Ulrika Ljungman, Head of the University Administration’s Division for Contract Education, describes the positive response from departments.

“We began our tour in May 2022 and have so far visited three quarters of the University’s departments. It’s really great that they want to meet us and discuss these issues.”

The main purpose of the tour is to make direct contact with all of the University’s departments, heads of department and directors of studies.

“We want to lay the foundations for a positive collaboration with the departments and establish a dialogue about opportunities and motivation for upcoming contract education. It’s important for all departments to know that they can easily get help from us if they are planning to implement contract education, as we are a resource for the entire University.”

Broad and in-depth expertise

Only a small number of departments work regularly with different contract education courses. The most common questions we get are about how to start up a contract education course.

“There is interest among the departments, but some knowledge is often lacking about how to get started with the process on a practical level. They don’t always have the opportunity or time to connect all the dots about contract education.”

Many also have questions about what help the Division for Contract Education can provide, external contacts, whether there is time and resources to carry out market surveys, how to look up potential purchasers of contract education, and more.

“We have broad and in-depth expertise in planning, marketing, negotiating and entering agreements, implementation, administration and follow-up of contract education. We carry out around 60 courses and programmes across a broad spectrum of subject areas each year.”

The all-important external network

Ljungman emphasises the wide range of external contacts they have built up, particularly in the public sector.

“We monitor the educational needs of the labour market and communicate the University's range of courses to professionals. We also have meetings with external clients, but in those cases we often have a concrete request to work with.”

Developing contract education is often complex and requires a lot of work in collaboration with external parties to match up the educational needs of the labour market and the often limited teaching resources at the departments.

“This always involves some risk before we can be sure that new courses will take off. The current financial and time constraints – both at departments and for us at the University Administration – also make it more difficult to take proactive steps, but many people are still positively disposed to implementing contract education over the next few years.”

Plenty of new ideas

Work at the departments has resulted in closer and more personal contact with heads of department and directors of studies. Initial contact has also been established with several departments with whom there has not previously been any collaboration.

“We have collected over a hundred ideas for courses that Uppsala University could potentially offer as contract education, if there is demand on the labour market for them. Many departments have one or more courses that can be condensed or divided up and offered as contract education. We will get back in touch with the departments each year, and this will become more frequent in cases where we proceed with the department and develop an idea for a course.”