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Focus on education in difficult times

KTH’s role is as an education provider and research institute. This will remain the case as far as possible despite Covid-19. We will offer our students the teaching and education they are entitled to expect – even if this is in ways other than we are used to.

This is a major transition and alternative solutions of different kinds will apply. It’s about reducing the risk of spreading infection by avoiding assembling large groups of people. Right now, we must all do what we can to protect especially vulnerable people to reduce the load on healthcare providers.

Unique situations demand unique solutions. To reduce the spread of infection and the worry many of us feel, there will be a very big increase in the use of our available technology.  Digitalisation and the use of digital tools are nothing new, in truth. But, the pandemic hastens the pace and scale of this. Many of these tools have been available and used for some time, but things are now critical and KTH personnel have worked round the clock in recent days to scale up their usage.

A Coordinating Group that, in principle, consists of the KTH crisis management group, plus me as President of KTH and head of government agency, Deputy President, university director and heads of schools, has been established. The group is working with and raising issues that must be dealt with directly and others that are of a more long-term nature where we are planning for different scenarios.

Speaking for myself, and very likely for many others, my worries have been superseded in part by a determination to find solutions. However, I feel we must show patience in such an urgent situation and transformation. Having said that, the situation is changing all the time and you can access the latest information on what is happening at KTH here.

Not being able to see the big picture and the consequences of both the little things and the big context is difficult. However, I am convinced that with the help of technology, science and human compassion, we can pull through this.