Hello to all students at Stockholm University!
It has been a semester that really has not resembled anything else. Who would have expected, when we started as usual after the Christmas and New Year holidays, that in March we would change completely overnight to online education? Since then, it has slowly begun to sink in that there is no real “as usual” anymore.
I am extremely impressed with how flexible you, our students, have been, how you have adapted to these entirely new conditions for your studies, and the patience you have shown. For example, when technology has not worked as expected, or when it has not been possible to offer the education and examinations as planned, whether in relation to problems with teacher placements, cancelled lab work, changes in exams, or residence permits, which has specifically affected some of our international students. Our most important task as a university is to offer you a good education, and I know that our teachers make their best efforts to ensure that this happens. However, they have faced significant new challenges in recent months, technically, but also educationally. Not to mention how sad it is, when you as a teacher love to meet your students, to only be able to meet via Zoom. It works – but it’s not the same. However, I also know that you have been extremely creative and initiated many new chat groups and other forms of dialogue in order to stay connected to your student friends. I know that you have really done your best, both to get the most out of your studies, and to support each other and together find new motivation.
It is one thing that we have endured this for a limited time, in the hope that it will pass. But as the situation now continues for a longer period, we must think even more about your study environment and about student welfare, and how we as a university can best support our students. Here, of course, the dialogue with you is extremely important, and in the midst of everything, I was happy to hear about the high levels of participation in the Student Union spring election.
With this greeting, I just want to thank you all for your great commitment, and to say that I and my colleagues at Stockholm University are extremely proud of our fantastic students. Have patience! And I wish you the best of luck in your future studies!
Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President