During 2013-2014, developmental work will be under way at the University of Borås. Vice-Chancellor Björn Brorström set the work in progress at the start of 2013 when he presented a proposal for a new organisational structure. Here are further details regarding the background to the work.
Conditions for higher education have been beneficial for a long time. The funding cap has been raised and educational activities have expanded. Major additions of research resources have also been injected into recent research propositions. Even if most of these investments do not directly concern or benefit the University of Borås, the research propositions still represent greater opportunities.
On the other hand, resource development in terms of education is more ambiguous and problematic. The recent budget propositions have led to withdrawals and redistributions that have impacted on the allocation of resources. The University has managed well but a situation where the number of 20-year-olds is decreasing and will be less in 2020 is a challenge. In order to maintain and maybe even expand the scope of the University's educational activities, an attractive and high quality range of education is required, together with a large number of applicants who select the University of Borås as their first choice.
The University's goal
The goal of the University of Borås is to be a complete and autonomous (independent) 60:40 higher education institution where the focus is on the student. The University shall offer education of a high quality at first, second and third-cycle level. The quality of the education will be ensured through pedagogic expertise, through its connection with research and through a well-developed collaboration with external organisations and other higher education institutions. In this way, conditions will be created whereby the University will be able to meet the demands and expectations of its motto: Science for Profession.
Long-term stability and operational quality require a balance between education and research. A development of the current situation, where education accounts for 80 per cent of the University's operations and research for 20 per cent, to a 60:40 scenario is both desirable and a matter of some urgency. For this to happen, external research financing levels must increase. More research means larger research environments and this in turn means better opportunities for connecting research with education, whilst our research excellence is promoted simultaneously. All in all, this lays the foundations for being an important part of a third university in western Sweden.
Developing a strong brand
A high quality of education is the platform for happy students, new students and a large number of first choice applicants. High quality education and research leads to a strong brand value for the university and for those units that are responsible for the education or research in question. The development of a strong brand is also supported by the manner in which the institution is presented and profiled.
Taking the next step
The University of Borås has developed in a positive direction towards the goal described above. The goal has been clarified over time, at the same time as funds for achievement of the goal have been identified and made available. For the University to take the next step in its development, the current organisation must be tested against a new alternative that can better meet external conditions and the internal goals that we have formulated.
The following are important general qualities for a higher education institution in the University of Borås's situation:
- Profiled education, so that we are an attractive HEI for current and future students
- Profiled research, so that we are attractive to buyers and financiers
- Optimisation of our business connections
- Complete academic environments
- Environments that have a low level of vulnerability and that use resources efficiently
- Institutional management that is strategic and in touch with the external world
- Strategic management and direction of our core operations
- Strategic management and direction of our support operations
- A balanced economy
- Our collegial influence and structure is maintained
- A strong brand
In order to be able to stand tall as an autonomous HEI, the University must prepare itself to adapt to new external conditions and to navigate towards the goals that it has set for itself. To achieve this, strong third-cycle education, increased external research financing and a strong brand are required, together with an organisational structure that promotes collaboration, reduces vulnerability and which is resource-efficient.