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Malmö University – a future with a focus on sustainability


A landmark transformation for Malmö University on January 1, 2018 will see increased funding for research and a strong focus on sustainability with an aim to place it as a global academic model.

Last June the Swedish Government announced its research policy bill, and with it an increase in its budget for Malmö University.  In response, the university has delivered a document to the government with a declaration of intent on what future direction it plans to take. 

Malmö University’s Vision

The vision of Malmö University includes high-quality education and research conducted in collaboration with society, and thus to contribute to knowledge for sustainable societal development. It also highlights its role in identifying and defining important and future societal changes. 

Four target areas are identified as part of the vision for the forthcoming development of the university. 

  • Balance between research and education 
  • Research-related, high-quality education
  • Coherent and enriching academic environments 
  • Multidisciplinary doctoral programmes and doctoral schools in areas relevant to society  

Kerstin Tham“Malmö University is to become a global model for how academia can play an active role in sustainable development,” said Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham.

Funding and status

To achieve these aims it will strengthen research and research training, partly through increased external financing and researchers being awarded more time for their work.

The funding comes in light of a significant status change due to come into force on January 1, 2018. While internationally the institute has enjoyed ‘university status’, within Sweden it was a ‘högskola’, meaning it lacked the authority to issue general qualifications at postgraduate level, but could still award degrees at research level in limited areas.

It will now gain greater independence and receive more funding for research and doctoral programmes.

Among other priority initiatives is the continued development of a university-wide innovation environment, including an expansion of research infrastructure and business support. In this respect, Malmö University would like to start up its own innovation offices and ability to start a holding company.

For society, part of society

“The university has over the years developed a profile that is characterised by global engagement, community involvement and a multidisciplinary and challenge-based approach in education, research and collaboration. Widening participation and expanding inclusion in higher education is an important part of the institution's democratic community involvement that enriches the diversity of the academic culture and learning,” commented Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham.

Text: Adrian Grist

Last updated by Amanda Malmquist