Salome Adam, co-president of actionuni, participated in a discussion with Prof. Aguzzi from University of Zurich on the misuse of power and mobbing at universities. Some real cases are reported but also ways are discussed of how pressure in research can be mitigated without compromising scientific quality.
Today, actionuni der Schweizer Mittelbau publishes its position paper (pdf German / pdf French / pdf English) on the promotion of young researchers at Swiss higher education institutions. The position paper was drawn up jointly with all members and unanimously adopted at the last delegates’ meeting.
Florian Lippke, former Co-President of actionuni and member of the Swiss Accreditation Council, commented: “We are aware that every university faces different challenges and that some are already considering approaches to improve the conditions for young scientists in their institutions. However, we know that there are fundamental problems in the Swiss higher education area for non-professorial academic staff, which we must tackle together.”
Our positions in a nutshell:
- Career diversification at all types of universities and alternative careers are needed to give young researchers multiple perspectives for their future.
- Professional human resources management will support the separation of administrative from scientific responsibilities.
- Double profile research/practice is seen to be of value for all types of universities, not only Universities of Applied Sciences.
- Transparency and career advice are needed to guide young researchers early on through the jungle of academic and non-academic careers.
- Strengthening of flat hierarchies and inclusive work models will enable us to share scientific responsibilities among all members of the team, from graduate students to professors and chair-holders.
- Minimal research time and fair employment conditions reflect that research is work and must be paid.
- Compatibility of scientific careers with family and other obligations should be self-evident as universities are role models for other employers and society as a whole.
- Participation rights are guaranteed by law and must be supported adequately
The associations of non-professorial academic staff of the University of Zurich (VAUZ) and the ETH Zurich (AVETH) have published three reports on the situation of their doctoral and postdoctoral students based on surveys at both universities.
In consultation with Eurodoc, Actionuni participated in a public consultation on how EU funds should be used in the areas of investment, research &innovation, SMEs and the single market.
We highlighted in particular the importance of a full funding of EU research programs and asked the EU to:
- Increase budget of FP9
- Support Open Science for researchers
- Support career development of researchers
- Fund research into mental health of researchers
You’ll find our complete answers here (PDF)
It is not very common for actionuni providing a voting recommendation on political topics which do not concern the scientific staff at first sight. But since the no-billag initiative does have direct and indirect influence on higher education institutes and the scientific staff, actionuni clearly recommends voting no in the upcoming no-billag initiative, as (inter alia) the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and the fh-zh do.
Further arguments as well as a profound statement can be found here.
On 5 April 2017, the NZZ has published an extensive dossier on the situation of the non-professorial academic staff in Switzerland. Co-president Florian Lippke took part in a dispute with swissuniversities president Michael Hengartner; co-president Andrea Tamas via telephone interview gave additional positions on the situation of the non-professorial academic staff at Universities of Applied Sciences and Universities of Teacher Education. The full dossier can be found here.
Young researchers at the University of St. Gallen will give themselves a new organizational structure. A telephone interview by the responsible journalist from the St. Galler Tagblatt with Florian Lippke gave us the chance to welcome these new developments and to stress the importance of well-defined conditions for the researchers who are actively involved.
The article can be found here.
Just before the discussion on the mass immigration initiative in the parliament, actionuni co-president Andrea Tamas gave an interview to the German radio station Deutschlandfunk. She stressed the relevancy of the ratification of the Croatia protocol within the timeframe given by the EU to not loose association to the European research program Horizon2020.
The short broadcast can be found here.
actionuni has given feedback to the proposed financing scheme within the HFKG. For Universities of Applied Sciences, the model 85/15 is preferred unanimously, implying a moderate shift towards giving research a higher importance. Among the members of the universities, no clear consent was reached which financing model should be used.
A second feedback was requested regarding the topic of a simplified second accreditation process for universities, which have passed a first accreditation without obligations. actionuni supports the position of the Swiss Accreditation Council to postpone the decision whether and how a simplified accreditation process should be implemented until 2019 once more experience about the new accreditation system has been gathered.
Das SBFI schlägt eine Revision der “Verordnung über die Ergänzungsprüfung für die Zulassung von Inhaberinnen und Inhabern eines eidgenössischen Berufsmaturitätszeugnisses zu den universitären Hochschulen” vor, die es neu auch Inhaberinnen und Inhabern einer gesamtschweizerisch anerkannten Fachmaturität den Zugang zu den universitären Hochschulen ermöglicht.
actionuni begrüsst die vorgeschlagene Ergänzung.