Great interest in new dental education

On Monday 24 January, local politicians, regional councilors, and other stakeholders attended a digital information meeting on Jönköping University's application for dental education and the vision of a dental centre. The meeting was organised by Jönköping University, Region Jönköping County and Linköping University.

Three representatives of the dental initiative.

From the left: Jane Ydman, Regional Director, Jönköping County Region, Agneta Marell, President, Jönköping University and Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Vice-Chancellor, Linköping University after the meeting.

During two hours of a live broadcast, the new joint initiative was presented, which will contribute to better dental care and dental health in Sweden. Around thirty participants were present in Zoom, including local parliamentary politicians, regional councillors, the Governor of Jönköping County and other local stakeholders that were invited. One of the aims of the project is to eventually deliver more trained dentists to clinics across the country.

– Together, we want to create the dental education of the future and thereby contribute to increased public health through more dentists. There is currently a shortage of dentists, with an increased retirement and a rising need for dental care both through an ageing population and in the regions. Together, we are planning a unique educational concept and centre for dentistry that will conduct innovative and practice-oriented education, development, and research in collaboration. The investment thus means major investments in new education, new research facilities, more student accommodation and research and training staff, as well as an opportunity to attract important research resources both nationally and internationally to our region, says Agneta Marell, President at Jönköping University.

Jane Ydman, Regional Director at Region Jönköping County agrees:
– This is an important initiative for our region as well as for the other regions that have joined the project. It is also an important investment for the country, not least for our citizens.

The initiative includes investments in modern digital technology and new educational methods, where the schools within Jönköping University collaborate with Linköping University. This will be the first new dental education in Sweden in over 50 years.

– As vice-chancellor of Linköping University, I am convinced that together, from LiU's side via our Faculty of Medicine, we can work to ensure that the collaboration will be a great success and that both universities will benefit from having a new dental education. Our regions have the task of promoting health and providing health and medical care for one million people. Dentistry is no exception, but the fact is that you do not hear dentistry as often in the debate. I think this collaboration is a necessary step to emphasise the importance of needing new dentists, more dentists and achieving equal dental care,' says Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, vice-chancellor of Linköping University.

Agneta Marell believes that the initiative promotes equal dental care. She also stresses that it is strategic on the part of Jönköping University:

– It is an important investment for our future and for our importance in the education sector. It will help to strengthen our academic role, but it is also important for us to be able to play an even more important role in the supply of knowledge in the region and in Sweden, together with Linköping University and the Jönköping County Region, she concludes.