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Press release

Press release

The academic year 2023–2024 was inaugurated with the question Quo Vadis, where are we headed?

Åbo Akademi University has officially opened the new academic year of 2023–2024.

On Wednesday 6 August the new academic year was inaugurated with a service in the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vaasa, procession, and a programme in Akademisalen in Academill. This year’s recipients of the Elving Legat and Ann-Mari Finniläs award were announced.

In Turku, the inauguration was traditionally celebrated on Thursday 7 August with a service in the Turku Cathedral, followed by an inauguration ceremony in Solennitetssalen in Akademihuset. The programme started with an academic procession followed by inauguration addresses by Rector Mikael Lindfelt and a greeting from the student union, represented by president Nicolina Nordman. The recipient of the Elvings Legat award of the year was announced.

Rector Mikael Lindfelt

In his inaugural speech, Rector Lindfelt took as his starting point the current situation at Åbo Akademi University and reflected on the importance of considering different options, as they are crucial to the direction one chooses.

“As rector, I would be more than happy to enable the best research possible, the most attractive programmes, the best databases, and the most important devices. It is the duty of the university management to ensure that we have the best possible conditions. Unfortunately, all these conditions cost a great deal of money, and a significant part of the dilemma lies in that the majority of this money is not derived from the quality of our output, but the degree to which we produce enough of what our sponsors demand.”

Rector Lindfelt talked about the possible new national funding model to be applied from 2025, and the major nationally agreed parliamentary initiative to develop the country’s research, development and innovation culture that will be launched shortly. He asked himself whether Åbo Akademi University is prepared to meet this opportunity and challenge and contribute to the projected vision.

The Rector further highlighted an updated business plan and strategy and spoke of the importance of good internal, external, and societal cooperation and of developing a culture of monitoring and quality control at the university.

“We will invest where we need to improve to have the necessary conditions, dare to refrain from things that do not contribute to improvement and react to internal and external changes.”

Rector Lindfelt also highlighted many of the University’s successes: successful project funding, excellent application figures and several upcoming endowed professorships and externally funded doctoral studentships.
He welcomed everyone to participate in the work of developing the new direction for Åbo Akademi University.

Read the full text of the Rector’s inaugural speech in Swedish here
Read the abridged text of the Rector’s inaugural speech here
Picture material

Chairperson of the student union’s speech

More information:
Rector Mikael Lindfelt
Åbo Akademi
050 544 2628