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The impact of the pandemic on the universities of the future

Published: 20 October 2021

The effects of the pandemic will affect the entire global society and thus also all higher education institutions and their activities, models and structures. With that vice-chancellors and heads of administration from Sweden's colleges and universities gathered in Kulturens hus in Luleå for the 2021th edition of the SUHF conference.

The conference was opened by Matilda Ernkrans, Minister of Higher Education and Research. She emphasized how extremely important the colleges and universities' efforts were during the pandemic, which both quickly managed to switch to digital teaching and which nevertheless managed to expand the range of education in Sweden. Ernkrans also believes that it is a matter of course that the conference is organized by Luleå University of Technology this year.

- Luleå University of Technology is a fifty-year-old who looks ahead, says Matilda Ernkrans in her introductory speech.

During the day, the focus was on the pandemic's effects on education from different perspectives: digitalisation, new thinking in learning and the role of universities and the importance of a campus. Keynote speaker Dr. Ruth Graham was present via link and talked about the effects of COVID-19 from two perspectives: the emergence of a new generation of educational programs and the sweeping reforms that are underway for academic reward systems.

Several professors in different areas and from different universities lectured during the day, including Suzanne Brink from Umeå University who talked about innovative educations, and Roland Larsson and Maria Petterson from Luleå University of Technology who talked about the future areas of Creaternity and SUN.