Holiday greetings from the President

JU, December 2020

It's time to round off this year, an unusual one for Jönköping University and for the world. Although it has been a different year, we have achieved outstanding things together; both in education and research.

In March, all of Sweden's higher education institutions switched to a digital format, and during the summer and autumn, corona-adapted campus teaching was employed at JU. A completely new situation for many, with more of us working from home and using digital tools. During the year it has also become clear that one of JU's main strengths is the campus environment, our common campus, in the heart of Jönköping. To be able to gather all students in a joint kick-off festival, or to run across the courtyard to attend meetings with colleagues from other schools, or to be able to have a spontaneous coffee with someone you bump into- that we miss these physical interactions with each other has become very clear.

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I am happy that the interest in studying at JU continues to increase. In this autumn's budget bill we acquired additional places, both temporary and more long-term. In the spring, the focus was on labour shortage and preparatory education, the new resources from the government apply to both lifelong learning and courses at advanced level.

Recently, the government presented the new research bill that signals an increased focus on collaboration and internationalization, which rhymes well with the JU strategies. The state grant for research is fortunately proposed to increase. The research grants are essential for continuing the development of a strong, research-based education and successful research environments. What these investments entail for JU, we will know in detail at the beginning of the year.

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In February, the School of Education and Communication (HLK) signed an agreement with Eksjö, Oskarshamn and Värnamo municipalities who will receive preschool teacher training with HLK as the education coordinator. Several aspects of this outsourced education are unique, among other things, the municipalities, together with HLK, will each employ a PhD candidate who is linked to the education. This type of collaboration shows how important cooperation between JU and the rest of society is and continues to act as a safeguard for education.

The School of Engineering will start a five-year master's degree programme in computer science in the autumn of 2021. This unique new programme has been developed in collaboration with the business sector and is linked to JU's research in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer science.

JU has during the year joined a national network of universities for increased cooperation with Japan - MIRAI. The project creates new research possibilities with focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, ageing, sustainability, materials knowledge and AI.

JU has been granted funding from STINT (The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education) for two exciting projects in intercultural competence and international understanding. The projects will contribute to further developing JU's international profile and the commitment to co-create knowledge together with important stakeholders - both locally and globally.

A digital assessment was carried out when UKÄ (the Swedish Higher Education Authority) proceeded with our application to start a dental education programme at the School of Health and Welfare. We are now waiting for valuable input from UKÄ and our ambition is to be able to contribute to securing competence in Sweden by starting the country's fifth and most modern dental programme.

We have just received information from the Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen) about a major grant for JU. The research environment SPARK has received SEK 67 million for eight different projects that gives us a fantastic opportunity to continue our development. The news is a wonderful Christmas present for JU, and it strengthens the feeling that JU contributes with important research and high-quality education.

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JU:s annual chronicle is now available on our website. For those of you who miss the usual lectures and activities from Jönköping University, you can follow a series of exciting public lectures on our Youtube channel External link, opens in new window., and you can read, watch and listen to more from our researchers via our blog External link, opens in new window.. Maybe you will find a couple of Christmas blogs there too…

During the Christmas week, our very own academic choir, JU Vocal Ensemble, will also act as a "home choir" for SVT's Christmas celebration. Don't miss it!

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In conclusion, I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone at JU who in various ways has been involved and contributed during this unusual year, especially to our teachers who did not have much time to adapt to the digital format. I wish everyone Happy Holidays with room for recovery. Next year, I hope that we very soon will have the opportunity to meet again on our beautiful campus.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!