At Monday’s meeting with heads of departments we devoted a major portion of the time to a discussion of the University’s stance on the foundation issue and autonomy and governance matters for the future. Our proposed response to the ministry’s request for comments has now been sent off to the members of the University Board in advance of the retreat next week.  The dialogue and conversations with the department heads were interesting. When we asked about topics for coming meetings, many suggestions were put forward, so we will have a lot to talk about at the next meeting with heads of departments on 19 March 2014.

Yesterday Eva started her day with a breakfast meeting at the Swedish Agency for Government Employers. The theme of the meeting was the 2013 salary negotiations, a new retirement agreement and redundancy agreement. On to the Swedish Institute and a meeting with its Monitoring Council, where Eva is a member. Anders took charge of the Vice-Chancellor’s Meeting in the morning, and later in the day we both took part in the SUHF (Association of Swedish Higher Education) Conference on Competence Maintenance.

Today SUHF is holding a national assembly, and Eva and Ann Fust are participating. Important questions on the agenda are the principles underlying our stance regarding quality issues, the operational plan for 2014, and information about responses to the round of solicited commentary on the matter of higher-education foundations. The day will start with a seminar about grading systems and resource allocation. The latter involves a directive from the Swedish Research Council to propose a peer-review-based model for evaluating quality and relevance.

A few lines following the national assembly:

SUHF’s long-term stance on the matter of a national quality system for higher education was discussed in depth. A proposal regarding a long-term position on the evaluation of higher education was approved. The overriding principles we agreed on were:

Future national quality systems for higher education in Sweden should

1) build upon a solid measure of ownership and responsibility on the part of higher-education institutions,

2) be both control- and development-oriented,

3) facilitate diversification of the aggregate offerings in higher education,

4) have international legitimacy.

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