Comments were officially solicited last week regarding the governmental memorandum “Higher-education Foundations – A New Operational Form for Enhanced Freedom of Action”. Comments were supposed to have been sought last spring and, for that matter, this spring as well. But now notice has finally arrived, just in time for summer and vacation. This is an important issue, and we want to take plenty of time to go through our comments about the memorandum and to ponder the suggestions put forward. Therefore, together with representatives from other higher-education institutions, we will be asking for extended response time, until New Year’s, instead of 10 October. Even though we will not be addressing the matter of whether Uppsala University intends to become a higher-education foundation in our comments, the issues surrounding the foundation form are so important that we want to have a thorough discussion before we submit a response to the Ministry of Education and Research regarding how the proposal is formed.
Briefly, this is what it is about (excerpted from the summary):
Against this background it is proposed in this ministry memorandum that the Foundation Act (1994:1220) shall be amended to include regulations for a particular new form of foundation called a higher-education foundation. The purpose of a higher-education foundation must be to carry out higher education and research at a high level in an international perspective. The proposed operational form increases the freedom of action for higher-education institutions. It thus offers higher-education institutions more flexibility in dealing with changes in the surrounding world, both today and tomorrow. A higher-education foundation constitutes a legal entity in its own right that can acquire rights and assume obligations in the same way that other legal entities can. Further, a higher-education foundation can receive donations without any constraints and can manage them for various purposes. Moreover it can determine on its own when this property is to be disposed of.