(Original Swedish post published 5 March.)

It’s Sunday and I have a moment to look back at the past week and ahead at the week to come. On Friday we inaugurated CEMFOR – the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism. Rarely does an initiative feel as relevant as this one. Six different faculties are behind the initiative, which is welcomed by researchers on racism throughout Sweden. A first national conference was held last autumn, on the theme: “What is research on racism and what are the challenges facing us?” This initiative is part of implementing our Research Strategies 2016–2020.

This week we took the opportunity to congratulate Lund University once again when they had a jubilee supplement in the newspaper Dagens Industri – you can see our message in the picture below. It reads as follows: “Dear Little Sister, On the occasion of the present 350th anniversary, we would like to convey to all the learned women and men of the famous University of Lund the hearty congratulations of our Royal University of Uppsala. With our warmest wishes, Your Big Sister (Now you are as old as our stables.)” We received a prompt reply in a fax addressed to “Dear Big Sister”, inviting us to various seminars and commenting that before long, we will be as old as their street! With a teasing attitude and a warm heart on both sides, we can both joke together and work together. Congratulations to Lund University on its 350th anniversary!

This week we met the other half of the people who will be chairing the Q&R17 panels and panel members chosen for their research on or other expertise in research environments. It was a useful afternoon – Anders Malmberg and his staff explained and discussed the design and purpose of this evaluation and how it differs from the more traditional research evaluations we have conducted previously. The full panels will be visiting us in May.

The programme for the coming week includes a visit from the Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University to discuss augmented collaboration. Since the Brexit vote, we have seen increased interest in collaboration on the part of British universities. On Wednesday I will discuss this very issue at an IVA seminar entitled “Brexit – what will be the impact on research and higher education in the UK and Sweden?”  How are British higher education institutions preparing for life outside the EU?  What will the impact be on cooperation between higher education institutions in the UK and Sweden?

Tomorrow a group from the Liberal Party will be visiting us and on Tuesday the research funding body Forte will be here. These will be good opportunities to talk about research policy and future challenges. And last Friday we had a meeting with municipal leaders, as we do about twice a term. This time we talked about housing, a visit from Tartu, our joint project Esmeralda, and an upcoming study on a possible Science Centre. These kinds of dialogues are important for us.

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