Visit to Lund University by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović

Sanimir Resic och Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

On March 24 the Croatian President Kalinda Grabar-Kitarović visited Lund University. The visit began at the Max IV followed by a meeting with Vice-chancellor Torbjörn von Schantz. The president and her advisors were given a presentation about Lund University and an informal discussion then followed. Before the president’s lecture in the university main hall she was presented by the Deputy Dean of Humanities and Theology, Sanimir Resic, who was born in Croatia.

Her lecture Southeast Europe: a proving ground for European and Euro-Atlantic resolve and solidarity was attended by approximately 300 student and faculty and received warm applauses. The president’s message was that the EU should stop regarding Southeastern Europe as Europe’s backyard and instead see it for what it is, the “gateway to Europe”. Right now the situation in the so called Western Balkans is very unsettled, and we see renewed Russian and Turkish interests in the region, which deepens the crises and has again created a powder keg.

She urged the EU to open up to new memberships and thus prevent these countries from falling into new armed conflicts where the great powers once again compete for global influence. Croatia became member of NATO in 2009, and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was Assistant Secretary General of NATO 2011-2014. Croatia became member of the EU in 2013.
The president also visited the Centre for languages and literature (SOL-Centrum), LUX and the Humanities laboratory. As a student Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has a background in humanities and political science. She has inter alia studied at the universities of Zagreb, George Washington, Harvard and Johns Hopkins.
The goal of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović five day-visit to Sweden was to strengthen political and economic relations between Croatia and Sweden. Her delegation also wanted to get a picture of Swedish technology and innovation. Sweden is seen as a very successful country in many different fields. Her delegation wanted to see and learn, create links and exchanges.

Eva

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The University of Nottingham – Lund University’s first strategic partnership

On 9-10 March I had the opportunity to discuss together with Assoc. Prof. Sanimir Resic (LU), Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof. Nick Miles and Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof. Peter Stockwell (both University of Nottingham – UoN) how we will move forward with the strategic partnership between our universities.

A partnership agreement between UoN and LU will be signed during the Universitas 21 Annual General Meeting in Nottingham in May this year. Common areas of interest (outside of science) such as diversity, quality assurance, financing of infrastructure and laboratories and LU’s Commissioned Education will be included in the agreement to guide us in our future joint activities. I believe strongly that sharing and exchanging expertise in these areas will further deepen the relationship between our two universities which will be crucial once Brexit is finalised.

During the meeting, it became clear that there is a need to support the “middle phase” between seed funding and successful joint research applications. It is also important to have regular meetings on the management level for follow-up, evaluations of the partnership and discussions on how to move forward.

In the future, we hope to work together through, for example, Joint Master’s courses, Joint PhDs, administrative staff exchange, our different areas of expertise and send LU students to UoN’s Ningbo/China campus.

A strategic partnership is a long-term financial commitment and at Lund University we are working strategically with four partners – Universität Hamburg, University of Maryland, University of Nottingham and University of Toronto. Within these partnerships, we have agreed to support activities that are of mutual importance and to build relationships that will benefit future collaborations.

Eva

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I am proud of Lund University’s strong relations with Canada

On 22 February, we had the honour of welcoming a State Visit from Canada, including the Governor General and the King of Sweden to Lund University. Our guests attended a presentation of the MAX IV and the ESS research facilities, and a declaration of intent for future research collaborations was signed. There was also time for a round-table discussion on the theme “Where to next? The benefits and opportunities for enhanced cross-sectoral linkages on innovation and research between Canada and Sweden”. The programme concluded in a dinner with stimulating discussions about future collaborations and to work more closely together.

The State Visit was preceded by the Friends of Canada reception at the Wasa Museum in Stockholm on 21 February.  In a friendly and welcoming atmosphere,  LU Regional Manager for North America, Anne Messeter and I enjoyed a taste of Canadian salmon and cheese accompanied by stunning performances of young Canadian musicians.

Lund University enjoys longstanding relations with our Canadian partner universities. During the last two decades, activities have steadily increased, and today we see collaborations in many different research fields resulting in an increasing rate of joint publications in prestigious journals. We work closely with both the Canadian Embassy to Sweden and the Swedish Embassy to Canada. We are good friends and have many things in common, including shared values and concerns.

Thank you dear Kanadian friends, for your kind visit to Sweden and Lund University in particular!

Eva

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SACF – final Excellence Seminar in Stockholm and Lund

On 14 February, close to a hundred participants from Brazil, China, Indonesia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Sweden met in Stockholm for one final seminar. The Swedish Academic Collaboration Forum – SACF – series of seminars were summarised, followed by keynote speech made by Ms Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research.

The SACF project has reached the end and what we together set out to do in 2014 can now be summarised into a list of many important and interesting achievements, for example:

Existing collaborations have been strengthened
New collaborations have been formed
New agreements have been signed
Funding opportunities have arisen
Plans for future cooperation activities are in place
And much more…
We will continue to build on this and create more opportunities for education, research and innovation in our respective countries.

New collaborations

More projects are underway utilising the same platform, i.e. universities and researchers in different parts of the world join forces and organise seminars and meetings where researchers will share and learn from colleagues around the world:

The MIRAI project – connecting Swedish and Japanese Universities through Research, Education and Innovation
The ACCESS project – Academic Collaboration Chile – Sweden
South Africa – Sweden University Forum (under development)
The week ended on Thursday 16 February with a meeting at Lund University for a delegation of Brazilian university representatives and funding agencies, as well as some SACF members. After a fruitful meeting in the morning together with LU researchers, a much-appreciated visit to the MAX IV Laboratory and the European Spallation Source followed in the afternoon.

Eva

 

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Staying true to our core values

United States President Donald Trump’s executive order severely restricting entry into the U.S. for people from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen is against the principles of an open society and stands against values that universities hold at their core and rely on to flourish.

I would like to express Lund University’s deep concern, support and sympathy for those affected, particularly those fleeing from war and persecution.

We all need to stand united in offering aid and shelter to refugees and displaced people – one of the grand challenges of our time.  It is particularly in such difficult circumstances that we must cherish and defend democracy and diversity in our societies.

Such radical policies are a challenge not only to the values we hold, but will negatively affect business, the arts and higher education institutions as long as they are allowed to stand.

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Welcome to Lund University!

Spring semester has just started and I would like to welcome all new international partner university students that have arrived at Lund University. You have made an excellent choice in choosing Lund University for your education and especially during this year when we celebrate our 350th anniversary!

Tuesday 10 January almost 600 international students from all over the world came to Lund. Thanks to the international mentors, fellow students volunteering, the new students got help all the way from the Copenhagen Airport to their housing in Lund after having been checked in at the Ingvar Kamprad Design Centre – IKDC.

During the extensive orientation weeks, staff and international mentors are helping the new students to settle in. There has been a welcome reception hosted by the Vice-Chancellor in the University Main Building but also information meetings, a student association fair, excursions, mentor group activities, parties, guided tours et cetera. The aim is to help all new international students feel at home a get a good start in creating new networks.

We are very proud that so many students are choosing Lund University and I am sure that all students will have an exciting and inspiring period here in Lund. Once again welcome and I wish you all the best for your stay here!

The #1 choice for international students in Sweden!

I am pleased to announce that Lund University, once again, is the most popular choice for international students wanting to study their Master’s degree in Sweden, with 1/3 of all applicants from the latest application round choosing Lund University programmes.

Of the total 74,620 students who applied to autumn 2017 Master’s degree programmes at Swedish universities, 26,223 chose Lund University programmes. This is an increase of 22 % compared to the 21,448 students who applied for Lund University programmes in the 2016 application round.

More information is available on our website

The University’s Annual Celebration – 28 January

At Lund University, we believe in traditions and we have done so for many years. 28 January is the day for our annual celebration and marks the day the University was inaugurated in 1668. This year the annual celebration was attended by H M King Carl XVI Gustaf and H M Queen Silvia. In light of our 350th anniversary the Jubilee Medal was conferred upon H M the King. This year we also highlighted the day with the reopening of Skissernas Museum – Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art.

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December 19 2016: 350th Anniversary Jubilee Celebrations start!

Lund University is celebrating its 350th anniversary for 13 months – from 19 December 2016 until 28 January 2018. With an extensive jubilee programme, we will highlight our education, research and role in society over the years, and discuss important issues for the future.

The celebrations will be possible to follow on our website

For the special occasion Jubilee stamps have been created and I sent a “snail mail” in style! Professor Bairbre Redmond, the new U21 Network Provost, and a dear colleague from University College Dublin, is the recipient of my postcard.

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There are two stamp designs for the University. One depicts the sphinxes on the roof of the main University building, reflecting our history – this is the one I chose for Baribre. The other design depicts the world-leading synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV, hosted by Lund University, and which represents the cutting-edge research conducted here. You can read more about the stamp launch here.

No celebration without a jubilee book! The Swedish book has been translated into English with the title “ Lund University over 350 years – History and Stories.” For information see here.

Congratulations dear old Alma Mater.

Let the party begin!

Eva

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University of Copenhagen and Trinity College Dublin – new members in LERU!

Last week I attended the LERU (League of European Research Universities) Rectors’ Assembly in Heidelberg. At the meeting we decided to admit two new members, the University of Copenhagen and Trinity College Dublin. The highly ranked universities are strong in research and education and will be of great value to our network. I look forward to closer collaboration with them.

Warmest congratulations to the two institutions!

Eva Wiberg

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Quality assurance in Sweden and at Lund University

The  Swedish Higher Education Authority recently hosted a meeting on the forthcoming period of evaluations of Swedish higher education in 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles. This new type of evaluation will focus on how well the HEI:s contribute to secure and evolve education on all levels in a systematic way. Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area ( (ESG) will be followed when the processes of quality assurance are analyzed. In its first period, starting from 2017 with pilots, the Agency plans to evaluate a number education programs, focusing om 3rd cycle (doctoral) programs and a selection of professional qualifications. In 2020 Lund University will undergo a full review of the internal quality assurance procedures. As an institution we will be asked to show how our procedures result in high quality and contribute to development of quality. Programs offered by Lund University meet high standards of quality today, as earlier reviews have shown. We always strive for continuous improvement of quality and therefore the procedures here at Lund will not only assess the quality, but also help to improve the ongoing enhancement of our education.

All in all, this national model of quality assurance is in line with international (European) development which is very satisfactory because it makes partnership with other countries and institutions easier. The model has been developed in close collaboration with the higher education sector including students and other stakeholders and will be launched in a spirit of mutual understanding.

I very much look forward to working with the quality enhancement together with colleagues and students at our university!

Eva Wiberg

 

 

 

 

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A Jubilee tour to Berkeley and UCLA

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.

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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.

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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!

Eva

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