Student representation a key to improving the university

Published: 2017-01-24

Student representation is a critical part of our governing structure. We need input from students to continuously improve study programmes, teaching, and learning environments and to improve our university as a whole. Being a student representative is an important role guarding the interest and influence of students, not just here and now but also for future students. While some improvements cannot be implemented in the short term perspective, you, our present students, will still benefit later when you as colleagues in your work life encounter more junior colleagues that have had the best training. And being a representative is also in itself a valuable experience for your future work life. Beginning this week, I met with students that have chosen to contribute as student representatives in our different university bodies.

To provide attractive study programmes is one critical aspect for meeting the increasing demand of highly trained personnel in the health care sector. The latter is a real challenge, exemplified for instance by the Swedish Minister of Health tasking the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslerämbetet) and the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to jointly investigate possibilities for collaboration for competence supply for the health care sector.  I am part of the reference group and the group had its first meeting last week. It is evident that this challenge must be addressed by several stakeholders, including universities and other higher education institutions and representatives from the health care sector; in a collaborative manner. We as universities must contribute by providing attractive study programmes that equip students with the skills they need in the future working landscape, shaped not least by digitalization and the omics revolution.

As students of this generation, you add new perspectives in our governing bodies from the world we now live in, based on your diverse backgrounds and experiences. My hope, of course, is that you will experience that your contribution makes a difference and that you get new skills and experiences that is important in your future life.

Farewell symposium celebrating a fantastic research career

Later on in the afternoon, I attended a Valedictory Symposium for Outi Hovatta, professor,

Outi’s career at Karolinska Institutet, which spans almost 20 years, has really contributed to our vision – to make a significant contribution to the improvement of human health and she has also made sure that the research is put to good use. She has addressed individual, and in a broader perspective societal, challenges all to the benefit of individuals, families and society at large.  She is highly recognized in Sweden and internationally for her contributions to improve methods for in vitro fertilization, to preserve fertility in association with serious disease and for the establishment of novel methods for cultivations of human embryonic stem cells.

It was a fantastic symposium, with Magnus Westgren as main organizer, including a diverse repertoire of science and music provided by Outi and her family. Outi, will now move on to warmer parts of the world but will remain affiliated with Karolinska Institutet

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