It is time for the weekend again and we have put another week behind us. Spring had to step back for a while, but will soon be back. This week we have had a meeting with the Management Council, where the issue of infrastructure took a large part of the meeting. We will take a greater responsibility in this matter going forward. Each higher education institution is to identify research infrastructure that can be considered of national interest from their own areas of strength. Suggested research infrastructure may be existing, under construction or planned. Joseph Nordgren has been instructed by the Vice-Chancellor to work with the infrastructure issues at Uppsala University in the past year, and he will lead the process of developing our priorities in consultation with the departments.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Education and Research has been in contact with the Swedish higher education institutions regarding increased student capacity for 2015. This will primarily lead to more places on the degree programmes for teachers, specialist nurses and midwives. We expect to receive further information on this subject early next week.
Our meetings and conversations continue, both individually and in groups. We met about 50 of our department heads last Wednesday, and the next scheduled department head meeting is on 15 October . Next week we have among other things a visit to the Department of Physics and Astronomy on the agenda.
Now we wish you all a great weekend!
There are always a number of ongoing meetings of all sorts at our university. Today we had the EU Commissioner László Andor on a flying visit, invited by Joakim Palme at the Department of Political Science. Commissioner Andor, responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, has in the past year gone on the offensive against the growing social imbalances within the EU that followed the global financial crisis. He has launched a strategy for action that in different ways could strengthen the social dimension of the European Union.
His visit to Uppsala University began with a breakfast meeting with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and a dozen researchers and students with an interest in EU affairs. After a brief tour of the Museum Gustanavium, Andor held a speech entitled ‘The Social Dimension of the Internal Market’.
Yesterday we had a visit from the President of the Moldovan Parliament, Igor Corman. He was here with a delegation of Members of Parliament at the invitation of the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Per Westerberg, and visited the Ångström Laboratory and Uppsala Innovation Center.
At Ångström, professor Kristina Edström presented our center for battery research, and showed our visitors the current research on lithium batteries and fuel cells. Professor Peter Lindblad presented the section of Biomimetics, and talked about our research on renewable energy.
Anders Malmberg and Igor Corman.
Peter Lindblad at the Ångström Laboratory.
This week it became known that three prominent researchers at Uppsala University were awarded grants through the Research Council’s new program ‘Grants for Distinguished Professors’. Materials physicist Olle Eriksson, the genome researcher Kerstin Lindblad-Toh and the evolutionary biologist Hans Ellegren are to receive grants of approximately 5 million euros per year for a ten year period. The purpose of this initiative is to give the best researchers in Sweden the possibilities to concentrate on their research. They should be given opportunities to plan ahead and take risks – and to achieve innovative research. It is very gratifying to see that researchers at Uppsala University received as much as three of the nine appropriations in this special initiative.
We have also greeted another eminent scientist at Uppsala University this week, namely Robert Cardiff who gave this year’s Göran Gustafsson Lecture. It was a well-attended lecture under the theme “Redesigning the Foundation for Clinical Research”.
Last Thursday we were also informed about the government’s new initiative for higher education. Higher education in Sweden will expand its student capacity by 10,000 places, where most of the new places will be added in various types of teacher education programmes. The expansion will take place gradually, and the government will come back with further information regarding how the places will be distributed. It is a positive sign that the expansion of higher education is back on the agenda, but it would have been even better if the institutions themselves had control over the distribution of the new places.