At Wednesday’s meeting of the University Board, the annual report was on the agenda and it was time to sum up 2018. As always, there is much to be proud of at our University!
The number of applicants per place remained high in 2018, indeed, more qualified applicants applied to Uppsala University than to any other higher education institution in Sweden. Our international Master’s programmes continued to attract more students – the number of students admitted in the autumn was nearly 20 per cent higher than in 2017. Campus Gotland continues to develop. This year we celebrated the fifth anniversary of our merger and we have more students on campus than ever. Many international students have found their way to Visby, where several research initiatives have been launched.
Work on sustainable development has intensified during the year. Uppsala University Sustainability Initiative (UUSI) was launched and will develop a number of multidisciplinary research platforms. Our collaboration agreement with Uppsala Municipality was revised to focus on sustainable urban management. The University had a successful year in the competition for funding from the Swedish Research Council’s open calls. Thirty-two projects won approval from the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 and we received several grants from the European Research Council (ERC).
Our various networks are foregrounding the role of the university in the world and in 2018 we prepared an application for the pilot round of the European Universities Initiative, together with the U4 network and the University of Tartu – an important strategic initiative to position ourselves in Europe. The joint application will be submitted at the end of February and we can expect a decision at the end of the summer. The year also featured productive meetings in the internationalisation projects SASUF and MIRAI, in which we are working with other Swedish higher education institutions to strengthen contacts with counterparts in South Africa and Japan respectively. We were represented at conferences, meetings and fairs in every corner of the world, and the world came to us as well. UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited Uppsala in April to give a well-attended Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture.
Project 2050 started during the year – a project on planning for our spatial development. The ground was broken for the extension of Ångström Laboratory, a project that aims to enhance the creative interdisciplinary environment for research and education in natural sciences, engineering and information technology. So as I have said, we had an eventful year to sum up and also noted that 2018 was the year in which our income broke the SEK 7 billion mark. The budget input for 2020–2022 that will form the basis of our upcoming dialogue with the Ministry was discussed and approved. Internal Audit had several reports on the agenda and the government inquiry on governance and resources was presented to the University Board members. In my Vice-Chancellor’s report, I concentrated on the skills supply project we are now starting – I will have more to say about this project in the blog later in the spring.