In 2013, around 50 international experts assessed 28 research subjects and seven research centres at Mid Sweden University. When ARC13 (Assessment of Research and Coproduction) was done, it was done properly.
The initiative for the assessment of Mid Sweden University’s research was taken during the development of Mid Sweden University’s Research Strategy for 2012-2016. The assessment was partly financed by the Knowledge Foundation and the preliminary work was done together with the University of Skövde and Halmstad University. For the assessment, some 50 international experts were recruited from all over the world – from the academic world, trade and industry, and the public.
Step one was to have all the units that would be assessed – 28 research subjects and 7 research centres – do a self-evaluation. They described and analyzed their environments, strengths and weaknesses, finances, the utilization of their research, etc. The self-evaluations were then sent to the international expert panels.
Step two was having the expert panels visit the university for a week in November of 2013. They visited all three campuses and met with representatives for the subjects and research centres. At the end of the week, everyone gathered for discussions and feedback.
Step three was for the expert panels to send a detailed report to each of the 35 assessed units.
– The assessment has proven extremely valuable to us. Among other things, we noticed that some units needed to improve their internationalization, that we needed to get better at picking up talents, and that we need to strengthen the development of local research strategies. After the assessment, Mid Sweden University decided to set aside SEK 100 million for an action plan to make the research develop according to the research strategy, says Professor Håkan Wiklund, who is also the Deputy Vice-Cancellor and responsible for the implementation of the research strategy.