So many fond memories!

Looking back on five and a half years of exciting meetings and events in the company of friends and colleagues, my term as Deputy Vice-Chancellor has come to an end. Starting 1 July, I will be the new Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg.

An international university

Lund University is an international university that encompasses so many students and researchers from other countries. This is at heart of the university! It has a huge potential to attract international students and staff. Ever since Sweden introduced tuition fees for international students, the University has worked hard to market the vast range of programmes and courses offered at Lund University and it has really paid off. Today, Lund University is the #1 choice for international students coming to Sweden! Many phd-students come from abroad and have gained a position in tough competition, an enormous asset to the university, together with our Swedish phd-students.

Strategic partnerships

Building partnerships is an important part in our efforts to continue to develop as an international university and today we are working strategically with four partners – the University of Hamburg, the University of Maryland, the University of Nottingham and the 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.

Research collaborations

In February this year, 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 summarized after three years of intense research seminars around the globe.

What we together set out to do in 2014 can now be summarised into a list of many important and interesting achievements:

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…
A common platform
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, three new projects are now up and running:

  • The MIRAI project – connecting Swedish and Japanese Universities through Research, Education and Innovation – coincides with the celebration of 150 years of diplomatic relations and trade between Sweden and Japan in 2018
  • The ACCESS project – Academic Collaboration Chile – Sweden– will hold its first seminar in August at Lund University
  • South Africa – Sweden University Forum – now in progress

I’m happy to say that both Lund University and the University of Gothenburg are among the seven Swedish universities that will work closely with eight Japanese universities over the next three years within the MIRAI project. I especially look forward to the first joint seminar in Lund in October!

Great achievements
It’s important to recognise achievements and take the time celebrate when the opportunity presents itself. One such occasion took place in California in October last year when Lund University together with the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) celebrated 50 years of student exchange. The programme is Lund’s oldest exchange programme and also the largest in volume. Since 1966 over 4 000 students have participated in the programme.

Although I’m leaving for the University of Gothenburg, Lund University will always have a special place in my heart!

I wish you all the best for the future and don’t forget to celebrate!

Have a nice summer break and let’s meet sometime soon!


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Spring network meetings proudly representing Lund University

Visit to Japan in April

In light of the ongoing Swedish–Japanese research collaboration project – MIRAI, I together with Professors Viktor Öwall (Dean of the Faculty of Engineering) and Olov Sterner (Dean of the Faculty of Science) and International Director, Mr Richard Stenelo visited Tokyo on 20-24 April.

We met with some of the Japanese universities already on board with the MIRAI project, but also with representatives from the Swedish Embassy. At the top of our list was of course to discuss the upcoming research seminar within the MIRAI project to be held at Lund University in October this year.

At a follow-up meeting with Keio University – Hiyosh campus, we presented how the education system for researchers is set up in Sweden in general, and at Lund University in particular. Keio University presented a really interesting concept, the “Leading Graduate Programme”. Perhaps something Swedish universities can adopt.

Universitas 21 – Annual Network Meeting at the University of Nottingham

During the meeting, Lund University together with the University of Nottingham signed a strategic partnership agreement – an agreement that I hope will lay the ground for a fruitful collaboration over the coming years.

In celebration of the U21 collaboration, 25 trees were planted at the University of Nottingham’s “Universitas 21 Avenue” during the meetings, one to represent each of the twenty-five U21 member universities.

Two new member universities were welcomed this year:

University of Zurich, Switzerland
Waseda University, Japan
Two member universities decided to leave the network:

Ohio State University, USA
McGill University, Canada

In 2018 Universitas 21 will celebrate twentyone years of collaboration. I wish the Universitas 21 Network all the best for the future and feel a bit sad that I will not be able to join the celebrations when I move on to become the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Best of luck!

LERU Rectors’ Assembly

At the 32nd LERU Rectors’ Assembly, held at the University of Cambridge, 19 & 20 May 2017, two new members were welcomed:

University of Copenhagen
Trinity College Dublin
The LERU advice paper on EC Framework Programme 9 was presented and discussed among the members. The draft paper was approved after a few small adjustments. The FP9 advice paper will be presented in Brussels in June.

The Brexit negotiations were also on the agenda. The present EU position on the Brexit negotiations were presented and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge sketched the expected reaction of the UK government to this position.

Swedish State Visit to Indonesia 22-24 May

A delegation from Lund University, under the lead of Professor Viktor Öwall – Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, participated in this three-day state visit.

At the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) a seminar on “triple helix” and innovation was held on the third day of the state visit. The seminar was a joint arrangement between ITB and Lund University.

The Swedish triple helix model, in which cooperation between public actors, the business sector and universities has led to a positive innovation climate, has attracted a great deal of attention in Indonesia. During the seminar, Professor Öwall, held a keynote speech on the University’s role in the triple helix.

EWORA – The European Women Rectors Association

On 29-30 May, the 5th European Women Rectors Conference took place in Brussels. I represented Sweden together with the Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research,  Mrs Helene Hellmark Knutsson and the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Karlstad, Professor Christina Ullenius.

The objective of this conference was to promote a better understanding of gender disparity in academic leadership by discussing the policies, strategies and actions employed in different European HE institutions for empowering women academics and achieving gender equality.

I concur with our Minister’s statement that continued hard work is required to create an equal academy where all skills are taken care of regardless of gender.

The picture shows our Minister together with the President of EWORA, Professor Gulsun Saglamer, former Rector of Istanbul Technical University.


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April at Lund University

Global Week

Early April proved to be a very rewarding period in the company of partners and friends from around the globe.

Global Week – an event for international coordinators, teachers and international directors at LU and our partner universities – started on Monday 3 April. Partners from Europe, North and South America, Australia and Japan came together with LU colleagues to discuss topics within internationalisation.Three themes during three days attracted some 150 colleagues interested in discussing:

Internationalisation of the Curriculum – sessions led by Jos Beelen, Senior Policy Adviser for Internationalisation and researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands.
The Students Experience – sessions led by David Wick, Assistant Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, USA.
Strategies for Partnerships – sessions led by Suzanne Alexander, Director International Office at the University of Leicester, UK, and Gunilla Carlecrantz, Senior Advisor for External Relations at Lund University.
The programme also included some cultural activities each evening in the spirit of the Lund University 350th anniversary.

50th Anniversary Celebration with UCEAP

The Lund University / University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is LU’s oldest and largest exchange programme. The first agreement was signed on 20 June 1966 and last year in October our 50-year long friendship was celebrated in California.

A celebration gives us the opportunity to put the spotlight on who we are, what we do and our achievements – be it 50 or 350 years! So, to reciprocate this wonderful occasion, Lund University had the opportunity to welcome alumni, students, staff from California and Lund, as well as friends of the programme to a few days of exciting events in Lund on 6-8 April! I enjoyed our festivities in California tremendously and I’m very glad that so many were able to come to Lund to continue the celebration. It was a joy to hear stories from alumni who studied on exchange in Lund decades ago and we are thrilled that our guests were smiling ear to ear with enjoyment at the various activities!

We value our partners and hope that this is only the beginning of more years to come of fruitful collaboration and exchange. To broaden our exchange and secure the students’ academic experience we welcome and support the exchange of academics and staff. And we look forward to the next 50 years!

International Master’s applications and admissions autumn 2017

In the latest application round Lund University did very well! Out of 74 584 applications, Lund University received 26 216 which is 23 % more than in the previous year. In Sweden as a whole, 19 587 were admitted of which LU admitted 4 033 students in total. 1 815 of these are fee paying students, which is an increase of more than 500 fee paying students from last year.

We continue to see a broad range of applications from many different countries of which China, Bangladesh, USA and India are at the very top. Lund University is also the university in Sweden with the highest number of international students with a scholarship from the Swedish Institute. Currently, the two most popular Master’s programmes among international students at Lund University are the Master’s Programme in Public Health and the Master’s Programme in International Human Rights Law.


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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.


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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.


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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!


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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.



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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.


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!


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