Stockholm university

The President of Chile visited Stockholm University

"Last night I met two Chilean PhD students outside my hotel. They were here to take part in the ACCESS Forum 2024 and I felt so proud. It's an honour for Chile to be here. Despite the fact that our countries are far apart, we have developed a collaboration where we really understand each other."

Chile's President Gabriel Boric Font spoke with great enthusiasm and fondness of Swedish-Chilean relations and academic collaboration from the stage in the Aula Magna auditorium, as he visited Stockholm University during a sustainability conference on 13 June. 

ACCESS Forum 2024

The Academic Collaboration Chile Sweden (ACCESS) platform aims to facilitate and deepen the academic relations between Chile and Sweden. Read more at ACCESS (

"The collaboration between our countries began more than 200 years ago, and many Chilean exiles found a home in Sweden as they fled the dictatorship following the military coup in Chile in 1973. The bonds forged with countries that supported them at that time still exist."

Astrid Söderbergh Widding and Gabriel Boric Font.
Stockholm University's President Astrid Söderbergh Widding talking to the President of Chile, Gabriel Boric Font. Photo: Lars Folkesson/Bildbyrån

Dynamic scientific collaboration

Stockholm University's President Astrid Söderbergh Widding expressed her sincere appreciation and gratitude for the honour of having the Chilean President as guest during the ACCESS Forum 2024.

President Gabriel Boric Font talking in the Aula Magna auditorium.
President Gabriel Boric Font during his speech in the Aula Magna auditorium at the ACCESS Forum 2024. Photo: Lars Folkesson/Bildbyrån

"Our countries have a dynamic scientific collaboration and exchange, based on a solid foundation of friendship since the 18th century, strong diplomatic relations and mutual respect", Astrid Söderbergh Widding said in her welcome speech. 

Both she and President Gabriel Boric Font stressed the importance of international academic cooperation at a time when the world faces major challenges such as climate change and rising geopolitical tension.

"By focussing on the sustainable development goals through ACCESS, we can develop science diplomacy with great potential to promote research", Astrid Söderbergh Widding said. "Today, science is more relevant than ever, and universities could act as bridge-builders in international contexts." 


A President willing to invest in research

The ACCESS Forum was founded in 2016 as a platform for academic cooperation between Sweden and Chile, and now includes 17 member universities. About every eighteen months a conference takes place. In 2024 it is organized jointly by Stockholm University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology on 10-14 June. Around 250 participants – mainly researchers and PhD students from both Swedish and Chilean member universities – get to collaborate in workshops on themes focussing on five of the seventeen sustainable development goals within Agenda 2030.

President Gabriel Boric Font talking to conference participants.
President Gabriel Boric Font talking to some of the ACCESS conference participants. Photo: Lars Folkesson/Bildbyrån

Richard Olsson, a Senior Lecturer in Materials Science at KTH and one of the participants, enjoyed the conference.

"This is fantastic and we have a really good cooperation with Chile. I've been there several times and there are lots of exciting things going on. Among the topics we discuss are sustainable production, quality of water, behavioural patterns and green batteries."

President Gabriel Boric Font stressed that there are efforts to invest even more in innovation and research in Chile in the future.

"The fact that I am here today is a recognition of your work", he told the researchers in the audience in the Aula Magna auditorium. "There are plans to exhibit the results of your work in a public square in Chile, so that anyone can benefit from your knowledge. Universities are meant to serve the people."

The Chilean President took the opportunityy to try some traditional Swedish fika.
The Chilean President took the opportunity to try some traditional Swedish fika. Photo: Lars Folkesson/Bildbyrån