KTH criticised by UKÄ
The Swedish Higher Education Authority, abbreviated UKÄ, has directed serious criticism at KTH for shortcomings in its procedure for nominating professors.
“We have taken the criticism on board, and the decision clearly shows that KTH ought to review its employment procedures and recruitment processes. The board initiated the review back in the summer and continues to work concertedly on it. Given the UKÄ’s decision, the board will discuss whether the measures we have decided to take go far enough,” says Pia Sandvik, Chair of KTH’s board of directors.
The UKÄ decision is based on a report made last spring regarding how nominations for professorships are dealt with at KTH. The UKÄ then requested a statement from the KTH board by 1 September.
The criticism from the UKÄ primarily centres on KTH’s interpretation and application of the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance regarding nominations for professorships and the actual preparations.
The criticism mainly relates to three points according to the decision. An official nomination should be used to recruit people of special importance to the university – and not, as in this case, already employed personnel. The UKÄ also notes in its decision that the nomination procedure should be used restrictively. There should also be an expert evaluation, which according to the UKÄ decision should have been carried out in this case.
KTH President Sigbritt Karlsson had the following to say regarding the criticism:
“We have identified that there were shortcomings in the preparations, and it is positive that any uncertainties regarding how to use the nomination process have now been clarified, so that we do not make the same mistake again. The nomination process has existed and been used in a similar way for many years at KTH.”
By 31 January 2023, the KTH board must officially outline what has been done to rectify the shortcomings.
Text: Jill Klackenerg