Rector Mona Forsskåhl.
Rector Mona Forsskåhl.

Arcada opened the academic year 2020-2021 on Wednesday 2 September. The key role of education to create the society’s path out of the crisis was a theme that was highlighted during the event, where a majority of the guests this year followed online.

Due to the current situation, only a small number of invited guests, staff and first-year students gathered at Arcada’s campus, while the event was live streamed online.

Arcada’s Rector Mona Forsskåhl opened the academic year with her speech to the students, staff and invited guests. In her speech, she discussed the challenging spring semester behind us and how the current world situation has demonstrated Arcada’s relevance to society.

- We educate experts who have become key players in all areas of society during the crisis. At short notice, we increased the number of study places in key degree programmes. I am convinced that education will play a central role in leading us out of the crisis, Forsskåhl said in her speech.

In connection with the opening of the academic year, Arcada also launched its new strategy aiming at 2030. The strategy focuses, among other things, on smart solutions through socially relevant education and research as well as global co-operation through Nordic networks.

- With the joint commitment the strategy was created, I am convinced that we will be able to live up to our vision to be a Swedish-language educational institution in Helsinki that builds Nordic bridges to be globally relevant. We will create smart solutions for a dynamic working life and a vibrant Swedish-language culture, and offer lifelong career support for a rewarding and sustainable life, said Forsskåhl.

In her speech, Rector Forsskåhl also emphasized the importance of critical thinking and encouraged the new students to be curious and questioning.

- Only by asking questions we can develop something new and find the smart solutions our new strategy mentions. Critical thinking requires courage, especially when questioning an authority.

The Student Union’s greeting this year was delivered by Darya Karilahti, Chairman of the Student Union ASK.

Read the speeches from the Opening of the Academic Year by opening the appendices below.