Guild of Research Intensive Universities lanseres 21. november i Brussel

Den 21. november lanseres det nye universitetsnettverket Guild of Research Intensive Universities i Brussel. Universitetet i Oslo er ett av medlemmene, og som styreleder i nettverket har jeg en klar ambisjon om at The Guild vil gi oss en sterkere stemme når EUs rammeprogrammer utformes. Alene er UiO liten, men sammen med likesinnede, grunnforskningssterke universiteter fra hele Europa kan våre synspunkter nå fram.

Når ambisjonen er at Norge skal hente ut en betydelig andel av midlene som legges inn i Horisont 2020 må vår stemme høres når prioriteringene gjøres for den tematiske delen av rammeprogrammet. Stemmen fra UiO og de andre medlemmene i The Guild vil si tydelig fra om at Horisont 2020 og det neste rammeprogrammet må ha et langt videre perspektiv enn kortsiktig økonomisk gevinst. Kvalitet og grunnforskning må ligge i bunnen, og innovasjons- og infrastrukturprogrammene må innrettes slik at potensialet i forskningsintensive universiteter utnyttes fullt ut. The Guild vil også arbeide for at samfunnsfag og humaniora ikke blir salderingsposter i en anstrengt europeisk økonomi. Den innsikten disse fagene gir oss, er viktig i seg selv, og mer enn noen gang trenger vi språklig og kulturell forståelse på tvers av landegrensene. Det er denne forståelsen som bygger tillit, holder markedene sammen og som kan skape den internasjonale samhandlingen som trengs for å møte de globale utfordringene som Horisont 2020 så fortjenstfullt er opptatt av.

The Guild vil ikke være i konkurranse med – men komplementært til - andre og større nettverk, slik som European University Association og UNICA (Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe) som UiO er – og fortsatt vil være – medlem av.

The Guild vil også være I front I forsvaret av akademisk frihet og institusjonell autonomi. Det som nå skjer i Tyrkia, aktualiserer universitetenes "femte samfunnsoppdrag", slik det er formulert i § 1-5.i Universitets- og Høyskoleloven: "Universiteter og høyskoler skal fremme og verne akademisk frihet." I mitt innlegg under Universitets- og Høyskolerådets konferanse i går gjenga jeg det som Terence Karran ser som de fem største utfordringene for akademisk frihet.

Academic Freedom: Future Challenges

  1. Employment Rights: tenure has been abolished, and short term contracts are on the rise.
  2. Governance: greater managerialism is undermining academic governance
  3. Need for Research Impact: leads to short term projects, concentration of research income, writing papers not books, and undermines the value of teaching.
  4. Students as “Customers”: altering students’ and parents’ expectations - h.e. is now a “product”
  5. Rationale for h.e.: emphasis on economic value of h.e. for both students and society, negation of the personal, intellectual and cultural values of h.e. 

I tillegg til disse utfordringene kommer det overordnete målet om å hindre fremveksten av autoritære regimer som kveler både akademisk frihet og de andre frihetene som karakteriserer et velfungerende demokrati.

Her er en uttalelse fra The Guild i forbindelse med lanseringen 20. november:

Guild says Universities are key to addressing deepening divisions and disaffection  in Europe  

The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities is a new network of universities whose mission to public service goes back to the foundation of Europe’s very first University in Bologna, in 1088. Since then, Universities have never been ‘ivory towers’ of experts, seeking to exist in perfect isolation. As generators of cutting-edge research and innovation, we have always been unique curators of knowledge:

  • From Students to Citizens: We teach our students to be scientists and critical thinkers, but we also encourage them to take responsibility as volunteers, entrepreneurs, and interns. We also train teachers, social workers, and so many of the other professions that have a critical role in fostering citizenship and critical public engagement.
  • From Citizens to Students: We have pioneered new learning, reaching new students through Massively Open Online Courses and other forms of distance learning. And we constantly have a huge breadth of engagement with students, from secondary school though to evening classes.
  • Across Generations: As major employers in all the regions of Europe we engage all age groups and social groups in unique ways. We foster free debate on our campuses, inspire through exhibitions and showcases, and stimulate through plays, concerts and debates.
  • Across Cultures: Universities are international places of learning, not least helped by Erasmus Plus. They are living laboratories of how we can better develop intercultural communication and understanding which lasts a Lifetime.
  • Across all faiths and none: universities are an important source of discussion around norms of ethical behavior, as we seek to relate our new, scientific knowledge to the norms and values of our communities.
  • Across all of society: Our universities bring new perspectives to refugees; help students from disadvantaged social backgrounds succeed; drive local economies within and beyond Europe’s economic heartlands; and work to ensure that an ageing population shares the benefits of Innovation.

Recent elections and plebiscites have provided rich evidence of stark societal divisions, with cultural, social, economic and generational divides reinforcing each other in Europe and Beyond.

As Universities, we must:

  • Infuse new passion and excitement for critical argument, learning, and the pursuit of truth – wherever this may lead us.
  • Use our rich talent pool of students, academics and alumni to develop ever new forms of communication and argument.
  • Take seriously the concerns of those that are disaffected and feel left behind. We are challenged to engage, listen and learn about their concerns and anxieties, and work with them to find new solutions.
  • Learn from each other, using our rich experience – for instance, in fostering social mobility –  as a resource to be shared.

Read the entire statement at The Guild's webpage

Mitt innlegg i Dagsavisen om stemmen i Brussel

The Guild of European
Research-Intensive Universities - Member universities

  • Aarhus University
  • The University of Bologna
  • Ghent University
  • The University of Glasgow
  • The University of Göttingen
  • The University of Groningen
  • Jagiellonian University (Krakow)
  • King's College London
  • University of Louvain
  • University of Ljubljana
  • The University of Oslo
  • University of Paris Diderot
  • Radboud University
  • University of Tartu
  • The University of Tübingen
  • Uppsala University
  • The University of Vienna
  • The University of Warwick

More about the members

The Guild Webpage

Publisert 18. nov. 2016 07:35 - Sist endret 18. nov. 2016 13:58
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