Dear doctors, rectors from ECIU universities, - dear colleagues and friends
It is a great honour to welcome you all to the doctoral promotion of 2014 and the celebration of the 10th anniversary of University of Stavanger. The 29th of October 2004 the Norwegian government decided to establish the 5th university of Norway – University of Stavanger.
Every year on this day we celebrate our new doctors who have defended their PhD thesis last year. As a university we are very proud of our new doctors, - they represent a very important part of our research activities and symbolize the quality of scientific work, -but also the potential for the university to recruit qualified academic staff in the future.
Research based knowledge is the core of the activities of universities, and since 2004 University of Stavanger has seen a positive development in many aspects related to research and study programmes. We can offer master and PhD programmes in every field of our disciplines, we have several research centres and the number of scientific publications and PhD candidates has increased during this 10 year period.
Our vision is to be a driving force in development of knowledge in our region, while developing as an international research university.
We collaborate closely with industry, public authorities and working life in the Stavanger region. Through decades of building the foundation of our university, as well as in the last 10 years, we have received a lot of support both from our politicians and our industry partners. Let me use this opportunity to thank all of you, -you make it so much easier to believe that we will succeed with our strategy.
One very good example is the campaign “Room for students”, in which leaders from various sectors work together to secure industry funding of more student dwellings. So far, funding for 100 new dormatories has been secured. These donations are birthday gifts from the region - and the campaign goes on.
Openness is an important value to University of Stavanger. We really appreciate the good and close relationship we have with IRIS research institute, Stavanger University Hospital and SAFER – Stavanger Acute Medicine Foundation for Education and Research. Together with IRIS we have established two centres of excellent research- National IOR centre of Norway and DrillWell, both in the field of improved oil recovery. Through collaboration with the university hospital and SAFER patient safety, quality in healthcare systems and pre-hospital critical care have become new areas for teaching and research.
Openness is also a crucial value when we prioritize national and international collaboration. In 2012 we became a member of ECIU – European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The strategy of ECIU matches very well with the strategy of University of Stavanger. ECIU’s main mission is to contribute to innovation and knowledge-based economic development in the regions where each university is located. The member’s institutions actively encourage:
A greater strategic alignment between universities and regional authoritiesThe entrepreneurial spirit of research institutionsStronger links to industry at regional, national and European level
It is really an honour to share our celebration here today together with rector at University of Linköping, rector at University of Aalborg, vice rector of University of Aveiro and the other guests from the 11 ECIU member universities. I think becoming a member of ECIU is one of the most important steps for the University of Stavanger when it comes to improving quality in our research and education. I look forward the Executive Board Meeting of ECIU taking place here in Stavanger over the two next days.
During the ten years as university, some fields have developed into academic priorities. They are concentrated on disciplines where we are strong both in teaching and research. These groups of disciplines have produced research teams of top national quality, and whose work is at an international level. Petroleum- and offshore-related subjects, Risk management and societal safety and Education sciences are our areas of academic priority, - but we also want to develop other fields, like Health, Economics and Management and dissemination of Archaeology
For a university, 10 years is not that long, but we have come a long way. I want to thank all the staff and all the students for their and for contributions to a good social environment and strong results.
Today, we celebrate our achievements. Tomorrow, we continue building our university – for the next decade and beyond.