Greetings from the vice-chancellor
When I started as vice-chancellor of Södertörn University, in the summer of 2016, the university had just turned 20. I was arriving from KTH Royal Institute of Technology which, depending on how you count, can claim to turn 200 relatively soon. This age difference is very clear. My experience, when I started getting to know the university, was that everything was new. The people, the buildings, the art on display, the content of courses and of research, the knowledge itself felt – especially for me as an engineer - new. This is a feeling I still carry with me.
Over my five years as vice-chancellor, I have got become familiar with our activities and met so many enthusiastic teachers, researchers, colleagues and students. I have also got to know Flemingsberg. Major investments and construction are underway, and things will happen fast. Since it was founded, Södertörn University has been located here for a reason, to drive societal development in southern Stockholm.
The five years that have passed since the university turned 20 were eventful years in international politics. Södertörn University’s contributions to knowledge development and our focus on liberal education have, time and again, reminded me of the importance of our local and global societal responsibility.
Contemporary societal challenges, as the tangible effects of climate change are becoming clear and populism and knowledge resistance are gaining ground, make Södertörn University an even more important place. Our vision, that Södertörn University will be a university that contributes to sustainable societal development through research, education and critical reflection on contemporary challenges, will be even more important. The education and research e conduct here are vital to the future, and their significance will increase. I can also see this more strongly in the 25-year-old when I compare to five years ago.
I am sure that Södertörn will have taken further strides forward and achieve greater maturity, but without losing the curiosity and critical gaze, when it is time for our next jubilee!