Lund University was in California last week to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of our exchange agreement with the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP).
It is Lund’s oldest exchange agreement, and largest in volume. During the years over 4000 have participated in the programme.
The celebration was held Saturday evening (October 21) at the Fowler Museum at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), about 150 persons attended the reception, most of them alumni. Some of the oldest alumni were there, one person who came to Lund in 1967, witnessing the change from driving on the left side to the right, on 3 September 1967!
It was a hectic week with a tight but really exciting program. We learned a lot and I think this was mutual.
Whilst being in California I took the opportunity to visit our partner Universities University of California Berkeley (UCB) and UCLA.
At Berkeley I meet with the Scandinavian Studies Department and the Center for European Studies. I also had fruitful discussions about how to take our partnership beyond student mobility and build on our good relations and already existing collaborations with Dr. Tsu-Jae King Liu, Vice Provost for Academic and Space Planning.
At UCLA I had a very productive meeting with Chancellor Gene Block. Among other things we discussed how to deepen our relation and enhance collaborations between our institutions.
I also met with representatives for the Scandinavian Section, Germanic Languages Department, International Education Office, and UCEAP, as well as Lund students on campus and UCLA-students going to Lund.
In San Francisco, in the evening of Wednesday 19, Lund University hosted a LU Alumni & Friends Event. About 40 people attended, mainly alumni. Here I met Dana, an alumna from 1966. Dana was part of the first group of students to study at within the UCEAP. I enjoyed listening to her experiences and the challenges involved being an exchange student at LU at that time when all courses were taught in Swedish.
On Thursday evening we had a Friends of Lund University event held at the Wende Museum in LA. Among others quite a few alumni attended.
On Saturday (before the reception at the Fowler Museum) Associate Professor Olof Hedling gave an appreciated lecture on Scandinavian Popular Culture on the International Stage, from books to films: Nordic Noir, Henning Mankell in particular and recent crime films.
The week has been intense and I have learned so much from the meetings I have had.
There are many inspiring activities that our University is part of in California, and I have only experienced some of them. Our University is very well received there and we look forward to further collaborations.
Many thanks to UCEAP, UCLA and Berkely, to all alumni and staff!