Academic Integrity, Japanese Sustainable Ageing – and Conferment of Doctoral Degrees!

How does the University of Gothenburg deal with academic writing, academic integrity and issues related to plagiarism? Well, the way we see it, these types of issues are largely a matter of education. In the week of 10–14 October, we had the opportunity to talk about this when vice-chancellors from Serbia, the Serbian deputy minister of education and representatives from the Council of Europe and its anti-corruption unit visited the University. All guests were given a broad picture of how we handle these issues, the different roles of the actors involved and how we work together to create a university that is leading the nation in academic integrity. Sonja Bjelobaba from the Pedagogical Development and Interactive Learning unit, who also has Serbian roots, played a key role in the meetings and gave an overview not only to the guests but also to the staff members who attended the seminars.

One result of the meetings is that we will continue to arrange gatherings within the University for discussions about academic integrity. In addition, we received a positive response from the Serbian delegation in that they would like to use the University of Gothenburg’s resource in the area of academic integrity as a starting point for creating something similar for all universities in Serbia. They also want to develop other forms of collaboration, so needless to say, it was a fruitful meeting!

MIRAI – Connecting Swedish and Japanese Universities through Research, Education and Innovation
The first MIRAI seminar, with Japanese and Swedish higher education institutions collaborating in research, education and innovation, with a focus on younger researchers and PhD students, was just held in Lund. The intention is to strengthen the cooperation between our countries. Seven Swedish and eight Japanese universities participated: the University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, Uppsala University, Umeå University, Linköping University, Chalmers University of Technology, Lund University, Hiroshima University, Hokkaido University, Kyushu University, Nagoya University, Sophia University, University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology and Waseda University.

STINT, which co-funds the Swedish part of MIRAI, participated as well, together with representatives from the Japanese and Swedish ministries of education, research funders and others.

Researchers, including PhD students, participated in the seminars, which had three general themes: ageing, sustainability and materials science. One special topic was the major research facilities Max IV and ESS and their counterparts in Japan, who would like to see continued cooperation in the future. In addition, it turned out there is a particular interest in innovation issues, and thus, a special group, for which the University of Gothenburg acts as convener, will form a task force with an aim to develop initiatives that will strengthen the collaboration between academia, business and industry and other actors in society.

Next autumn, seminars will be held in Japan, and a variety of workshops will be arranged throughout the year. Young researchers and PhD students are invited to participate in these. Read more at

By the way, are you interested in launching a project within higher education and research that may strengthen the relations between Japan and Sweden? Then you may want to apply for funding from STINT or Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ), because next year they will arrange a special call for grant applications in connection with the 150-year anniversary of Sweden’s diplomatic relations with Japan. Read more at:

Time for the University’s Biggest Ceremony
As vice-chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, every week is full of interesting events. But this particular week ends with something extra special. Today, Friday 20 October, it is once again time for the Conferment of Doctoral Degrees, the University’s largest ceremonial occasion. As the University’s new vice-chancellor, it is not only a great honour but also very important to confer all of these doctorates in a wide range of disciplines that in various ways will benefit the future of our country.

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