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Welcome back – but pace yourself

Portrait of Johan Schnürer.

Photo: Kicki Nilsson/ICON photography

I hope everyone had an enjoyable and much-needed summer holiday. The weather was on the side of holidaymakers – let us hope for a pleasant autumn too.

Our campuses are now filling again with new students, teachers, and others whose duties require them to be present onsite. On the other hand, most of our employees must wait until October before returning to campus. We have planned for a gradual opening of our campuses, and midway through the semester, we expect activities to return to normal.

Of course, this assumes that the spread of infection and the burden on the healthcare system do not escalate again. Meeting this challenge requires everyone to take their responsibility and get vaccinated. We must also stay at home in case of symptoms, and everyone must contribute to contact tracing through testing in case of a suspected COVID infection. That said, we will now enter a more normal academic life with research, education, and collaboration with our surrounding society.

Örebro University has, in general, a well sought-after offering of high-quality education. Still, we need to increase the volume of outstanding research to achieve a long-term balance in our activities. Part of this is ORU2020 – the evaluation of the university’s research – which is now complete. To lead to development, both the assessment units and management at the various levels must actively take advantage of the reviewers’ comments in relation to the unit’s self-assessment and plans.

Hopefully, this will lead to more successful research applications that develop our subject areas and successful recruitment at various levels. To achieve this, the university must become even more visible as a credible research institution. Together with a few external “critical friends”, management is currently working on selecting some areas that can help strengthen the entire university’s position and visibility. The broad areas of AI and robotics and Food and Health are possible examples for such positioning efforts.

Developing a university-wide platform for a sustainable future can also be seen as part of these efforts. This platform aims to create multidisciplinary research on the economic, social, and environmental aspects of sustainability.  As a young, broad university with excellent communication across organisational boundaries, we are exceptionally well placed to do this together. 

Johan Schnürer, Vice-Chancellor


Ps. A tribute to the Student Union for arranging a COVID-safe and sober introduction for our new students. Getting the chance to early on come together with your new classmates for some fun activities  is of great importance. The lawn game of Kubb in our city parks has now reached record levels.


Translation: Jerry Gray