We have received SEK 10 million over three years for a new assignment from the government to develop methods for validation of teachers' professional experience, together with other institutions of higher education. A number of courses have been evaluated by the Swedish Higher Education Authority, many with very good results, and others in need of improvement. We have signed a new agreement with the Student Union for three years, which is gratifying - students' engagement in the University is extremely important for our future. We now look forward to the opening in September of the student building, Studenthuset, which we have seen take shape during the spring.

Both within the humanities and social sciences and within the natural sciences, we have been very successful in terms of external funding, including funding from strategic partnerships. The Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre has been inaugurated and has received funding from both the Erling-Persson Family Foundation for a new research vessel and from the foundation BalticSea2020 for analysis, synthesis and communication, to help achieve the Centre's ambition to convey useful knowledge about the Baltic Sea to appropriate stakeholders in society. Furthermore, the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies has been inaugurated, also with a number of external grants from various funding agencies, and a highly topical research profile spanning the country's history, culture, economy and politics, in a European and global context. The Institute for Solar Physics has been fully integrated into Stockholm University. The Demography Unit at the Department of Sociology has kicked-off the research project “Families and Societies,” with funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme. Stockholm Resilience Centre has been evaluated by Mistra, with very positive results, and has received funding for a new period, 2014-2018, to continue further development of its research into social-ecological systems, resilience and sustainability.

Kirsti Niskanen, at the Department of History, has received funding from the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Memorial Fund for a major research programme, SPICE: “Scientific Personae in Cultural Encounters in Twentieth Century Europe”. Rodney Edvinsson, Department of Economic History, has been appointed Fellow of the cutting-edge research programme Pro Futura Scientia. Ernest Chi Fru has received an ERC Starting Grant for the project ”The Coevolution of Life and Arsenic in Precambrian Oceans” which will be transferred to the Department of Geological Sciences. The national infrastructure centre SciLifeLab has also started up this term, and eight vacancies will be advertised during the summer, two at Stockholm University. This gives us an important opportunity to strategically strengthen our activities within the biosciences in the long term.

Our efforts with mergers of departments and analyses of the organisational structure within relevant parts of the University continue. During the spring, this has in particular been the case within the humanities and the social sciences, and the University Board has decided on the establishment of the Department of Romance Studies and Classics from 1 August. The Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, established at the end of last year, has also received strategic grants to strengthen and expand their activities.

My first little less than one term as Vice-Chancellor has been intense but also rewarding. Last week I met my colleagues from KI and KTH to talk about this past term and our future cooperation. But soon it's time for summer holidays. I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank all members of staff, each of whom with their commitment contributes to Stockholm University's activities and its success. Happy holidays!