Swedish researchers demand changes from minister

12.01.2007
Sweden‘s largest union for researchers, university teachers and doctoral students, SULF, expresses its demands in an open letter to minister of education Lars Leijonborg. More research funding directly to the universities is one demand.
SULF wants a research funding system characterised by diversity and long-term perspectives in order to secure adacemic freedom. The union is negative to too much support for certain environments, they write in an open letter to the minister.

By allocating more research funding directly to the universities SULF thinks researchers can avoid spending their time looking for funding and instead concentrate on their research. SULF also wants the resources for researcher training to accompany the government‘s goal of educating more doctors. The sharp increase in the number of doctoral students has occupied the senior researchers‘ time and the result has been weaker Swedish results in international publishing, SULF reckons.

The union also demands full employment of doctoral students, instead of scholarship engagements which do not guarantee social security for the students. In addition, SULF wants to strengthen the attractiveness of an academic career.

The letter is signed Christoph Bargholtz, chair, and Git Claesson Pipping, director of SULF.

The Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) is Sweden‘s largest union of its kind, with 20.000 members.
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