(Original Swedish post published 19 September.)
Right now I am on my way to Uppsala from a meeting of the Principals’ Council in Stockholm. Trips to Stockholm are frequent and I am among those who can’t wait for the future four-track rail link. The meeting today was about national research infrastructure and its future funding and priorities. Other topics discussed included the current government inquiries on wider participation in higher education and the size of university boards. The EU’s ninth research framework programme (FP9) came up and I described the work of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities on the Lamy report (the report of the High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes) and Brexit. We heard a presentation on Sweden’s application for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – 19 countries are vying to host the EMA and the EU Member States will decide the issue in a vote later this autumn. The Principals’ Council, which consists of the heads of the 12 largest universities, is linked to one of our largest financiers, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW). KAW is celebrating its centenary this year with six symposia on different themes and in different locations in Sweden. The symposium here in Uppsala is entitled: “Human Progress in the 21st Century – Bright and Dark Sides of Democratization”.
At the Management Council meeting yesterday, we discussed support for collaboration, sustainable development initiatives, the inquiry on governance and resources, and rankings. We have received a report on rankings and Uppsala University, describing our position in the latest rankings and giving advice and recommendations for the future. In a few weeks we will have an action plan ready for further discussion and for the Management Council to take a position on. Regardless of what we think about the ranking lists, it is of the greatest importance that we report our data correctly so that Uppsala University shows to full advantage in these connections.
As you are no doubt aware, we are in the midst of choosing a vice-chancellor at the moment. I am one of the three candidates and look forward to meeting the consultative assembly on Thursday to show what I have achieved during the last six years, together with the other senior university officers, and to look ahead to how we want to tackle future challenges.
Don’t miss Friday’s lecture on “Human Rights in a Time of Global Insecurity” by Jan Eliasson, chair of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and former Swedish foreign minister, chair of the UN General Assembly and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. Jan Eliasson is appearing in the University’s series of lectures on human rights in memory of former Vice-Chancellor Martin Henriksson Holmdahl (1923–2015).