Operational focus 2015-2018

SULF’s operational focus is based on SULF Vision 2030. Before each congress period activities are specified and prioritized for the following congress period. All parts of SULF (SULF associations, professional sections, the union and the HQ) base their operations on the operational focus adopted for the relevant congress period.

Priority areas during this congress period are:
1. Employment conditions and career paths
2. Teaching
3. The influence of the profession

Of course, many other issues will clamour for attention during the congress period, but the purpose of assigning priority is to focus operations when it comes to developing strategies, implementing or supporting studies, advocacy and lobbing in different contexts. The Board transforms these goals into concrete activities in annual plans of operation.

In its intelligence analysis,  SULF has used the following points of departure:

Which higher education policy issues are on the government’s agenda and which of these issues will our central counterparties invest their efforts in?

Which social issues will affect higher education during the next congress period?

Which are the urgent political issues, and which issues can we see developing over the next three year period?

What issues do our members expect us to work with?

What issues are so long term that it takes several congress periods to achieve our objectives?

What issues are communicable towards a wider audience and thus provide us with journalistic space?

Are there educational policy issues SULF must work with from a recruitment perspective?

Annual Reports:

Read more about SULF operations:

Download and read the SULF:s annual report for 2014 (in Swedish only)
Download and read the SULF:s annual report for 2013 (in Swedish only)
Download and read the SULF:s annual report for 2012 (in Swedish only)
Download and read the SULF:s annual report for 2011 (in Swedish only)

SULF as an advocate and opinion builder

SULF conducts extensive advocacy operations. These include contacts with Government, MPs, university and college managements, media and people at universities and colleges. SULF is also involved in the political week at Almedalen and organizes seminars and debates on higher education issues.


Cooperation with unions in other countries is crucial to ensure academic freedom, good working conditions and the professional autonomy of university teachers and researchers worldwide. SULF collaborates with a number of other unions in different parts of the world in order to both influence developments in the higher education sector in Sweden and to fulfil the objectives of SULF international activities.

With the aim of influencing the development of higher education and research at global level, and in order to access relevant knowledge, SULF is a member of Education International (EI). This is an umbrella organisation for unions in the areas of education and research, from preschool to university levels. EI has 401 member organizations in 171 countries and is organised by continent. Together EI represents 30 million members. A congress is held every four years.

The European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) represents the European level of EI. ETUCE is also the European unions’ specialist federation for training. ETUCE represents 11 million members in Europe. Work with higher education and research is coordinated by a committee, the Higher Education and Research Standing Committee (HERSC). HERSC meets regularly twice a year. In recent years, issues related to the Bologna process and also the economic crisis have received increasing attention. EI cooperates via ETUCE on higher education and research with the EU, the Council of Europe, OECD, UNESCO and ILO. SULF is represented in HERSC and the working groups involved in the dialogue with the Bologna Follow Up Group (BFUG) and the EU.

Networking on the Nordic level is particularly important in order to influence policy and decision-makers in Sweden. For several years, the Nordic university teacher unions have met at an annual conference, the Nordic Meeting. Here, experiences are exchanged and issues discussed: practical issues such as working conditions and salary levels, political issues dealing with education and research, and professional issues such as collegiality and governance. These meetings also form a platform for networking and bilateral relationships between the Nordic university teacher and researcher associations.

SULF’s Nordic sister organizations:

DM in Danmark
Forskerforbundet in Norway
Háskóli Íslands in Iceland

Finnish university teachers´ unions:
Universitetslektorernas Förbund

Other organizations (guest membership agreements)
Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) in Ireland
University and College Union (UCU) i Storbritannien

AAUP Career Center

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