The external Committee on Education at SLU suggested a reorganisation of the education at SLU. The investigators propose that a new central organisation is created that takes a collected grip on the range of programmes and courses and also the economy. Concentration and refining of the educational options to the unique areas of SLU, and clearer entry points into the education programmes are further recommendations that the committee delivered to the Board of SLU on 6 November 2012.
The Board of SLU didn't take position to individual proposals on 6 November, but supported the overall recommendations that are analogous to the SLU Strategy. The investigation ”On the Education at SLU” will first be discussed within SLU, among staff and students. This work will be managed by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Undergraduate studies, Lena Andersson-Eklund. She will then take the subject to the Board of SLU on 18 December.
The Committee on Education at SLU:
• proposes that SLU to move the two programmes Veterinary Nursing and Animal Ethology from campus Skara to campus Ultuna;
• proposes that the Equine Study programme should be concentrated to one Campus, preferably in Strömsholm, both for easier administration and for the benefit of the student social environment;
• proposes SLU to merge the two programmes in Landscape architecture to one location in Alnarp, keeping and further developing the two profiles. This will make the education more cost-effective and clear to the students and employers at the same time;
• proposes SLU to define the different degrees in Forest Science more clearly, to keep the Forest Management programme, 180 credits, in Skinnskatteberg, to develop the cooperation between different campuses to avoid overlapping courses and to strengthen the research profiles in the programmes.
Central Education Board
The Committee’s main advice to SLU is to change the structure of the university by forming a Central Education Board, chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor. This Board is strategically responsible for the quality of education and also for setting budgets for each Programme Board. These four Programme Boards should be set up to work within the strategies and budgets set by the Central Education Board. They will be responsible for the design of the study programmes under their domain and detailed budgets. In this set up the Programme Boards purchase education from departments that are responsible for the actual teaching.
SLU needs to become ONE university, even if located in many campuses. SLU needs to have common practices with regards to education system and evaluation, as well as financing and budgeting.
The Committee on Education at SLU:
• proposes SLU to establish a clear delegation of responsibilities from the top management level (SLU Board) via the Central Educational Board (chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor) to Programme Boards, which need to be set up to take overall responsibility for a cohesive set of study programmes. This delegation should be independent of the Faculty boards and include responsibility for the education budget as well as for the overall education offering;
• proposes that SLU keeps and enhances its profile as the leading university with close ties to the management of natural resources and land use, rather than diluting its programmes further into other adjacent fields or into more basic studies;
• proposes SLU to develop and design its educational programmes with a focus on the students learning outcomes and competences;
• proposes SLU to create a “student exchange window” of at least one semester within each programme. SLU must also adopt a more flexible and tolerant view to-wards recognition of courses taken abroad to promote increased student exchange. The courses at Master’s level should be taught in English;
• proposes SLU to look at the course portfolio and reduce the number of courses offered across the whole university by making sure that different student groups are taught in the same course when possible.
• proposes SLU in the short term to focus on Bachelor’s programmes with a professional profile as well as the professionally oriented longer programmes, while the general BSc- and MSc-programmes are by-products to these programmes. Further, to develop a programme in the direction of Food and Nutrition, instead of solely Food Technology, including health aspects of nutrition. In the long run a science oriented BSc-MSc structure may suit SLU better and this issue should be subject of evaluation in each strategy period;
• proposes SLU to develop a professional programme in the energy and environmental sector, based on knowledge and experience that are unique for SLU. The two existing programmes in engineering should not be presented as a part of the SLU programme offering since SLU is not formally responsible for them.
The Committee on Education at SLU are:
• Associate Prof Janerik Lundquist, former Chair of Board of Education, Linköping University, Chair of the Swedish Bologna Expert Group.
• Prof Jan-Olov Höög, Dean of Higher Education, Karolinska Institute
• Prof Trine Hvoslef-Eide, former Deputy Vice Chancellor of Education, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
• Prof Pim Brascamp, former Dean of Education, Wageningen University
• Prof Marketta Sipi, Dean at Faculty of Agricultural Science and Forestry, University of Helsinki
Janerik Lundquist has been the Chair of the Committee. Kristina Julin, Division of Strategy and Planning at SLU, has assisted as Secretary to the group.