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LiU to review humanities field and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Education at LiU in the humanities has been characterised for several years by economic challenges and falling applications. The vice-chancellor has therefore decided to appoint a committee of inquiry to investigate possible initiatives and the direction of future education and research. At the same time a continuation and deepening of a previous review at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will look at, among other things, the departmental structure.

Bild: Roger Klinth, prorektorLinköping University and many other institutions of higher education in Sweden have seen falling applications for certain educational programmes and courses within the humanities. Despite initiatives from the departments involved, and extra resources from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Educational Sciences and the vice-chancellor, the negative trend has continued. This has led Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun to decide to set up an inquiry to review operations.

The inquiry is to propose new possibilities and solutions to increase the drawing power for prospective students, and create new programmes and courses that are more in phase with contemporary social challenges.

“It is important for the inquiry to identify our strengths, and it must explore new and unconventional pathways, as we have always done through the years at LiU,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor Roger Klinth.

He continues: “We want to see suggestions for how we can work in multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary ways in new contexts. The inquiry is to be seen as an opportunity to find new pathways for education and research within the field.”

Bild: Karin Axelsson, dekan filfakKarin Axelsson is dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She is looking to the inquiry to find solutions used at other institutions of higher education.

“The inquiry can present examples of new programmes that have been introduced at other universities. It seems that we all have similar problems, but the solutions we adopt may be different.

I’m sure that collaboration between different programmes and disciplines can increase. Subjects in the humanities can be relevant in many different fields, and contribute to us solving the challenges society is facing,” says Karin Axelsson.

A large part of undergraduate education in the humanities are the teacher-training programmes. This means that the inquiry will have profound significance for the future of educational sciences at LiU.

Bild: Jörgen Nissen, dekan utbildningsvetenskap“Humanities and teacher training depend on each other. A powerful community of scholars in humanities firmly anchored in our time strengthens teacher training,” says Jörgen Nissen, dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences. “I am looking forward to the results of the inquiry.”

The inquiry is to present its final report and proposals by 15 October.

“Of course it’s important that the proposals have been thoroughly examined and discussed, but at the same time we must start things happening as soon as possible,” says Deputy Vice-Chancellor Roger Klinth. “Many of the instances involved are struggling with a difficult economic situation, which places strain on both management and co-workers. It is important that we can unite around a new vision. Once this vision has been established, we must of course start the long-term task of building stable operations.”

“The vice-chancellor in setting up this inquiry is making it clear how important we consider the humanities to be for LiU. These subjects are a central part of our university,” Roger Klinth concludes.

Leading the inquiry is Jörgen Tholin, pro vice-chancellor at Borås University and previously university director at the University of Gothenburg and vice-chancellor Gotland University College.

Bild: Johan D Söderholm, dekan medfak The vice-chancellor has also set up a continuation and deepening of a previous inquiry into education and research at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. This will continue the work done by the inquiry into changes in the subject of care sciences carried out by LiU’s previous director of education, Lars Rydberg.

“The new inquiry will also present proposals for the future departmental structure within the faculty. The subject of care sciences involves, directly or indirectly, all three departments in the faculty. The inquiry must listen to the views of several instances involved, in order to come up with a well-grounded proposal. This will give the best conditions on which to base the development of our education and research and good balance between our campuses,” says Johan D Söderholm, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The inquiry is also to propose other organisational changes that can be made to ensure a high standard of education and research. Leading the inquiry is Diana Berggren, professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and previously dean in the Faculty of Medicine at Umeå University. Lars Rydberg will assist in the inquiry, which is to present its final report and proposals by 15 October.

Björn Stafstedt 2018-03-08

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Last updated: 2018-03-12