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Happy Midsummer!

Published: 23 June 2022

Suddenly it's June and Midsummer. For many of you, this means that the holiday begins while others have to wait a few more weeks for vacation.
A much-needed time off given how 2022 has developed so far, the challenges of a pandemic that was replaced by a war in Ukraine that is still ongoing.

Both the pandemic and Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine shed light of the importance of Europe and the world standing together and that we show compassion, commitment and perseverance in our actions.

The times we live in challenge academic freedom and academic discourse in various ways, as well as democratic values. Finding a balance between the universities' historical role as a haven for researchers in difficult times and the importance of clearly distancing themselves from behaviors that go against the pillars of democratic societies and the academy's core values is not always easy, and will in all likelihood become increasingly challenging in the future.

New education programmes

But despite the challenges we face, we as individuals and the University have managed to carry out our assignments in an admirable way. We have worked intensively with new education programmes that we now have to market and we have several different initiatives to make our skilled teachers visible and reward them. Two future areas have now become three (SUN, Creaternity and Precise) and it will be very interesting to follow their development until 2030. In addition, we are participating for the first time in two of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation's strategic initiatives, WASP with a focus on artificial intelligence, and WISE with a focus on materials science. Two important areas that will strengthen the University both nationally and internationally.

I hope you all have a nice and relaxing holiday with time for just your favorite pastimes. We have a big party to look forward to, with staff and students on September 8. A party that marks the end of our 50th anniversary and the beginning of the next 50 years of the university's history.
Happy Midsummer and Holidays!

Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, Vice-Chancellor of Luleå University of Technology

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