Editorial

The economy is tightening

It’s never nice to talk about finances when it’s getting worse. Unfortunately, the economy will be tighter in the future.

The Corona pandemic has so far entailed several extra expenses for UiB, which are now distributed among the faculties according to the size of their basic grant. Since the Faculty of Medicine is one of the largest faculties, we therefore get one of the biggest cuts in the budget for the next three years. Our faculty takes most of the bill, but some is distributed among the departments, also here according to the size of the basic grant. For K2, this means a cut of approx. NOK 2.2 million annually for the next three years.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Upon its departure, the Solberg Government served a major cut for all universities in Norway. A change in pension financing means that the university and college sector will no longer pay pension costs as a fixed percentage of the salary base but will pay for actual pension costs throughout the year. Together with some other measures, more than a billion kroner will be cut for the universities as a whole. Unfortunately, the new Støre Government has not only sustained it, but rather increased it. This is a permanent cut in the basic allocation to the universities. That means a weakened economy for K2 in the years to come. We will try not to withdraw positions and look for other ways to reduce costs. And then there is the issue of increasing our revenues: external financing is becoming more important than ever. So, get on with the applications. K2 cheers on you!

In this new situation, it is important that we have a common understanding of the challenge and that we must stand together in this. Then there is also an opportunity to be innovative and find new solutions that can even improve our primary tasks: research, teaching, innovation and communication. And for the record: K2 Retreat 2 on Solstrand is going as planned. That will be a good opportunity to discuss across research groups, teaching groups, staff groups and organizational units – alternative and better ways of working with somewhat less use of resources.

We will make it through this! Let’s develop an even better K2.

Have a great weekend!

Pål R. Njølstad
Department Head

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