Today, I have welcomed our international students to the city of Borås, and the University of Borås. It is a great honour and encouragement for us that students from all over the world choose to study at our university, and come to our city and our region. We have a hugh responsibility to ensure that their time spent studying here will be fruitful and successful in every respect.

Universities and other institutions of higher education are primarily educational in purpose. A colleague of mine often asserts that we are conducting research to find out what we should teach the students, and there is a bit of truth in that. Similarly, we can express the primary purpose of internationalisation; i.e. that internationalisation is primarily about receiving, welcoming and educating students from other countries and cultures, and that we actively work to ensure that our students are able to spend part of their university education in other countries. In this way, we contribute to young people obtaining a wider perspective, making contacts, and developing networks.

In a world in great need of understanding of each other’s situation, and solidarity over all conceivable boundaries, the venues we arrange via internationalisation are more important than ever. This has a large intrinsic value in and of itself, to meet and get to know each other’s conditions, circumstances, and motivating forces.

The University of Borås has a strong profile in terms of sustainability and develops its activities based on responding to all the demands that must be imposed for a Sustainable University. The activities at the sustainable university are characterised by a broad approach to sustainability. The interaction between, or rather to unite, the dealing with environmental stresses, developing robust financial systems, and increasing social inclusion and developing democracy is in focus. This is all about the global challenges that affect all of us. With our activities, we want to do our bit for the development of a better society.

Last but not least, I greet all our new students from the various parts of the world and give you a warm welcome to our university. I wish you good luck with our studies here and a nice stay.