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Happy Holidays

Published: 18 December 2020

Christmas is near, 2020 is coming to an end and we have finally some snow on the ground that lights up the darkest time of the year.

2020 is a year that most of us will remember for a long time, perhaps the rest of our lives. It is a year that in many ways has been different and turned our lives upside down, while our society, in most cases, continues to function and deliver the services we are used to and expect. The same is true for our university and other universities nationally and internationally.

Challenges of the future

The past year has clearly shown the strengths and weaknesses of digital technology. It is thanks to Sweden's relatively well-developed digital infrastructure, high digital maturity and small digital gaps that most of our community services have functioned that we have been able to switch our various operations from physical to web-based services. This is a signal that we, both nationally and locally at our university, must continue to develop our digital infrastructure and skills and ensure that existing digital gaps are reduced. We need to be even better equipped for future challenges.

At the same time, the importance of the social dimension in our lives and work has become very apparent. Although video meetings where we can both talk and see each other create a much greater sense of presence than a telephone meeting, they can not replace the feeling of a physical meeting. It is an important insight for all of us, especially for those of us who have not experienced social loneliness before the corona. We must all help each other to ensure that our employees and students, as far as possible, are involved in a social context, feel included in social groups and feel good, both physically and mentally.

Great sense of responsibility

With 2020 behind us, I think we should feel satisfied and proud of how we have handled the transition to digital operations. When you look in the rearview mirror, it is always easy to identify shortcomings and opportunities for improvement, and it is positive and important for us to be able to take advantage of our lessons and develop our business. But it is just as important to evaluate our presentation based on the current situation and the conditions we have had. My view is that we have handled the situation very well and managed our assignments in an exemplary manner.

We have shown great loyalty; teachers with experience in online teaching have, together with HPC, prepared support materials and assisted with support and help for teachers with less experience. Both support staff and teachers have set up as exam guards so that we could pass the examination periods in the best possible way. We have also shown a great sense of responsibility and taken great individual measurements for making our operations as safe as possible. The student unions have during the autumn in an exemplary manner planned and carried out a welcome period and study start, which did not contribute to any known spread of infection.

The University's 50th anniversary

With 2020 behind us and 2021 ahead of us, I look forward to our 50th anniversary. We are already embarking on several important initiatives to achieve our vision and it will be exciting to follow these in 2021 and beyond; our strategic collaboration agreements, our future areas, innovative educations and leadership educations for our future pedagogical and research leaders. In 2021, I hope that we can also launch our internationalization strategy and develop sharp projects linked to the main strategy A Welcoming Culture.

I want to thank you all for the fantastic work you have done during the year and I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

Happy holidays and a Happy New Year!
Birgitta

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