Words from the Management

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Focus on academic freedom

It has been a long time since the debate was as intense as now on issues of academic freedom and the role and responsibility of higher education institutions.

Universitetsdirektör Åsa Borin

New Swedish staff web marks another step in the university’s digitalisation

In mid-April, the first version of our long-awaited new Swedish staff web was launched. It is the product of an extensive effort in which many employees have participated.

Jane Reichel

Building a Faculty

At the beginning of March, the Faculty of Law was commissioned by the President to develop proposals for a new organisation for the Faculty. The idea is that a newly established Faculty Board will also fulfil the function of the Department Board. This reorganisation effort has led us to ask ourselves the question – what exactly is a faculty?

Yvonne Svanström

The difficult but important task of being head of a department

It’s a delicate task to be head of a department for a limited number of years and then return to your former role as a member of the team you so recently were “coaching”.

What is a university, actually?

After many years at various levels in the academy, I have learnt that the question has several possible answers. Especially now, with the bird’s-eye-view afforded by my new task as Deputy Vice President for human science.

New to the job – what it is like to be Deputy Vice President

It is fantastic that there are so many wise people who are prepared to step up and work for the good of the university and its academic areas.

Clas Hättestrand, foto: Sören Andersson

Thematic evaluation of collaboration

The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) is currently conducting a national thematic evaluation of education and research collaboration by the country’s higher education institutions.

I look forward to my final year as President!

I must continue to shoulder my responsibilities as President of Stockholm University and head of a public authority until my very last day on the job.

Henrik Cederquist and Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

Thank you for these six years

In a few weeks, we will be leaving our respective assignments as deputy vice presidents. These have been six interesting and exciting years in which we have not only dealt with a number of crises and challenges, but also experienced successes and joys in our faculties.

Focus on academic leadership

Leadership at a university, which is also an administrative authority, is based on those who delegate – ultimately the President – trusting that those who receive the delegation can also handle it wisely.

Clas Hättestrand

AI – still a hot topic

AI-powered chatbots are here to stay and will be one of the many tools in the academic toolbox.

Deputy Vice Presidents

Quality dialogues in progress

Since spring semester 2022, the Deputy Vice Presidents have been working with the President and Vice President to conduct quality dialogues for research with all of the university’s departments as well as with the institutes and centres that are directly subordinate to a faculty.

Balanced budget

With joint efforts, I am convinced that we can achieve a break-even result for 2023.


Focus on research basis

All students have the right to an education centred around current and evidence-based knowledge. And researchers have much to gain from their role as teacher.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding. Photo: Anna-Karin Landin.

“An unbridled evaluation landscape”

“An unbridled evaluation landscape” (Ett otuktat utvärderingslandskap), this description, put forth by Karin Röding in 2015 regarding the terrain in which universities and colleges are located, has grown wings.

Clas Hättestrand. Photo: Sören Andersson

New teacher education programme – again

Over the summer the Government has set up an inquiry to develop and reform teacher education programmes once again.

Election year at the university

Alongside our recruitment decisions, appointing people to different management positions is one of the most important decisions we make as academic leaders at different levels.

Porträtt av Åsa Borin

Premises of the future

It is now time to take the next step in the work on the university’s use of premises. The premises-related needs of all activities will be inventoried and existing conditions will be mapped out.

Clas Hättestrand. Photo: Sören Andersson

Student influence – a shared responsibility

For many of us, regular contact with the student union is part of day-to-day life and a very important component of leading and developing the university’s activities.

The assessment of what are considered sought-after qualifications can change over time

It is important to continuously review the processes for assessment of qualifications and evaluation of work efforts.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding. Photo: Anna-Karin Landin.

Joint strength within the Stockholm Trio

The Stockholm Trio starts to grow organically – collaborative initiatives between researchers at our universities want to use the Alliance to highlight our joint strength as a complete university environment.

Do not hesitate to reapply for external research grants!

There is every reason for more employees to apply for research grants – even if they have received one or more rejections.

Portraits of Henrik Cederquist, Jessika van der Sluijs, Yvonne Svanström and Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

The importance of collegial governance and faculty elections

In academia, we often talk about collegiality which can take many forms.

Deputy Vice Presidents Yvonne Svanström, Henrik Cederquist and Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre. Photo: Ingma

Focus on quality and good subject knowledge in teacher education

Teacher education remains a joint responsibility of Human Science and Science.

Increased demands on administrative skills

We need to be careful not to over-administer various processes.

Clas Hättestrand. Photo: Sören Andersson

Quality dialogues as a development tool

The quality reports from the academic areas and associated dialogues are extremely valuable because they provide direct insight into the practical quality assurance procedures.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding. Photo: Anna-Karin Landin.

Measures to manage the new AI tool

We need to review our examination forms, where take-home exams at the beginner level, if they need to exist at all, need to be supplemented with other types of examination that preclude the use of AI tools.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

A new government, a budget bill, and a Tidö Agreement

We do not know many details about the policies that are to be expected, but what is clear is that the Government seems to want to redirect education and research policy in many ways.

On the question of ethical review

At Stockholm University, we will continue to develop procedures for the ethical review needed to ensure that research does not harm individuals.

Clas Hättestrand. Photo: Sören Andersson

Increased pressure to adapt education to the labour market

Universities and colleges are expected to take major responsibility by offering relevant and appropriate courses. The problem is that we cannot really predict which courses will be relevant.

Åsa Borin, universitetsdirektör. Foto: Rickard Kilström

Saving energy

Stockholm University has been ordered by the Government to take all possible and appropriate measures to save energy.

Teacher recruitment and the role of experts

The scientific and teaching expertise of the teachers lay the foundation for the quality of our education and research.

Vicerektor Yvonne Svanström i färgglad klänning

Recruitment processes – an important issue

Recruitment processes are one of the most important issues at the university. We want the best professors, lecturers, doctoral students and administrative staff.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

Student finance scheme for transition at the university

The student finance scheme for transition and retraining and lifelong learning will require commitment at all levels within the university.

President Astrid Söderbergh Widding. Photo: Anna-Karin Landin

Internationalization on several fronts

At the same time as the university pursues international collaboration on several fronts, internationalization faces major challenges.

Åsa Borin, universitetsdirektör. Foto: Rickard Kilström

Information security strengthened at the university

All employees will develop skills in information security and data protection.

Yvonne Svanström Henrik Cederquist, Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

Mentoring programmes to support the development and growth of younger researchers

Although the mentoring programmes are designed differently in the two areas, the goal is the same: to support younger researchers as they develop and grow into the role of independent teachers and researchers.

Prorektor Clas Hättestrand. Foto: Sören Andersson

Benefits of wider participation

If we succeed in broadening recruitment, we will be able to attract better students to our education programmes.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President

A new model of resource allocation to be designed in the spring

It is best to focus on the university’s overall profiling instead of a number of individual applications.

Vicerektor Yvonne Svanström i färgglad klänning

Focus evaluation of research environments now underway

The goal is to engage in a constructive dialogue about the composition of research environments and their future development.

Henrik Cederquist. Foto: Niklas Björling

Teacher recruitment, finances and a troubled world

The grant-financed activities at Stockholm University were in financial balance last year. This is of course good, but it has also meant that strategic development work, where the recruitment of teachers and other staff is important, has taken a back seat.

Åsa Borin, universitetsdirektör. Foto: Rickard Kilström

Systematic work with information security

Establishing a systematic and effective work with information security protects and secures the university's information assets.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

Now the work begins with new strategies

Our university strategy consolidates and communicates the University’s long-term vision, its core values and its overall priorities.

Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

New department will benefit both students and staff

On the first of January the Faculty of Humanities gained a new department, the Department of Teaching and Learning.

Quality assurance system for education evaluated

UKÄ’s evaluation found that the university’s quality assurance system showed shortcomings, but the overall rating was “Approved quality assurance processes with reservations”.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

The Autonomy reform – ten years later

The original purpose of the Autonomy reform was to facilitate collaboration, to provide space for qualified international academics on the boards of higher education institutions and to enable academia to take a more long-term, strategic approach to research and education.

Clas Hättestrand

How can we combat cheating in education?

The increase in cheating in higher education has been in focus in different contexts recently. Cheating is extremely serious and the University and its senior management team takes this work to combat cheating extremely seriously.

Optimisation of premises utilisation

An important part of steering towards stable rental costs is to work with how we use our premises in an optimal way.

New joint Department of Teaching and Learning

This autumn, the preparatory work to merge three education departments at the university into the new Department of Teaching and Learning has intensified.

Henrik Cederquist

Developing proposals for profile areas

A potential new system for grants for research and postgraduate education might be introduced from 2024. Higher education institutions will then be able to apply for profile areas with funding up to SEK 20 million per year for six years.

Porträtt av vicerektor Yvonne Svanström och vicerektor Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

Autumn seminars on how to apply for research grants

Researchers regularly devote substantial amounts of energy and effort to writing applications to research committees and foundations, sometimes with great success, sometimes, sadly, with poor results.

President Astrid Söderbergh Widding

Effective collaboration is the key to success

Higher education institutions often find themselves in competition – for students or research grants – but we are also partners who depend on each other.

Clas Hättestrand

Semester start

I would like to welcome all of our staff back from their summer holidays! I hope everyone is feeling rested and recharged.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

Encouragement for the future

After nearly three semesters of online teaching and working from home it felt uplifting when the recommendations from the government and the Public Health Agency were published, and the decision could be taken to gradually return to life on campus.

Yvonne Svanström

The heads of departments are central to our operations

The good news that universities will be able to return to on-campus teaching has just been announced. But what is the best way to return to in-person instruction?

Åsa Borin. Foto: Rickard Kilström

A time of waiting

This feels like a time when we are waiting for many things. Summer, but also the possibility of vaccination and a return to a more normal life after the pandemic. Another thing we are waiting for is the introduction of a new financial model and a new financial system.

Clas Hättestrand porträttbild.

Academic freedom in theory and in practice

Academic freedom has been the subject of extensive public debate during the spring.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

“Stockholm University will be at the forefront with its sustainability work”

The Stockholm University Sustainability Forum on 22 April will address the extremely topical theme ”From crisis to sustainability”.

Henrik Cederquist

Profiling of higher education institutions

In the Research Bill a new method of performance-based allocation of funding for research and research education awarded to the Swedish higher education institutions is outlined.

Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre

Language is of key importance for everyone

It is not unusual for media to portray the study of languages as exclusive interests, which only a small number of people occupy themselves with. What they are forgetting is that we use language all the time, every day, to communicate with the world around us.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

A decision has been reached on the university’s budget documentation

The University Board of Stockholm University has now made its annual decision on the university’s budget documentation. President Astrid Söderbergh Widding writes under the subject line “Words from the University's Senior Management Team”.

Clas Hättestrand porträttbild.

Evaluations – a burden or a boon for quality?

The University is currently undergoing an evaluation of its activities on a scale never previously witnessed. This begs the question of whether it is worth all the time and effort. Will our work really become so much better as a result of being reviewed to this extent?

Foto: Ingmarie Andersson

With eagerness and an open mind, I start my new assignments

Being appointed the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Deputy Vice President (one of two) of the Human Sciences is a great honour, and I am humbled by the trust you have placed in me.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

Autonomy and freedom key issues for the future

As we approach the end of 2020 nothing is like usual. Institutional autonomy of higher education and academic freedom are now more important than ever, issues that have been questioned during the year.

University Director Eino Örnfeldt

Need for systematic development of working environment and equal working conditions

For most of us, the past year has seen a drastic change when it comes to where and how we conduct our work.

Stockholm Universitys three deputy Vice Presidents Henrik Cederquist, Astri Muren, Elisabeth Wåghäll

Being a doctoral student during the pandemic

In the autumn of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, as we planned our research, teaching and much else to handle during the year, in no way could we have anticipated that our travels would soon halt or that we would rarely meet our colleagues irl (in real life).

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