After nine years as deputy vice-rector, this summer I stepped up as Vice-Rector of the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy (Medfarm). This is an exciting challenge that I am very much looking forward to. It’s the first time Medfarm has chosen a vice-rector with roots in the Faculty of Pharmacy. I feel I enjoy strong support from the entire disciplinary domain and the first few months have more than confirmed my positive expectations of the role!
As in all parts of the University, in our disciplinary domain too, the spring was dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. I am very pleased and proud that all the staff were so committed, flexible and pragmatic in their approach at a time that brought new challenges and demanded changes in the way we taught, did research and studied. By our combined efforts, we managed to reorganise our activities in a short space of time and were able to carry out our teaching and assessment remotely. We learned plenty of lessons at Medfarm, which we will take forward as we move ahead.
A great deal is happening at Medfarm and things are moving fast. One obvious example are the new opportunities offered by this autumn’s budget bill, which increases direct government funding for education and research. A larger budget than usual shows that the government has confidence in what we are doing.
Medfarm has drawn up a joint goal for collaboration between Region Uppsala and Uppsala University, focusing in particular on arrangements for carrying out student placements. The new six-year medicine programme will start in autumn 2021 with new funding from the government, and we are launching a completely new occupational therapist programme in response to requests from the health services to meet the region’s needs.
To provide motivation and obtain a clear picture of where we are heading and why, we need a vision. The vision will build up a picture of our future aspirations that we have courage and passion enough to believe in. As early as 5–6 October, I will be gathering the domain’s staff and students for a series of workshops to work together on our vision. The challenge will be to raise our sights and aim for what is best for the entire organisation – and by that I mean both Uppsala University and the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy. All students and staff will have a chance to make their voice heard and everyone is invited to participate actively, whether in physical meetings or virtually. The workshops will be led by an English-speaking facilitator with extensive experience of similar processes at other universities in Europe.
The work on our vision is one of our most important tasks in 2020–21 and will influence our activities for a long time to come. I have invited everyone connected with the disciplinary domain to take part and get involved for Medfarm’s future! Register here: www.medfarm.uu.se/vision
Mats Larhed, Vice-Rector of the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy