Annual report: Positive trend continues but investments are needed
Uppsala University’s annual report, which was adopted by the University Board today, reveals a well-run economy and successful operations. However, in its budget submission for the coming three-year period, the University underlines what will be required to maintain the positive trend.
“We are on the right track, we have a lot to be proud of, but having said that, it’s important to emphasise that we have to continue to develop in line with operational needs if we want to maintain our position as a leading research university,” says Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson.
The annual report shows that the University’s economy and operations are well managed. Turnover increased by SEK 285 million last year, the number of students went up by six per cent and the number of international fee-paying students increased by 35 per cent. The educational targets are being met, the proportion of Master’s-level students is increasing as planned and the number of newly admitted PhD students is also up. Moreover, the accumulated agency capital is being steadily reduced, as planned. This means that these funds are being put to use as intended, in research and education.
As regards targeted educational places in the areas of healthcare and teacher education, the goals have not been fully met. One of the reasons for this is the difficulty of finding internship places.
“This is something we have struggled with for a long time and that is beyond our control. Health care providers, for example, have difficulty freeing up time for supervision and as a result it is difficult for us to educate more people, much as we would like to do so,” says Åkesson.
In its budget submission to the government, Uppsala University emphasises a number of issues. One of the points is that the funding per student needs to increase. For a start, the ‘productivity deduction’ – the standard deduction for efficiency gains that applies to government appropriations to all state authorities – must be removed. It is unreasonable to apply efficiency gains to learning, since students do not learn more quickly now than in the past. In addition, increased direct government funding for research is needed, free of demands for co-financing, to ensure that universities are able to take their own initiatives and to strengthen preparedness in society for currently unknown future challenges.
“We also underline the importance of a national strategy that clarifies responsibilities, priorities and long-term financing for research infrastructure. (enbart Gotlandsmedier: Furthermore, we stress the importance of making funding for the development of Campus Gotland permanent.) We have said this before, and now we are doing so once again in our budget submission. We hope this will be a major focus in the upcoming research bill,” says Åkesson.