Spring 2014 PhD graduates celebrate

Doctorate graduates from 25 different countries received their diplomas at Håkonshallen in Bergen on 29 August.

Doctoral promotion in Håkonshallen
POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE: More than 100 new PhD students were gathered at Håkonshallen, along with the University of Bergen’s leadership and invited guests, to celebrate their graduation in spring 2014
Thor Brødreskift

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The so-called doctor promotion is a highlight in the University of Bergen (UiB) calendar, and, obviously, for the doctoral graduates themselves. The promotion takes place towards the start of each semester, with the previous semester’s PhD graduates, the university leadership and other invited guests present. This is where the new graduates receive their diplomas, with all the pomp and circumstance expected from a ceremony such as this.

In the spring semester 116 new doctorates were conferred at UiB. More than 40 per cent of these were international students.

Knowledge knows no borders

In his speech, Rector Dag Rune Olsen pointed out that for UiB having many international who come to Bergen to study for their PhD is a goal in itself and that these students represent a riches for the university community in Bergen at large.

“Knowledge knows no national borders. Only through exchange and cooperation on research can we hope to solve the world’s great challenges,” said Rector Olsen. “In the last few months we have constantly been reminded of this. As the Ebola virus has spread in West Africa, the conflicts in the Ukraine and the Middle East, and new reports on severe climate change. These are all examples of why knowledge and science, combined with good leadership, are vital for solving the world’s challenges.”

The rector also pointed out that whereas these challenges sometimes may seem insurmountable, he felt a surge of optimism when thinking about researchers worldwide starting up their laptops or getting ready to work in the laboratory.

A shortage of PhDs

Norway’s Ministry of Education and Research has estimated that there in Norway alone will be a shortage of between 600 and 800 PhD annually until 2020. For Rector Olsen this is another reason for the universities to step up their game.

“This is a challenge our community at large must address, but for you all this is also a unique opportunity,” he said to the new PhD graduates gathered at Håkonshallen. “Seize the day!”

(Translated from the Norwegian by Sverre Ole Drønen.)