Avatar students in an unforgettable Farewell Ceremony 2021
What can you do when large events are not permitted, but you want to arrange a worthy and special farewell to students who will soon be LiU alumni? Easy – hold the event in virtual reality! This opportunity was given to students who have already, or will soon, end their studies in LiU’s international programmes, when the annual Farewell Ceremony switched to virtual reality.
Around 110 avatar students socialised and said goodbye to each other in various VR settings on 15 June. LiU’s vice-chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson gave a speech, the students’ names were read aloud, and a student gave an inspiring speech, with the complete event being broadcast live on YouTube. This gave family members, who usually take part, a chance to experience the ceremony as a virtual event. The students had each created their own avatar, and chosen how they should appear, to make this as individual as possible.
Therese Lindkvist, international coordinator in the International Office at LiU, was happy that the ceremony could be held using VR, and that the students experienced something that will live with them for a long time.
“We cancelled the event last year, so we were extremely keen this year to make this ceremony as outstanding as possible in the current situation. We looked at various solutions and wanted to test something a bit more adventurous than a traditional Zoom meeting. The idea of holding it in a VR setting appealed to us, since you experience it as if you are actually there, rather than using remote methods.”
“And the responses we have received from the students show that they were extremely satisfied with the event!”
LiU has had to realign to remote activities during the pandemic. LiU’s vice-chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson is positive about the future of teaching opportunities for future students, and the students who take an international programme contribute to the development of LiU’s education in several ways.
“Education and teaching methods are currently undergoing a paradigm shift, and many exciting opportunities are available for LiU to take up, in areas such as forms of remote education and modern teaching methods. I’m convinced that an intercultural way of doing things enriches our university. Learning from each other no matter where we live or act in the world is a key to development throughout the academic world.”
Internationalisation is an important strategic area for LiU, in order to attract researchers and students from other parts of the world, and to work towards solving the global societal challenges of the future.
“Research and education have never as international as they are now, and global societal challenges are all around us. Nurturing the creativity that arises when people from different countries and continents meet is vital to progress. For LiU, well-developed international collaboration and a high attractive power for researchers and students from outside Sweden are preconditions for us to grow and develop in a positive manner and reach our strategic objectives”, says Vice-Chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson.
The vice-chancellor expressed his best wishes for the new LiU alumni.
“I congratulate each one of you for your commitment, and the use you have made of your talents and energy to make a positive difference in a global world. I hope that LiU has lived up to your expectations. All the best for the future as you now take the next step in your career, and work towards achieving your dream – wherever the future and fate lead you!”
Last updated: 2021-06-28