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Nordic Rectors’ Conference

21 maj

Governance for a reasonable autonomy: In search of a balance between autonomy and control

  • Time and place

  • Date: 21-22 May 2019
  • Place: Uppsala University, Campus Gotland, Visby, Sweden

Autonomy lies at the very heart of what a university is. To be able to think for yourself, to seek out the truth, however inconvenient it may be, to speak that truth to power, these are the bulwarks of a university in its mission to help individuals realize their potential and to build a better society. And yet all of them, in different ways, are under threat.

No institution can be totally autonomous, as long as someone else foots the bill. And yet, to be able to speak truth to power, a university must have a reasonable autonomy. Scholars and teachers have a range of loyalties to balance but few doubt that both research and education will be better in the long run if they are run autonomously by the scholars and teachers themselves. The autonomy of students to follow their passion in learning has been severely circumscribed in past decades and their educations atomised and instrumentalised, many would say. Can the mantras of employability and accountability once more be balanced by the principles of bildung and self-creation?

In these days of huge global challenges – to the climate, to democracy, to the entire Enlightenment project – the university has a central role to play. To identify the forms of governance best suited to supporting that role, a vital discussion needs to be deepened among university leaders in the Nordic countries - countries that other parts of the world often look to as examples of how to sustain growth both in the economy and in the welfare of all their citizens. To further this discussion and to widen our own knowledge of the issues at hand and how they are being dealt with by our neighbours, the NUS extends a warm invitation to take part in this year’s conference.

We look forward to meeting you and hearing your views in Visby. Your participation is important!


21 May: Flights from Arlanda Airport to Visby: 18.00. Flights from Bromma Airport to Visby: 16.25, 17.40

Shuttle buses and taxi available at the airport.

22 May: Bus shuttle from campus to Visby Airport: 17.15. 

Fligths from Visby Airport to Arlanda: 19.10. Fligths from Visby Airport to Bromma: 19.30


Rooms in Visby are reserved. At registration, mark which hotel you want to stay. Each participant pays for her/his room.

Scandic Visby, Färjeleden 3, Prize: SEK 1090 (single)/1190 (double), breakfast included (30 rooms) (www.scandichotels.se/visby)

Donners Hotel, Donners Plats 6. Prize: SEK 935, breakfast included  (17 rooms)  (www.donnershotell.se)

Hotell Slottsbacken, Visborgsgatan 1. Prize: SEK 935, breakfast included  (8 rooms) (hotellslottsbacken.se)

Hotell Visby Börs, Mellangatan 17. Prize: SEK 935, breakfast included  (5 rooms) (www.visbybors.se)

Conference dinner

21 May: The conference starts with a dinner Tuesday evening at 20.00 at Värdshuset Lindgården, Strandgatan 26 (www.lindgarden.com). Drinks will be served from 19.30.


22 May: Start at 8.30, ends at 17.00. Uppsala University, Campus Gotland, Cramérgatan 3, Room B25-27. Map: https://www.campusgotland.uu.se/about/maps


Registration fee

SEK 1 600 (Excl. VAT, SEK 2 000)


For any kind of questions, please contact Lars Alberius, +46 8 32 46 04, SUHF office