Last Friday I was delighted to welcome our new doctors and jubilee doctors as well as colleagues from our university, families and guests to this autumn’s conferment ceremony in Stockholm City Hall.

Hats on! Photo: Erik Cronberg

Becoming a doctor at Karolinska Institutet and receiving a hat and diploma in the Blue Hall is a conclusion of many years of diligent work. It is a conclusion of a time of trials and tribulations, of failed experiments and – every so often – of ideas that led nowhere. But it is also the conclusion of a fascinating journey. As I pointed out in my speech, step by step our new doctors have built a solid edifice of knowledge and wisdom that will last a lifetime.

Statistics tells us that nearly half of all scientific publications from KI are authored or co-authored by our doctoral students, and our doctoral students are significantly involved in most of our international collaborations. Simply put, the doctoral students are an invaluable part of our university. Today about 25 percent of our students, nearly 2 300, are pursuing doctoral degrees. In fact, of all doctoral students in medicine, pharmacy and health sciences in Sweden, 45 percent are studying at KI.

Exit polls shows that over 90 percent of KI’s doctoral students are satisfied with their doctoral education at KI. This is fine and attests to the quality of our educational programs. But we must shy away from complacency. International competition is fierce and we should strive to become even better.

Happy conferment ceremony. Photo: Erik Cronberg

We have just initiated our work on KI’s new strategy plan with 2030 as its time horizon. My vision is that KI by 2030 is seen as a sterling example of a university that recognizes and builds on the competence and perspectives of its doctoral students. My vision is that KI by 2030 will be held in high esteem internationally as a university that spearheads new and innovative practices for PhD training, with due emphasis on social responsibility and ethical preparedness.

As we look ahead and as we start working on our new strategy plan to realize this vision, I thank our new doctors. By building competence and carrying out excellent research they have contributed to Karolinska Institutet and to the society at large. I extend my congratulations and best wishes for their future career.

More on KI News.

  1. Bob Harris says:

    Re: “My vision is that KI by 2030 will be held in high esteem internationally as a university that spearheads new and innovative practices for PhD training”

    Dear Rector,
    As current president of an international organization concerned with doctoral training (ORPHEUS) comprising over 100 member institutions throughout the world, I can assure you that KI’s innovative doctoral training practices are ALREADY well disseminated and widely adopted at international academic institutions. For example, our Exit Poll (e.g. Leuven University, Belgium), Intended Learning Outcome implementation (e.g. Åarhus University, Denmark) and not least the structure of our supervisor training programmes (many universities) have been adopted. We continue to inspire best practices and most recently plans are in progress for implementation of the Green Light for supervisors which we have used in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience for over 3 years and is now mandatory at all KI departments (e.g. Utrecht University, Holland). There seems to be a general lack of understanding of the high esteem in which KI’s doctoral training practices are ALREADY viewed internationally (including in North America, e.g. Vanderbilt University, USA; Manitoba University, Canada).

    I would thus humbly suggest that the strategy you propose be modified as: “My vision is that KI by 2030 will CONTINUE TO be held in high esteem internationally as a university that spearheads new and innovative BEST practices for PhD training,”

    • Ole Petter Ottersen says:

      Indeed, it was your work that I had in mind when I wrote this very sentence. I am very well aware of the work you have done in this field and would just be pleased to lift your statement into our upcoming strategy. VH Ole Petter Ottersen

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