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Sunny LiU breaks through the clouds

”Today the sun is shining, and we can only hope the fine weather will continue through the Midsummer holiday.” That’s how I began my pre-summer greeting a year ago. This year we can only hope the rain stops for a while tomorrow, when we celebrate Midsummer.

Still, as the spring semester comes to a close, we have lots of sunny moments to look back on. For instance the university’s 40th anniversary, which we celebrated together on 28 May. The rain clouds looked threatening, and mid-way through the party the skies opened. Despite this I felt the party-goers were genuinely happy, as they enjoyed the delicious food, the great entertainment and especially that they had time to socialise with colleagues. We also enjoyed a friendly atmosphere the next day, when LiU got together with partners and friends.

Another sunny memory is the Commencement Ceremony, which, as it was our anniversary year, was made extra special. As was this year’s Student Orchestra Festival. But it doesn’t stop there. Even at the events this autumn – New Students’ Day in Linköping, Vecka45 and the scientific anniversary conference in Norrköping – there will be no doubt that LiU is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

At the Almedalen Week in Visby we will take a special look at LiU’s past and future. In addition to that there will be a focus on the challenges facing the welfare state. This will include news from the forefront of addiction research, whether computers can solve social problems like segregation in schools and workplaces, and trends in the Swedish public sector. This last item, which concerns ideas on a fossil-free future, is in collaboration with our partner, local utilities company Tekniska verken.

LiU’s operational plan for 2016-2018 was approved by the University Board in early June. It presents the background, challenges and priorities required to continue to be a leading university in education, research and collaboration. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the chapter on overarching priorities and initiatives for the coming years:

The young people of today will grow up in a society that differs considerably from the society that existed 40 years ago, when LiU was founded. Europe is changing profoundly, we have left the industrial age and have moved into a globalised world. The high-tech sectors are increasingly at the forefront, and the service industry is expanding. Our welfare systems face new challenges and higher education and research gain in significance. Against this backdrop LiU must consolidate and further develop its existing operations, but also prioritise and innovate. Major investments for 2015 including molecular medicine, autonomous systems and environmental humanities prove that LiU plays an important part in addressing the challenges of the future.

With much confidence for the future I would like to wish all our employees a happy Midsummer and a pleasant and well-earned holiday.


Vice-Chancellor Helen Dannetun


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Last updated: 2015-06-24