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Hope you had a good holiday

Published: 10 August 2022

It's strange how quickly four weeks go by when you're on vacation.

Recently, it was the beginning of July and the Almedalen Week, where Luleå University of Technology was part of the organizers of two seminars. One was about hydrogen with a focus on the large emerging industrial ventures with green hydrogen in northern Sweden , which are expected to be of great importance globally. The second focused on Sweden's unique position as a space cluster for global development and how we can secure this position for the future together. In addition to our two seminars, we also participated in several seminars, panel debates and other activities. Based on my own participation, I have to say that competence provision was the most consistent theme.

That week that until Wednesday had been calm and pleasant could end in such sadness and tragedy is still hard to understand. The murder of Ing-Marie Wieselgren must be taken very seriously and is a signal to all of us to defend democracy, the equal value of all people and open peaceful debates. We need to think about how we can integrate this type of discussion in our educational and research activities in different ways.

Now it is suddenly the beginning of August, and we are facing a new school year. Soon our first-year students will arrive as the start of studies gets under way, with all its various activities and antics. It always feels just as fun when our four campus locations are filled with students from near and far. This year we are also celebrating a little extra by organizing a big staff and student party on September 8  A party that both marks that our 50th anniversary celebration is over and that we are now looking forward to our next 50 years as a university.

For me, this is my first work week and it is a fairly quiet week with good opportunities to prepare for upcoming activities and meetings. The middle of August is usually characterized by different types of start-up meetings, so also this year. Next week begins with a two-day start-up meeting in Kiruna with the  Vice-Chancellors Strategic Council (RSR). Some important topics on the agenda are 1) the autumn's application numbers and our upcoming student recruitment work for both the spring intake and next year's autumn intake, 2) the local situation in general and the timetable for the Delta house, 3) strategy for designating profile areas, 4) action plan to strengthen our internal communication, as well as, 5) our internationalization work based on our decided strategy and action plan. Strategy for internationalization - Luleå University of Technology, LTU.

The week ends with a Vice-Chancellor boarding school in Gothenburg, organized by SUHF. For this boarding school, the arrangement is always the same. We start with all principals being given the opportunity to propose discussion points for the meeting, then they are grouped into larger themes and prioritized. There is usually no shortage of talking points and yet somehow, we always manage to get all the questions answered before our two days are up.

I hope you all had a great holiday and are ready for a new semester. I look forward to seeing each other in different contexts and celebrating together on September 8.


Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn, rector of Luleå University of Technology

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