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Published: 2022-10-28

WHO’s Director General keynote speaker during Kunskapsveckan

NEWS Kunskapsveckan will take place November 1-2 at Umeå University. It is a conference for all staff working in primary and secondary education. This year, the conference will be kicked off by the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who since 2018 is also an honorary doctor at Umeå University.

Text: Anna-Lena Lindskog

We are avery honoured to have the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, join us for a virtual keynote address

“The annual Kunskapsveckan is something we should not only maintain but also develop further” says Professor Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University. “School personnel around the country get access to a free and first-class development resource that cuts across all relevant themes for schools today. We are also very honoured to have the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, join us for a virtual keynote address.”

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the first African to hold the post as the head of the WHO. He received his PhD from the University of Nottingham, England, with a dissertation on malaria. He has since then continued to work to improve public health globally, not only to combat malaria but also to reduce the prevalence of maternal and infant mortality and HIV/AIDS.

He visited Umeå University for the first time in 1997 for a course in practical epidemiology and has since then kept a connection to the University. Amongst other things, fifteen Ethiopian PhD students have undertaken their studies in Umeå and in 2018 Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received an honorary doctorate from the University’s Faculty of Medicine.

The Director General of the WHO will deliver his keynote virtually to an audience in Aula Nordica as well as online attendees, followed by a discussion and Q&A led by moderator Anneli Ivarsson, Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health.

During the introductory sessions, there will also be lectures around the theme memory and learning. Professor Jessica K Ljungberg will talk about the latest research in this field and her research group’s findings in her lecture titled ‘Training the brain for a long and healthy life’. In his lecture ‘What strategy? Is reading the text not enough?’, Professor Bert Jonsson will focus on information processing as a key to learning.

Kunskapsveckan is organised as a collaboration between all four faculties and Umeå School of Education at Umeå University. The purpose is to offer all employees at schools a development opportunity as well as the ability to access the latest research and network with peers, foster collaboration and exchange ideas. The event is free of charge for attendees and parts of the programme will be live-streamed online.

The two days will offer a broad range of lectures and workshops, covering everything from language, writing and sustainable development, to the mathematics of choice, the forever chemicals PFAS, health and wellbeing, and the war in Ukraine.

“For researchers at Umeå University the conference provides a good opportunity to share and receive feedback on their research” says Hans Adolfsson. “A win-win- situation for both the attendees from schools and the researchers at the university!”

The conference will end with sessions focused on how to improve research collaboration between schools and universities. 

Elisabet Nihlfors and Karina Hermansson will profile ULF – a collaboration between university, school organisors and schools at national, regional and local levels.  This will be followed by a panel discussion on the requirements for creating long-term and sustainable collaboration.

Journalists are welcome to attend the conference.

Find out more about the event and see the full programme


Follow the live-streamed sessions online

For questions about the program please contact:

Sara Franke-Wikberg, Dean’s Office Administrator, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå University, Sweden
E-mail: sara.franke-wikberg@umu.se

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