News: Apr 20, 2017
Today, Thursday April 20, the Swedish Government appointed Eva Wiberg as new Vice-Chancellor for the University of Gothenburg. She assumes office July 1.
– I’m delighted that the Swedish Government has approved the University Board’s choice, says Cecilia Schelin Seidegård, chair of the board.
Eva Wiberg grew up in Rome and her research concerns bilingualism and learning a second language. She is a professor in Italian and since 2012 Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Lund University.
Why did you want to become Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gothenburg?
– The University of Gothenburg is actually the only university, apart from Lund University, that I would consider becoming the Vice-Chancellor of. The two universities have very much in common, such as a similar organisation, and both are universities that cover nearly every scientific area.
What challenges do the University face upcoming years?
– Important challenges are of course the refugee situation, and the role of the University in that, and a sustainable society - these are issues where the University of Gothenburg already has made its mark. But in times of fact-resistance and populism, the university has a particularly important mission to stand up for what is scientifically established and point out what is not. We have to safeguard the broad university with its eight faculties. We face at the same time challenges such as research infrastructures funding and allocation of resources for research, education and cooperation, not at least considering the research bill that was presented last year. The directive on increased internationalisation puts a light on how important the internationalisation is to Swedish universities in an increasingly global world.
What will you first focus on when you assume office?
– I will have to get to know the university and understand its specific role in the city and in the region, and its relationship with the business sector. It’s going to be very fun to visit the faculties and departments, and my aim is to meet as many employees and students as possible. It is also important for me to meet the deans during this spring. And the collaboration with Chalmers is important and I know Stefan Bengtsson very well since his time in Skåne.
What is your view on the relationship between line and collegiality?
– It is a balance. Issues that have to do with the exercise of public authority should be handled in line, and I think that collegiality is an important success factor in the academy, as well as student influence.
You were once a successful heptathlon competitor. Is this something that can be of use in your work as Vice-Chancellor?
– Yes, I have learned to focus at one task at a time, without letting go of the overall aim - I think that can be of value for the Vice-Chancellor of a large university.
Photo: Johan Wingborg