Uppsala University, Sweden

Month: August 2017

We welcome our students

Uppsala is reawakening from its summer slumbers as the city fills up again with students. Tomorrow I will welcome the first-year students in the newly renovated University Main Building. Yesterday Anders welcomed our record number of international students there, in a packed Grand Auditorium. On Monday it will be time to welcome the students at Campus Gotland. The housing situation is always a bit tricky at the start of term, and I am grateful to everyone who has heeded our appeal to rent out a room for a short or longer period.

Work is in full swing, with meetings here in Uppsala and in Stockholm. I have met my Stockholm colleagues in the Stockholm–Uppsala University Network (SUUN) and had meetings to discuss SciLifeLab. Next week several international visitors are coming from China, Vietnam and the United States. Now it feels as if we’ve got going again properly after our summer break. One thing that makes the beginning of this term feel extra special is our move to the Segerstedt Building. The local paper UNT has run several reports on the move this past week and as I said in the interview there, I’m particularly pleased that being in the new building will give me a chance to meet many more colleagues and students every day. Next week, on Friday 1 September, we are having an official opening ceremony to which everyone in the University is invited – an opportunity to open our new home to our colleagues in the faculties and departments. On Culture Night on 9 September, the Segerstedt Building will be open to the general public. Our vision is and has been a building where we can work together, a welcoming building, a building for meetings, support and service, for education and research at our world-leading University. I bid you a warm welcome!

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New semester with renewed vigour

Welcome back after the holidays! I hope you’ve all had a good summer.

The students have started to arrive in Uppsala and Visby. Many of our new students are in urgent need of somewhere to live. Even temporary housing for a week or two can be of great help in solving the problem and helping our students get off to a good start. If you are able to rent out a room – please do so!

In Uppsala, there is a housing exchange run by Uppsala Student Union in association with Uppsala Municipality, Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences – studentboet.se. Anyone who wants to rent out a room or other accommodation can advertise free of charge on studentboet.se. You can also contact the housing exchange by email at kontakt@studentboet.se or phone 018-480 31 20 or 0723-22 19 81. In Visby anyone who has accommodation for rent can contact the students’ union Rindi: 0498-10 84 90 or boende@rindi.com.

For those of us in the University’s management, the autumn term began with an overnight conference for the Management Council on Gotland. We began on Tuesday with a visit to Ar Research Station on northern Gotland, situated between Lake Bästeträsk and the Baltic Sea. The director of the research station, Anders Nissling, presented Ar, which is a resource for education, research, innovation and collaboration. Blått centrum (Blue Centre) – a centre for water-related issues jointly run by Region Gotland and Uppsala University which Professor Gunilla Rosenqvist has just been recruited to lead – will also have some activities here.

Our Gotland trip continued with a visit to the the Bergman Centre on Fårö.  Uppsala University works closely with the Bergman Estate on Fårö Foundation, which enables our researchers to spend some time here and work in a stimulating, creative, quite unique environment. This year about thirty researchers have taken advantage of this opportunity.

Under the inspiring guidance of Kerstin Karlström, we were introduced to Bergman’s art, his relationship with Fårö and his life on the island. At Bergman’s home at Hammars, Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor Olle Jansson launched a discussion on artistic leadership. The afternoon ended with a film screening at another of the Bergman properties, Dämba, where we saw “Wild Strawberries”. We returned to Visby brimming with impressions for a pleasant dinner with County Governor Cecilia Schelin Seidegård.

The Management Council spent Wednesday morning discussing the future. What do we need to do to maintain our internationally leading position and to strengthen the University? What issues are on the agenda for the different disciplinary domains, the students and the administration? Many issues recurred from several perspectives. How can we create space for renewal? How can we use Q&R17 and what can we do to strengthen the role of heads of department? The day ended with an ordinary Management Council meeting at which we received a status report on Campus Gotland from Olle Jansson and Therese Iveby Gardell, and went through some of the consultation papers referred to the University during the summer.

Inspired and full of optimism, we now return to Uppsala, ready to begin another successful academic year for Uppsala University.

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