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“This will go down in the history of the county of Halland. It’s a milestone for us and it means so much for our seat of learning,” says Vice Chancellor Mr. Romulo Enmark after having been given the good news.
The decision that Halmstad University is entitled to examine doctoral candidates and to conduct independent researcher education programmes gives the University a new status.
“This is one of the most important events, if not the single most important event, in the University’s history. Halmstad University now becomes something else. A small, specialised university, even though in Swedish we will proudly retain our designation “högskola”. Our level of attraction as a research institution will increase. I’m sure that we will find it easier to attract prominent researchers and lecturers in the future,” says Romulo Enmark.
According to the Vice Chancellor, the most important thing is that these rights now give the University a stable foundation for continued work to raise its profile. Halmstad University will become a seat of learning that through its special activities will be known in international contexts.
It was this March that the University submitted three applications to the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education for the right to issue doctoral degrees. A right that has previously been reserved for universities and colleges with so-called scientific areas. However, the government has now allowed other seats of learning to apply for rights to issue degrees within a limited profile area, and Halmstad University was the first to do this.
Halmstad University’s new right to issue degrees covers two of three areas applied for: Information Technology and Innovation Sciences.
To issue degrees at researcher level means that the University can now independently – without any assistance from other seats of learning with such rights – educate researchers and issue doctoral degrees within the profile areas of Information Technology and Innovation Sciences.
“We already undertake a lot of researcher education programmes, but we’ve needed to obtain assistance from other colleges and universities in the formal areas relating to matters such as practical guidance and researcher education plans, and of course the actual examination. Now we can set up our own organisation for this based on our own conditions and in a way that is in line with our profile,” says Mr Romulo Enmark.
The Vice Chancellor also believes that students consider the possibilities of continuing their studies at advanced and research programme level when choosing a university. It can also be hoped that in future the Research Council and other financiers will see even more of Halmstad University.
”Our status is increasing. It’s no secret that it is seats of learning with these kinds of conditions that benefit most when funds are allocated”.
The University also submitted a third application relating to the field of Health Sciences.
“Unfortunately this was rejected, with the explanation that the area is not sufficiently clearly demarcated and that the component parts do not support one another in a sufficiently convincing way. But this isn’t necessarily the end of the story, quite the reverse. After the summer we’ll start work on drawing up a new application once we’ve analysed why we were rejected,” says Mr Romulo Enmark.
This historical event also has internal organisational consequences for the University. A faculty board organisation will be set up to take care of such matters as the administration and organisation of the researcher programme.