The University of Gothenburg Receives Record Grant Amount

Yet another intense week has passed and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Mattias Goksör and I are feeling increasingly comfortable in our new roles. Needless to say, there are many new things we need to become familiar with and we must also get to know a lot of new people, but what’s most important is that everything feels right, and it certainly does.

The past week has been packed with various internal and external activities, ranging from a University Board meeting and a strategy meeting with all the Deans and Heads of Departments to the Book Fair, Swedish Prince Daniel’s visit and the 100-year anniversary of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

Last week, the Swedish government presented its autumn budget. As for the University’s education, the budget bill earmarks additional funding amounting to SEK 17 million for three years that we will be able to use to expand our courses and programmes. In order to make use of this money in the best possible way, we’re going to carefully analyse where they will make the most impact. We will also receive funding for the admission of 46 full-time summer school students next year. As for our research, the free basic funding will increase by SEK 25 million. This is based on quality aspects, which is great. We will analyse the outcome and develop a plan for how to distribute the money within the University. Another positive thing is that the government’s quality investment of SEK 30 million/year in the humanities and social sciences will continue at least until 2020.

Overall, the bill indicates that the government’s investment in higher education will continue, and it’s great news that the spending on the humanities and social sciences will continue after 2018, as short-term injections tend to be ineffective.

Additional information about national funding came through the Swedish Research Council, which within the framework of the national research infrastructure investments awarded funding to three units connected to the University of Gothenburg: the Swedish National Data Service, the Swedish Language Bank and Evaluation Through Follow-up. All three units are nationally important research infrastructures.

We were just informed that the University will receive a record amount of SEK 188 million in research funding from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The amount is one-third of the Foundation’s total project funding for 2017. It will go to five different projects in the fields of medicine and natural science and will be paid out over five years. Thursday, we coincidentally celebrated the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation’s 100-year anniversary with a symposium titled Metabolism – The Foundation of Life, hosted by the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. I think Peter Wallenberg Jr. and Göran Sandberg, president and executive director of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, as well as Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Göran K. Hansson, were happy with the event. Many thanks from us at the University of Gothenburg!

Another thing that happened Thursday was that this year’s Göteborg Book Fair opened its doors. The theme this year is Bildung and cultivation, and on the opening day I participated in a panel discussion on this topic. Jonsered Manor arranged the event and the attendees were treated to a colourful discussion on the concept of Bildung and cultivation from a number of different perspectives. Quite cultivating in itself, in my opinion. The University of Gothenburg’s booth attracted a lot of people interested in listening to short lectures on the Dead Sea scrolls and other topics.

Eva Wiberg

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