This coming Sunday, 5 June, is formally the last day of the spring term here at Karolinska Institutet. For the first time in two years, we can look back at a more or less normal term in which both our campuses were once again filled with students, teachers, researchers and staff.
I can say in all honesty that it has been hugely satisfying to see people, hear talking and laughter, attend meetings and lecture to students. There can be no doubt that digital solutions have their advantages and we would never have managed without them during the four terms that the pandemic held us in its grasp. But nothing beats seeing colleagues and students in real life.
The pandemic-dominated terms we now have behind us have provided valuable experiences and technological and pedagogical leaps. Digital solutions are here to stay, and their prudent use will make a tangible improvement to the quality of our education and research.
At this juncture, I would like to turn to all KI’s teachers and staff – and to KI`s students. I know that you have had two challenging and frustrating years. But together we have managed to get through them without compromising academic quality. Our study programmes remain attractive. In fact, in the latest round of applications here in Sweden, KI’s medical programme topped the list of first-choice per-place applicants. Our other programmes also generally have good figures when it comes to the number of applications.
This, if anything, is excellent testimony to our pedagogical and administrative staff and to our current and former students. You have tackled these unprecedented challenges with a great measure of creativity, flexibility, and endurance.
With these words, I’d like to thank you all for this past term. A special thank you to the students who have now graduated and are seeking a future outside KI – good luck when you are now carving out your career!
And to all of you who will still be here at KI in the autumn – students, researchers, teachers and staff: have a lovely summer, make sure to get some rest and enjoy culture, nature, socialising, and all the other good things in life!
See you again at the start of the autumn term.