Healthcare in Uppsala, for example, was concluded to give students and researchers experience of industrial processes.
“Uppsala University’s development is positive and stable, and there’s a lot to be pleased about when the annual figures are added up. The fact that more international students are choosing to study with us is gratifying and important for the quality of the education and for our study environment,” says Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson.
“But we can’t rest on our laurels. There are also challenges that are beyond our control but crucial for Swedish universities’ continued success. In our budget documentation for the Government, we’ve identified areas that need attention in the years ahead.”
In the next three years’ budget documentation for the Government, the University calls for a greater focus on Swedish universities’ independence, and also an increase in block grants. In addition, the University emphasises the need for an investigation to establish the best ways of prioritising, funding and governing national research infrastructure, and the need to facilitate international collaborations. On the education side, the University’s demands include raised amounts of remuneration in engineering and natural sciences study programmes, and in other programmes with a high proportion of laboratory work.