The University of Borås can sum up a good 2008, with a balanced economy and a high number of applicants. Rector Lena Nordholm is in other words satisfied and look toward the future with optimism, hoping for another 500 places by 2012.
At the University’s board meeting on Monday the 16th of February the 2008 annual report was presented. The University of Borås had a turnover of 510 million SEK and a surplus of 6.5 million SEK for 2008. Its capital is now 53 million SEK.
“We are very pleased with the results and everything points in the right direction,” says Lena Nordholm.
The University’s stable economy creates good conditions for continued development in line with the University’s strategic goals. Over the next few years the board has therefore set aside 18.5 million of the capital to carry out the measures in ‘Action Plan 2008-2009 for Research and Education at the Postgraduate and Advanced Levels’.
A Boost for Research
”If I were to point to a theme for 2008 – a very eventful year – it is close at hand to focus on research. The name of the government’s proposition ‘A Push for Research and Innovation’ might well have been the title of the annual report. So writes Lena Nordholm in her introduction to the report. The University continues to profile research and has a lot going on. During the past year the research conducted was very successful and several projects received external sponsoring, most notably Smart Textiles which generated 122 million SEK in Vinnova’s big Vinnväxt Competition. The number of postgraduate students stayed roughly the same from 2007, and totaled 109.
“To our pleasure 14 defended their theses during 2008,” says Lena Nordholm.
The increase is the result of the University’s deliberate investment in postgraduate students, in order to increase the number of graduated and qualified teachers. The University also works with increasing the production of referee articles and generally increasing the number of publications. In all, 505 publications were presented, 110 of those were referee scrutinized scientifically. Lena Nordholm is satisfied with the researchers’ efforts to spread their work to the general public.
“The number of published articles steadily increases, as well as cooperation with society. At today’s board meeting a special discussion about cooperation was held, the board was informed of an action plan for carrying out science for profession in a cooperation perspective and a framework for commercialization and alternative form of operation.”
A Shift in Trends
In all, the University of Borås saw 6020 full-year students and 4800 full-year completions in 2008. The number of graduations during 2008 was 1500, which marks an increase from 2007. The greatest increase however, was in the number of applicants, up 20 per cent from 2007, an additional 6332 applications. The demand for education in design, caring, technology and social sciences was the greatest.
“We know that there is great foreign interest in our education, which is why I can’t really take the number too seriously. Real stats are visible only when they come to the University of Borås. A lot of foreign students come to Swedish universities because we have no fees,” says Lena Nordholm, who still thinks internationalization is important and contributes to a good student life.
“We also see that the number of applicants for education in Western Sweden is increasing, and that there is potential in our education. They get people jobs,” adds Karin Cardell, head of administration at the University.
That aspect is important as Borås is applying for another 500 places up to 2012.
“We see a general increase,” concludes Lena Nordholm.