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Swedish union rejects research audits

Sulf, the Swedish Association of University Teachers, has said that it opposes a proposed research evaluation exercise as a means to distribute funding to universities.

The Swedish research council Vetenskapsrådet proposed the FOKUS model in December 2014, following a request from the government to come up with a means of increasing national research quality. In a consultation response published on 7 January, Sulf opposes the system saying that it will place unacceptable pressures on institutions, as they require the stability of government block-grants to plan for the long term.

Under the FOKUS system, research excellence and impact would be evaluated through academic peer review every six years, with the results used to direct 20 per cent of university block-grants. At present, this money is allocated using metrics, including publication and citation records, and the amount of external funding won.

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