The Vice-Chancellor’s dialogue with our senators was held under the heading of Autonomy 2.0. Now that the University’s comments regarding higher-education foundations has been submitted, it’s important for us not to allow the discussion to end. We need to keep it going. In an opinion piece in UNT, together with the vice-chancellors of the Karolinska institutet, Stockholm University, the Royal Institute of Technology and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, we demanded that the issue should be thoroughly revisited, with:

•  several well-considered alternatives presented, along with impact analyses for each

• the country’s higher-education institution taking an active part in the process

• the ultimate proposal enjoying broad political backing.

We feel that it is important to discuss greater autonomy, revitalised collegiality, strengthened academic leadership and expanded participation. The issues we wanted to highlight in the dialogue with the senators were:

• “Constitutionally protected” charter: what would it contain, how “inefficient” would it be?

• Division of power, mandates, division of labour

• Safeguards for the idea of the university and the creation of potential to move forward

• Who will ultimately represent “the university”?

The discussion shifted to a conversation with the work group handling the revision of Goals and Strategies. Several voices were heard to advocate more distinct, sharper and more challenging goals for the future.

The solicited comments on higher education and the autonomy issue also came up when Eva met with the county’s parliamentary representatives in Stockholm earlier in the week. Discussions also touched on the dimensioning of first-cycle courses and programmes, rules for visas and migration, research funding and quality assessment – all essential issues that we will continue to discuss in various forums; for example, at the retreat with the deans next week autonomy and quality will dominate the agenda and conversations.

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