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LiU – with the courage to think the unthinkable and do the undoable

The vision and strategic plan for Linköping University’s (LiU) work up to 2030 is finished. It is to form the compass for the future development of the university.

Kvinna i närbild, ögat i fokus.“We are proud to be a bold, courageous university. For a long time, we have been an innovative university with the ambition of challenging established norms and being creative. However, many universities have started doing the same, and now we must find new paths and possibilities. It is now time to show the way forward”, says Vice-Chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson.

Both of LiU’s vice-chancellors – Jan-Ingvar Jönsson and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Karin Axelsson – speak of their delight and engagement in the work. The vision and strategy document has recently been approved by the University Board, with the work going on right up to the last moment. Work on the vision got off to a flying start one year ago with the whole university gathering to discuss LiU’s future via webinar. The work has continued during the year, and resulted in the vision of “LiU – with the courage to think the unthinkable and do the undoable”. 

“This vision is a compass for the future, but also a crystallisation of our identity. I believe that being ‘courageous’ is very important. It helps us to prioritise, choose and go for things”, says Karin Axelsson.

The strategic plan contains six target areas for LiU, the university’s core values, as well as the enablers that will allow us to “together, through large and small actions, contribute to a better world”. The idea behind the strategic plan is to give the university a common starting point for our development together. The momentum will come from the university itself, and make the most of our co-workers’ engagement.

“It’s important to now realise the plan, and co-workers should use the strategy to make their mark on their work, in both developing what they already do and what they will do in the future”, says Jan-Ingvar Jönsson.

The strategy will be the basis for work on operational plans in the autumn. Jan-Ingvar and Karin can already see some priority areas on which they wish to focus immediately:

  • Interdisciplinary collaborations. “This is something of a trademark for us, but we need to go even wider, both in research and in new programmes and courses.”
  • Programmes and courses. “What are we going to offer, now and in the future? We need to join forces to develop new, attractive programmes and courses.”  
  • A digital campus. “This is a digital complement to our four physical campuses. We aim to build on the spirit of campus life and offer digital resources to all parts of our growing university.” 
  • Mobility. “This is about being able to move around, both inside and outside the university. Changing what one does and where one does it can be very enriching for students and co-workers, and thereby enriching for the university.”

When looking forward to 2030, the two see an innovative, agile university which attracts researchers, teachers and students with its creative environment. In the past, LiU has grown by attracting more students and co-workers, but also through new initiatives. We also have a new group of students – those who have come back to university to fill up on “lifelong learning”. Meanwhile, we are rising on ranking lists globally, are very visible at the European level, and have many students coming and going through international exchanges.

“I see LiU’s place in Europe and the world, but also that LiU is a natural meeting place regionally. People come to us to learn and understand the latest research, of course. But they also come to meet others, discuss things, debate  and get reliable information”, says Karin Axelsson.

In order to include students’ perspectives, the vice-chancellor asked the student union to come up with its own target area. 

“In just a short period of time, we at the student union were able to get 100 students from various societies, the union council and sections of the union to come together and share their opinions and thoughts about what LiU should aim to achieve by 2030”, says Linus Ohlsson, chairperson for the student union Consensus. The result of this consultation was the formation of the The students shape the future target area, with a focus on making the most of the students’ creativity and energy to benefit the future campus, educational offering and research.  

“Students’ engagement, not least of all through student societies at LiU, should be highlighted and strengthened”, says Linus.

“What remains now is the work of creating a structure in which students can play a clear role in the strategic plan going forward. How, in other words, we can meet the The students shape the future target.”


The six target areas: 

  • Open and inclusive 
  • Learning and knowledge creation 
  • The students shape the future 
  • Collaboration across boundaries
  • Excellence and benefit
  • Sustainable societal transition



English subtitles are available.


Anna Valentinsson 2022-02-28

Page manager: studentredaktionen@liu.se
Last updated: 2022-03-01