University submits research bill input
Major investments are required in the area of research and research infrastructure if Sweden is to retain its position as a leading knowledge nation that can contribute to development and a sustainable world. Further, policy should be designed to benefit quality and to guarantee university autonomy. These are the main points in Uppsala University’s input to the government’s forthcoming research policy.
In 2020, the government is expected to present a new research bill aimed at securing Sweden’s position as one of the world’s foremost countries for research and innovation and a leading knowledge nation. Higher education institutions and other actors have been invited to submit input ahead of the bill. Uppsala University’s input, which was sent to the government today, insists on the need for investments amounting to an extra SEK 3.5 billion. The University emphasises the importance of university autonomy, quality and a long-term political perspective.
“We currently face major societal challenges that demand new solutions to complex issues. Research is more necessary than ever. It creates the power for change and development in society and enhances our preparedness for the future. Major investments are needed for high-quality research and for the research infrastructure that is needed for implementation. This is a key issue for the future,” says Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson.
The document describes aspects of research policy that the University considers important in order to give higher education institutions the best conditions for achieving objectives and identifies key priorities:
- Give HEIs favourable conditions
- Strengthen research of the highest quality and relevance
- Develop national and international research infrastructure
- Prioritise higher education for the sake of a wellqualified labour force.
The priorities for the increased budget should be:
- An increase of SEK 1 billion in direct government funding, without cofinancing requirements, while guaranteeing project funding via the Swedish Research Council.
- SEK 1.5 billion for research in the form of new strategic research areas to meet national and global societal challenges.
- SEK 1 billion for research infrastructure, e.g. SciLifeLab.
The University’s input has been formulated on the basis of contributions from the disciplinary domains and students’ unions, in a process coordinated by the Management Council. A draft has been circulated internally for comment and has also been discussed by the University Board, at a Vice-Chancellor’s seminar in the University Main Building, in the Academic Senate and at a meeting with deans. The final text was approved by the University Board.