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LU alumni amongst Swedish summer radio hosts

Sommar i P1
Blomsterkrans, sommarkrans, blomkrans Sommar i P1 2024 Foto: Mattias Ahlm/Sveriges Radio

Every year, the Swedish public service radio broadcasts the very popular programme Sommar i P1. Ever since its start in 1959, it has been a staple on the airwaves every summer. It features a range of fascinating storytellers and each host has free hands to create their own 1.5 hour-long show – choosing their own music and what they want to talk about. Being a host on Sommar i P1 is quite an honour, so don’t miss this year’s episodes featuring Lund University alumni!
Sommar i P1 (in Swedish)

Sommar i P1
Lasse Berg. Photo: Elinor Wermeling

28 June – Lasse Berg, Journalist and Author | LU Faculty of Social Sciences’ Honorary Doctor, 2004
Lasse Berg has been called Sweden’s most optimistic journalist, with stories about people, culture and politics from all corners of the world. He lived and worked in Asia in the 1960s and in Africa in the 1980s, and these experiences are reflected in his latest book, Tillsammans: Människan som människans räddning. He is also known for the critically acclaimed Gryning över Kalahari about human evolution and nature.

Sommar i P1
Jennie Walldén. Photo: Mattias Ahlm

5 July Jennie Walldén, TV Chef | LU degree: Bachelor of Social Science, 2001
Jennie Walldén became famous when she won Sweden’s MasterChef and now cooks on TV4’s Kökets middag, spreading the joy of cooking on social media. As a restaurateur, she runs the restaurant Namu and the cocktail bar Gaji in Malmö. She has written five cookbooks, including Nudlar, and her sixth cookbook, SMAK, is coming soon.

Sommar i P1
Malena Ivarsson. Photo: Mattias Ahlm

7 July Malena Ivarsson, Sexologist | LU degree: Sociology
For nearly forty years, Malena Ivarsson has guided the Swedish people on matters of sex and relationships. This is also the theme of the podcast Till sängs, which she hosts together with Samanda Ekman. The duo has also written the book Till sängs med kulturen. Malena Ivarsson is a social worker, authorized clinical sexologist and author. She has studied Jungian psychology and answers readers’ questions in Aftonbladet and the magazine Senioren.

Sommar i P1
Zećira Mušović | Photo: Andreas Svensson

10 July Zećira Mušović, Football Goalkeeper | LU degree: Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics, 2018
Zećira Mušović is the goalkeeper of the Swedish national football team and a professional player for the English club Chelsea FC. She made her debut in Division II at the age of thirteen and was quickly recruited to the top team FC Rosengård, where she contributed to winning nine titles, including four Swedish championships. During the 2023 World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, Zećira Mušović emerged as a key player when Sweden defeated the reigning champions, USA, in the tournament’s round of sixteen.

Sommar i P1
Olof Lund. Poto: Mattias Ahlm

19 July Olof Lundh, Sports Journalist | Studied economics, history and political science at Lund University
Olof Lundh is a sports journalist and columnist at TV4. He initiated the website “Fotbollskanalen” and also writes columns about sports and business in Dagens Industri. Lundh has shed light on the darker sides of football and the game beyond the field in five books. Following Templet i öknen – så köpte Qatar världens största sport, he was nominated for the Swedish journalism prize Stora Journalistpriset. He has also won the popular trivia show Alla mot alla.

Sommar i P1
Karin Olofsdotter. Photo: Anton Silver

22 July Karin Olofsdotter, Sweden’s Ambassador To Russia | LU degree: Bachelor of Social Science, Psychology, 1991
She is the Swedish Ambassador in Moscow and was previously the Ambassador in Washington, D.C., USA. She represented Sweden at the funeral of regime critic Alexei Navalny in March. Karin Olofsdotter has worked at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for 30 years. She has also been Ambassador to Hungary and was posted in Russia during the 1990s.

Sommar i P1
Jens Bergensten. Photo: Mattias Ahlm

9 August Jens Bergensten, Lead Designer of Minecraft | LU degree: Master of Science in Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, 2009
He is the Creative Lead Designer at Mojang Studios, the company that develops the video game Minecraft. With 300 million copies sold, Minecraft is the best-selling game of all time. Jens Bergensten has been named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Sommar i P1
Susanne Osten. Photo: Foto: Mattias Ahlm

18 August Susanne Osten, Theatre & Film Director | LU Faculty of Humanities’ Honorary Doctor, 2000
She is one of the country’s most prominent directors for theater and film, and a pioneer in the field of children and youth. She founded the department Unga Klara at the Stockholm City Theatre and served as its artistic director for 30 years. She has received an honorary Guldbagge Award and is currently involved with the film Love Duet, where she explores the genius cult around Ingmar Bergman. In 2021, her autobiography Who Does She Think She Is, Suzanne Osten was released.


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The Alumni Network Book Club 2024

Book club 2024

Is there anything better than losing yourself in a good story? We don’t think so.

Vacation time means Book Club time in the Alumni Network. The books are written by alumni, and the authors are scheduled for author talks (in Swedish) in the autumn.

If you are confident in your Swedish language skills, then we suggest that you instead read the following page about the Book Club: Read more about the Book Club in Swedish

If you are still working on your Swedish skills, have no fear!

Netflix an honest life
Photo: Emil Hornstrup Jakobsen / Netflix | The film, An Honest Life, starring Simon Lööf, Nora Rios and Peter Andersson and directed by Mikael Marcimain will premiere on Netflix in the near future.

If you’re not able to read Swedish, you can still enjoy some of the works by at least one of our Book Club authors in English and immerse yourself in the stories regardless of any language barriers. The book: An Honest Life, is also set to premiere as a film adaptation on Netflix in the near future.
You can watch the official film trailer here.

Joakim Zander books in English
Book titles by Joakim Zander available in English

The Book Club Books

Swedish publisher: Bonnier | The book has been described by the major daily newspaper critics as enjoyable, frightening and thoroughly fascinating reading.

Synopsis: Eden

At the end of the spring semester, Elise has only written the theoretical part of her master’s thesis in art history. Her relationship with Johan seems to be over. He thinks she has a dark view on life and always needs to talk about the nervous system. Elise herself wishes she were a mollusk or a tree and wants to revert to an earlier stage in evolution. When she meets Johannes and Fredrik, who study extinct languages, she feels an unusual sense of belonging. In search of a community beyond the limitations of modern civilisation, they follow the highway down through Europe.

About the author

Isabelle Ståhl
Isabelle Ståhl. Photo: Mira Wickman

Isabelle Ståhl, born in 1988, was raised in Ängelholm but now resides in Stockholm. She has studied literature and practical philosophy in Lund, and the novel is also set in the world of academia. She is an author, literary critic and a doctoral student in the history of ideas at Stockholm University. Her debut novel Just now I am here from 2017 was nominated for both the Borås Newspaper debutant prize and the August Prize.

An honest life
Swedish publisher: Wahlström & Widstrand

Synopsis: An Honest Life / Ett ärligt liv

At a violent demonstration in Malmö, a young, lost law student meets a woman who introduces him to her eccentric friends. Their lives are built on radical and exciting ideals, but also on lies and great risks. When he finally discovers what he has been drawn into, it is already too late to escape. An Honest Life is a thriller about truth, betrayal, and the allure of living outside the law.

About the author

Joakim Zander
Joakim Zander. Photo: Viktor Fremling

Joakim Zander, born in 1975, resides with his family in Lund and works at Lund University as a visiting lecturer and university lecturer. For ten years in Brussels, he has been active in several EU institutions and earned his doctorate in law at Maastricht University. During his upbringing, he lived partly in the Middle East and the USA.


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More alumni will adorn the stands in the AF building’s Great Hall

Johan Stenfeldt, Chairman of the Academic Society, with a sample of what the new names will look like. Photo: Minna Wallén-Widung

The row of notable Lund University alumni inside the AF building is set to be expanded with new names. Now the public is invited to nominate an alum that they believe deserves one of these prestigious spots in the Great Hall. There are two non-negotiable criteria.

Along the balcony inside the Great Hall, the very heart of the AF building, runs a frieze. It is decorated with names of several former Lund students and was created using the technique of intarsia, where thin pieces of wood veneer are glued onto a solid base. Well-known individuals such as Carl von Linné, Axel von Fersen, Otto Lindblad and Esaias Tegnér have had their names immortalised here.

“There are several clergymen, generals, scientists, and cultural figures here. The initiator was historian Martin Weibull, who decided on the first names back in the 1860s, just in time for the University’s 200th anniversary,” says Johan Stenfeldt.

Stenfeldt himself is an associate professor of history and has been the chairman of the Academic Society for just over a year. He is also the one who has now initiated the addition of new names to those already present.

“Names were added in 1911, 1930 and most recently in the 1950s, during a renovation. But since then, nothing has happened,” says Johan Stenfeldt.

Everyone is welcome to submit suggestions

These updates are set to happen in the near future. A project group has been established, and now the public – individuals, companies and organisations – is invited to suggest which Lund University alumni should have their names in the hall.

“Our ambition is to gradually add two names per year, like growth rings.”

So, who can be considered a notable Lund alum?

Essentially, there are only two criteria that the project group strictly adheres to. The person (1) must be an alum, meaning they must have been enrolled as a student at the University and (2) they must be deceased.

“We are continuing the tradition that has been established, and these are the criteria that apply. Other than that, there are no specific criteria, and we want to have a wide mix of individuals from all fields. The movitvation letter should be written in a free text format.”

Planning a symposium

30 September is the deadline for nominating one’s favourite alum. After that, the project group, consisting of Johan Stenfeldt, former Vice-Chancellor Göran Bexell, University Lecturer in Legal History Elsa Trolle Önnerfors, and the AF Executive Director Johan Jörlert, will choose the names with the best motivations. The chosen names will be revealed on the society’s annual day on 30 November.

“Our ambition is then to follow up with events in the form of symposiums where we invite experts to discuss who these people were and what they did in their lives. We want to manage this a little better.”

Is there a name you would like to see yourself?

“Absolutely, many names come to mind. Both former prime ministers, cultural figures, and Nobel laureates have been students here. But I also hope to be surprised by the suggestions that come in.”

More information about the project and how to nominate can be found on the Academic Society’s website.

Original text: Minna Wallén-Widung – first published on 30 May 2024 in LUM

Nominate here

It is now possible to nominate new names for this name frieze. Your nomination should include:

  1.  Name of the nominee, along with birth and death years

  2.  The nominee’s enrollment year at Lund University (after 1898)

  3.  A movitation letter, maximum 150 words

The mandatory criteria includes the following: (1) the nominee must have been enrolled as a student at Lund University and (2) must be deceased.

Contributions in all subject areas and fields of activity are meritorious. The contributions can be nationally, internationally or locally significant.

The nomination should be sent by 30 September 2024, to

Source: Namnfris — AF (


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Open lectures by the 2024 Honorary Doctors

Doctoral hats
The next doctoral conferment ceremony will take place on 31 May 2024. Photo: Kennet Ruona

Every year Lund University awards a select few with an honorary doctoral degree. These doctorates often hold lectures just prior to the annual doctoral degree conferment ceremony, which takes place on 31 May this year. If you’re in Lund, take this opportunity to listen in! Please note that some lectures require registration. 

You can see the full list of honorary doctors for 2024 here.

Lund University School of Economics and Management

30 May at 13:00-14:15 CEST
Crafoordsalen, Ekonomicentrum, Tycho Brahes väg 1, Lund

Anna Breman will lecture on Monetary policy decision making.
Martha Bailey will lecture on Childbearing and Inequality in the U.S.

More information here.

Faculty of Humanities

29 May at 16:15-18:00
LUX:C126, Helgonavägen 3, Lund

16:15-17:00 | Professor Peter Hallberg: Livets estetik. Språken, städerna, konsten och minnet. This lecture will be held in Swedish. More information here.

17:15-18:00 | Professor Jan GrabowskiThe Long Shadow of the HolocaustMore information here.

Faculty of Theology

30 May at 10:15-11:00
LUX:C126, Helgonavägen 3, Lund

Welcome to an open lecture with Professor Terje Stordalen, honorary doctor at the Faculty of Theology.
The title of the lecture is Biblical Narrative in a Century of Newspapers.

More information here.

Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering (LTH)

30 May at 09:30-11:30
IKDC, Stora Hörsalaen, Sölvegatan 26, Lund

At this year’s seminar you will learn about successful study techniques and the latest breakthroughs in the exploration of the mysteries of the Milky Way. You will gain insight into cutting-edge attosecond physics, a field that was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics last year. One of the honorary doctors talks about environmental governance with a focus on climate change, another about why science is amazing. Register here!

The stage will be shared by two honorary doctors from the Faculty of Science (N) and three from LTH:

Harriet Bulkeley, Professor of Geography at Durham University and Utrecht University (N)
R. Michael Rich, professor and astronomer at the University of California Los Angeles (N)
Björn Liljeqvist, civil engineer, lecturer and author in study technique (LTH)
Sabeth Verpoorte, Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Groningen University (LTH)
Eva Lindroth, Professor of Theoretical Atomic Physics at Stockholm University (LTH)

More information here.

Faculty of Social Science

29 May at 14:15-16:00
Eden’s Auditorium, Allhelgona kyrkogata 14, Lund

14:15-15:00 | Michel Agier: Commitments of a Public Anthropology. About Migration, Racism and Wars

15:15-16:00 | Samir Abu Eid: Historical and strategic shifts in the Middle East – and why it still matters

More information and registration here.


🇸🇪 This information is available in Swedish here: 


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It is almost time for Eurovision in Malmö, but what about the wetlands?

Disclaimer: Researcher David Alcer’s views and opinions expressed in this text about civil disobedience are those of David Alcer as a private person. Lund University and the Alumni Network do not support or promote engagement in activities punishable by law.

Hello David Alcer, most known as the climate activist who ran onto the stage during the Eurovision winner Loreen’s live TV performance at the Swedish Melodifestivalen in 2023, with a banner that read “Restore the wetlands”. How are the wetlands doing these days, about a year and a half later, and why do you still think your message is important?

– It’s going so-so. As a result of Restore Wetlands persistence in raising public opinion on the issue, we now see it rising, moving higher up on the political agenda, and the governmental support for wetland restoration has recently been increased (in Sweden). However, harmful peat extraction on drained peatlands is still allowed, directly fueling the climate crisis. Peat is mainly used in gardening, agriculture, and as animal bedding, and peat extraction in Sweden is increasing today despite peat-free alternatives being available. Moreover, peat is still being burned to produce electricity and heat. Peat extraction contributes significantly to the climate crisis and should be banned – peat emits more greenhouse gases per unit of energy than coal, oil and gas.

Wetland Photo: private David Alcer

There are so many factors affecting the climate, why do you think wetlands in Sweden are important?

– Over the past year, many reports have shown that we are much closer to critical climate tipping points than previously thought. For example, the stability of the Gulf Stream is at risk, and there is a significant risk that the Amazon rainforest is on its way to becoming into a barren savannah. Therefore, all emissions need to decrease rapidly, and banning peat extraction and restoring wetlands are among the most effective climate measures in Sweden, a country with large amounts of drained wetlands.

You work at Lund University, but your research area is in Solid State Physics, Nanoscience, and Semiconductor Technology, not directly in the specific area of “wetlands” – how come? Is there any common denominator here?

– My research focuses on the development of new types of solar cells. In the course of my work, however, I have come to realize that the bottleneck is not in climate and transition research, but in the fact that politics and the media are not responding adequately to the climate emergency and ecological crisis in which we find ourselves, and in some cases are even actively opposing the necessary transition.

Civil disobedience and the type of “coup” you carried out during the Swedish Melodifestivalen is debated in regards to a democracy (Debate in Lund has addressed the topic), what do you think about that?

– Civil disobedience is an important part of a healthy democracy as a means of raising issues of injustice. When majority rule does not respect the rights of a minority, civil disobedience can appeal to the moral compass of society to effect change. Historically, this could be the struggle for women’s voting rights, or today about the right to live on a habitable planet for young and future generations who are not represented in the parliament.

What was your punishment for storming the stage?

– The prosecutor dropped the charges, there was no trial. I believe I have not committed any crime, because we are in a climate emergency, where peaceful protest against the deadly course of politics is entirely justifiable and even necessary.

Read more

Climate research | Lund University

Climate change hits northern wetlands particularly hard in late summer (in Swedish)

Watch: Debate in Lund Debate in Lund: Publish or protest – should climate scientists be activists? (

Sweden’s first national citizens’ council on climate (in Swedish)
(Explainer video available in English)

Five tips for politicians to succeed with their climate policies (in Swedish)

 Opportunities and obstacles for carbon sequestration in agricultural soils (in Swedish)

“We are further from the goals than before” (in Swedish)

Ring, ring – only, I don’t pay at all: when Lund University got its first telephones

Slightly more than fifty years ago, in 1973, the pop quartet Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Frida – later thankfully shortened to ABBA – had their breakthrough in Melodifestivalen with the song “Ring Ring”. They finished third, but just the next year they got their revenge with “Waterloo”, a song with which they later won the Eurovision Song Contest. Slightly less than a hundred years before ABBA rhetorically asked “why don’t you give me a call”, and just about seventy years after the real battle of Waterloo, the question of telephone connections wasn’t just an issue for pop groups (to the extent that such things existed during the late nineteenth century) but also for Lund University.

The telephone had been patented by Alexander Graham Bell (the contributions of other scientists notwithstanding) in 1876 and spread to the rest of the world, Sweden included, soon thereafter. As early as 1883, certain Lund-based companies advertised their phone numbers in the Lunds Weckoblad newspaper, and it wasn’t long before voices were raised demanding that the University should embrace this newfangled technology.

On 17 July 1883, the shop ’Eskilstuna-Boden’ at Mårtensgatan 5 advertises their stock of pen knives and watch chains, and also states their telephone number

Just ten years after Bell’s patent, in 1886, the question of ‘connection to the state telephone network’ reached the University leadership; Professor Magnus Blix (physiology) and Professor Hjalmar Lindgren (anatomy) had, together with the Head of the University Library Elof Tegnér, applied to the King in Council for such a connection. The government referred the question to the University Board, which discussed the issue during their meeting on 4 December. At this meeting, the otherwise technologically progressive Professor of Botany Fredrik Areschoug declared that he was not in need of a telephone, whereas Professor of Astronomy Axel Möller immediately jumped at the opportunity to make calls to and from the University’s observatory. He was enthusiastically backed up by the librarian, Elof Tegnér, who declared that the University Library was ready to pay for their own telephone connection.

The board, apparently sensing a breath of fresh telephonic air, decided to put the question to all departments of the University, asking them if they were interested in joining in on the request for a telephone connection. At the next board meeting on 22 December 1886, the departments of physics and pathology – headed by Professor Albert Holmgren and Professor Maximilian Victor Odenius, respectively – had jumped on the telephone bandwagon. The board thus decided to apply to the King in Council for a connection from the state telephone network to the University Library as well as the departments of anatomy, astronomy, physiology, physics and pathology; and as a small bonus Professor Lindgren had managed to add a request for a telephone connection between the Department of Anatomy and his private home!

This request from the University Board did not, however, mean that the University was prepared to pay for the connection – there wasn’t enough centrally available funds for this. The Royal Telegraph Board was ready to give the University a good deal though – calls, maintenance and the telephones themselves were to be free, as long as the University was ready to pay the connection fee. The board thus happily left the issue of paying 200 crowns each to the library and the five departments, noted that neither Professor Areschough nor the University Chief Financial Officer felt that a phone connection between the Department of Anatomy and Professor Lindgren’s home was reasonable if it were to cost a further 200 crowns, and then recessed – most likely in order to enjoy the Christmas holidays.

Hjalmar Lindgren (left) and Fredrik Areschoug (right)
Hjalmar Lindgren (left) and Fredrik Areschoug (right); telephone enthusiast and doubter, respectively

The government apparently enjoyed the holidays, too, since it wasn’t until 28 January 1887, that the King in Council gave his assent to the University’s request for free (apart from the connection fees) phone connection to ‘those academic departments in Lund, for whom the connection would be, from the perspective of scientific interest or other societal utility, of comparatively large benefit’. Royal assent was however, perhaps not surprisingly, withheld from Professor Lindgren’s request for a free telephone between his home and place of work. Phone lines were drawn and sometime in early March (all the bills are dated 5 and 8 March) 1887 the talkative public could reach five University departments and the library by phone. 

The perceptive reader will now note that in 1887 there was no way to call the University’s leadership or administration. This fact is made even more interesting when one considers that the University had inaugurated its new grandiose main building five years earlier, in 1882. So, when professors and librarians could call one another to their hearts’ delight the Vice-Chancellor and the chief financial and administrative officers were without such a connection. This defect was quickly realized, and in 1889 these two men received a shared telephone, subject to the same financial arrangement as the library and the five departments.

The lending desk of the university library
The lending desk of the University Library in the King’s House (the library moved to its present building in 1907) – perhaps the telephone was placed somewhere in this vicinity?]

The age of unlimited free telephony at Lund University lasted until 1902. The single shared telephone in the University Main Building from 1889 had by then proven to be inadequate, and the departments of botany (Areschoug had retired in 1898), zoology, geology and mineralogy, chemistry and medical chemistry also wanted in on the economically advantageous free telephone solution. However, these were different times, and in response to the University’s request for more telephone lines ‘on the same terms’ the King in Council decided that free telephone connections in exchange for only the connection fee was no longer on the table. Rather, ‘the establishment of the telephone connections in question may only take place in the regular manner’. And since then, Lund University has had to pay for its phone services.

Today, when Lund University has 8800 employees who – with few exceptions – have their own work telephones, it is difficult to imagine a time when the University as a whole only had six phones, none of which connected to the central administration. One also wonders how these 8800 employees could affect the outcome of the voting in Melodifestivalen if the University’s phone expansion hadn’t become chargeable in 1902 – just imagine the amounts of free votes that could have been cast!

Perhaps then, at long last, the right song would have won. 😉

Henrik Ullstad

Archivist at the University Archives (reachable at +46 46 222 16 70)

The author wishes to extend his gratitude to Lukas Sjöström for helping with proof reading, as well as to archivist Fredrik Tersmeden for good cooperative archival research, and helping with proof reading.


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How Lund University’s Focus on Inclusivity in Communications Shaped My Career at the Intersection of Gender, Remote Work, and Women in Tech

Emilie portrait

Guest writer, alumna Emilie Schafferling, is a 27-year-old Dane now residing in Ottawa, Canada, whose career trajectory evolved from journalism studies at Lund University (2019-2021) to a role in communications and PR within the tech industry. Her degree from Lund University provided Emilie with the tools to shape inclusive narratives to advocate for women in tech and contribute to the global remote work discussion.

The writer is responsible for the facts, sources, analysis and viewpoints presented in the text.

Emilie Schafferling
Lund University provided Emilie Schafferling with the tools to shape inclusive narratives to advocate for women in tech and contribute to the global remote work discussion.

My job is to advocate for women in tech through PR

My journey from studying journalism at Lund University to working in communications for tech companies has been all about exploring how communication and gender intersect.

What has driven me to tech, an industry relatively foreign to journalism, is the gender dynamics within the field, which has carried over into my current role at a Canadian remote-first company (Alludo), where I work with highlighting the gendered aspects of remote work and advocating for women in tech through PR.

But what’s the connection between gender, remote work, and women in tech, you may wonder. Let me break it down and explain what that all has to do with my time at Lund University.

Gender is everywhere

One of the topics I work with is the gendered aspects of remote work – especially related to the recent pushback against remote work that is making headlines.

You’ve probably heard it before: remote work isn’t just convenient; it’s a game-changer for diversity too, and women are leading the charge. In fact, studies show that a whopping 9 out of 10 women prefer remote work. And it’s not just any women – it’s women of color, LGBT women, and those with disabilities who feel the difference even more.

So, when we talk about remote work and all the pushback it’s getting, we’ve got to see it through a gender lens. Insisting that everyone comes back to the office? It’s really about catering to the needs of white, straight, and able-bodied men. And we need to shine a light on that reality rather than ignoring the negative impact it has on diversity.

Seeing the remote work vs. return to office debate as a gendered issue is something I gained the tools to do during my time at Lund University, where diversity and gender-related aspects were always at the forefront of how we approached things. It’s an approach I later discovered to be unique to my program and school – an approach I couldn’t imagine not applying every single day in my work.

The thing about tech

It may be no surprise that even though we have come a long way, women are still underrepresented in tech. Only 32% of the workforce in tech are women, and of those few women who do work in tech, 50% tend to leave the industry by the age of 35.  That’s a huge problem.

Certainly, part of the challenge lies in the pipeline, fewer women pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) studies, leading to a scarcity of female talent, which is exactly why we need more spotlight on the female role models within the field.

But we also need to address those challenges faced by the minority of women who do actually pursue a career in tech. ‘Bro culture’ and gender-based microaggressions are reported reasons for women fleeing the field by the age of 35.

And we, once again, need to talk about that as a gendered problem rather than letting the status quo persist.

Words create our reality – so choose carefully

Effective communication can be a catalyst for change both when it comes to women in tech, as well as the discussion about remote work. It’s not just about conveying information; it’s about shaping narratives, challenging biases, and fostering inclusivity. As communicators, our words can amplify voices and dismantle stereotypes. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize the underlying biases that influence the narratives we choose. By actively challenging these biases, we can uplift and empower those who remain underrepresented in certain spaces.

My time at Lund University played a pivotal role in shaping my approach to representation and how I communicate about gender. During my journalism studies, we were encouraged to critically consider the representation of different genders and races in our work. We were prompted to question why we chose certain sources and whether less-represented alternatives were available. And our teachers challenged us on whether we were telling stories that further fueled the already existing biases and stereotypes deeply ingrained in society.

My four semesters at Lund University truly laid the groundwork for not only my current work in working with the gendered aspects of the tech industry and remote work, but also the future of my career as a communicator.


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Develop your skills: Information about continuing education for professionals

Do you want to update your knowledge or learn something completely new? Lund University provides many opportunities for professional development by offering a significant portion of courses that are part-time and online without physical meetings, which suits mid-career individuals. And some of these courses are  taught in English. In addition to stand-alone courses, there are tailored commissioned education programs and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

Stand-alone courses given by Lund University – application opens 15 March

The application period for stand-alone courses and programmes starting in autumn 2024 is open from 15 March until 15 April 2024. Commissioned education programs and MOOCs have varying application deadlines.

A few select examples of courses taught in English

If you have any questions about a course, please contact the contact person on each course page. Use a translation service if the information is not in English. Even though the courses mentioned below will be taught in English, several of them are presented in Swedish on the University’s website.


AI, Business and the Future of Work
Understand and use AI so that you can transform your organisation to be more efficient, more sustainable and thus innovative.
MOOC, 0 Academic credits, Study at your own pace, Remote
Application through
Teaching language: English, with several language subtitle choices

Artificial Intelligence: Ethics & Societal Challenges
Exploring the ethical and societal aspects of the increasing use of artificial intelligence.
MOOC, 0 Academic credits, Study at your own pace, Remote
Application through
Teaching language: English, with several language subtitle choices

Sustainable AI? Social and Environmental Effects of Artificial Intelligence
Explore the social, economic, and environmental changes brought about by developments in AI.
5 Academic credits, 50%, Remote, 2 September 2024 – 3 November 2024
Application through
Teaching language: English

Programming in Python: Basic and Preparatory Course
Master the fundamentals of the Python programming language used for AI and machine learning programming.
5 Academic credits, 50%, Remote, Dates that admitted students can choose for this five-week series are: 15/01-18/02, 19/02-14/03, 15/03-28/04, and 29/04-2/06
Application through
Teaching language: English

AI, Business and the Future of Work
Understand and use AI so that you can transform your organisation to be more efficient, more sustainable and thus innovative.
MOOC, 0 Academic credits, Study at your own pace, Remote
Application through
Teaching language: English, with several language subtitle choices


Leadership in Complex and Uncertain Situations
Basic understanding of the conditions for leadership in simple, complicated, and complex situations.
2.5 Academic credits, 33%, Remote, 23 September 2024 – 27 October 2024
Application through
Teaching language: English


Agenda 2030 – Knowledge, Monitoring and Leadership
Deepen your understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
7.5 Academic credits, 50%, Remote, 1 November 2024 – 19 January 2025
Application through
Teaching language: English

Circular Economy: Sustainable Material Management
Where do the key materials in products we use every day come from, and how can they be used more efficiently, for longer, and in closed loops?
MOOC, 0 credits, Study at your own pace, Remote
Application through
Teaching language: English, with several language subtitle choices


Responsible Internationalisation – Organisational Leadership in a Complex Global Environment
How can organisations navigate the geopolitical events and changing global power dynamics that have emerged in today’s multipolar world?
3 Academic credits, 33%, in Lund, 1 November 2024 – 19 January 2025
Application through
Teaching language: English

Introduction to Economic Crises Throughout History
Economic crises in history and their effects on the economy and society.
4 Academic credits, 25%, Remote, 2 September 2024 – 19 January 2025
Application through
Teaching language: English


Global Health and Human Rights
In this course, students will explore the linkages between human rights and global health, covering historical perspectives, current issues, and practical examples from research and practice, emphasizing the right to the highest attainable standard of health.
3 Academic credits, 50%, Remote, 2 September 2024 – 1 October 2024
Application through (must have a completed Bachelor’s degree)
Teaching language: English


AI & Law
This four-week course titled AI and Law explores the way in which the increasing use of artificially intelligent technologies (AI) affects the practice and administration of law defined in a broad sense.
MOOC, 0 credits, Study at your own pace, Remote
Application through
Teaching language: English, with several language subtitle choices.

European Business Law
The European Union is one of the world’s largest and most important economies. This specialization is a 3-course bundle that will teach learners the fundamentals of European Business Law.
MOOC, 0 credits, Study at your own pace, Remote
Application through
Teaching language: English, with several language subtitle choices.

Comprehensive list

For a full list of all stand-alone courses given by Lund University in Swedish and English, please visit:
Stand-alone courses at Lund University (Link in Swedish)

Please note! If you have any questions about the course, please contact the contact person on each course page. Use a translation service if the information is not in English. Even though the above-mentioned courses will be taught in English, several of them are presented in Swedish on the University’s website.

MOOCs and Company-sponsored professional education

Lund University also offers Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which are open to anyone interested in the subject. These courses are free and have no admission requirements.
For a full list of all MOOCs by Lund University, please visit:
MOOCs | Lund University

Professional or comissioned education is training opportunities for professionals sponsored by their company or organisation.
For a full list of Lund University Commissioned Education please visit:
Lund University Commissioned Education | Lund University

Having trouble making a decision? Contact our general study guidance counselors

The study guidance services offer guidance and information when you are in the process of making educational or professional choices. We help you to clarify what your interests and abilities are prior to and during your studies. You are welcome to contact the study guidance team for example:

– If you are unsure about your choice of studies
– If you have questions about application and admission rules
– If you want to know more about the professional areas different programs lead to
– If you wonder how you can combine stand-alone courses to achieve a valid general degree.

Read more and book an appointment

Lifelong learning

Also read previously published articles:

The Career Coach: Ask yourself these questions if you want to advance in your career!

Do I have the right to take a leave of absence to study?
Applies to Swedish law – in Swedish

Irene changed her career path and aimed for a more secure employment

Will your next boss be artificially intelligent?

The brain is ‘programmed’ for learning from people we like



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The Career Coach: Ask yourself these questions about your career

Pernilla Thellmark has extensive experience in career and leadership development. She works as a career coach at the School of Economics and Management at Lund University and also runs the consulting firm Nilla Karriär & Kommunikation. Here, she provides you with the questions you should ask yourself to make decisions about your career.

Pernilla Thellmark

1. What are my goals for the next step in my career?

If you can’t formulate a goal for your next step, job searching may feel vague and difficult to grasp, with the risk of not getting started. Try to pinpoint something that feels important to you; it will facilitate your job search. Perhaps you want to take on more responsibility or deepen your knowledge through skills development in a specific area? Maybe you want to try something completely new?

2. Do I know what jobs are available?

Exploring industries and job titles is a good way to inject energy into your job search. Perhaps you’ll discover interesting employers you weren’t aware of, or you’ll become aware of job positions that may suit you. Utilize your curiosity to explore the job market.

For example, consider the companies behind the products and services you encounter throughout a day. Read job advertisements and websites, ask people about their jobs, try different keywords to broaden your options.

3. Do I know what I am capable of and how to present myself to an employer?

What are my strengths and what am I like as a colleague? What motivates me and how can I contribute with my skills and experience? Job seeking is largely about marketing oneself. It requires, first and foremost, time for reflection and an opportunity to get to know oneself better.

What do you want a potential employer to know about you? Consider concrete examples from previous jobs or academic situations that describe how you have handled different tasks and contributed with your skills and strengths. A good way to prepare and strengthen yourself is to seek feedback from others. Ask friends and colleagues about the strengths they appreciate in you. Remember that the most important thing is to demonstrate a positive attitude and explain why you want to be a part of the organisation.

4. Who is in my network?

I often meet people who feel they don’t have a relevant network. And I usually ask, “what is considered relevant?” People working in the industry in which you want to work is often the answer. Keep in mind that you never know who can help you move forward.

Building a network simply involves getting to know people. We often have a larger network than we think; colleagues, classmates, friends, neighbors and many more. When you feel ready for a new step in your career, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask people in your network for tips and advice, and share what you’re looking for. Most people are willing to help! Use LinkedIn to stay informed about what’s happening on the job market as well as to expand and deepen your network. Be active by sharing, liking, following and writing posts. However, don’t forget that face-to-face meetings are what impact us the most.

5. What makes me feel good?

We spend many hours of our lives at our place of work, so enjoying it is crucial. Consider what you need to feel good at a workplace. Do you prefer working independently or being part of a team? What kind of leadership do you need? How do you want the balance between work and personal life to be?

When we enjoy our workplace, we perform better.

Best of luck!


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She continued to learn as long as her eyes were able

Few alumni from Lund University are likely to have become news material in Hawaii. But exceptions exist. On November 27, 1933, readers of the Honolulu Star Bulletin were treated to a notice about a phenomenon in distant Sweden. Fredrik Tersmeden, honorary doctor and archivist at the University Archives, recounts the story of Kalmar’s first female student, Dagmar Karlberg – the mathematician who switched to become a translator and never tired of learning new things.

Dagmar Karlberg
Dagmar Karlberg photographed in 1941. Photo: Carl Larssons Fotografiska Ateljé AB. Source of image: County Museum of Gävleborg (CC-BY)

Few Lund University alumni can claim to have graced the columns of Hawaii’s newspapers. And yet, seek and ye shall find. On 27 November 1933, the Honolulu Star Bulletin featured a short piece about a phenomenon from a faraway place called Sweden: “Miss Dagmar Karlberg, 65 years old, living at Garvie, Sweden, claims to have taught herself Bulgarian, Rumanian, Chinese, Serbian and Turkish in just over two years.”

The news travelled further than Hawaii. The item came originally from the major news agency Associated Press (AP) and wandered its way through American newspapers from Brooklyn to Las Vegas in the autumn of 1933. The text was identical up to but not including the place identified as Miss Karlberg’s hometown, where local typesetters seem to have struggled with the exotic name. What in Honolulu had been “Garvie” became “Bavie” once it arrived in Gettysburg. In most cases, however, it was more correctly written as “Gavle”, or Gävle as we would know it, as indeed this was where Miss Karlberg lived at the time.

Learned in secret from her brother’s lessons

There was nothing upon her birth to suggest that Dagmar Karlberg would, in the autumn of her years, achieve world renown as a polyglot extraordinaire – nor, quite, that she would live to such a ripe age. Her father was a doctor at Kalmar’s main hospital to be sure, but not even this was a guarantee that a loved one would live long at that time. The year before Dagmar was born, both of her older sisters, aged five and two, were snatched from the family within mere weeks of each other. Presumably the arrival of a new daughter the following year, on 26 September 1866, was all the more eagerly awaited, and the feeling that she was a “replacement” for her deceased siblings was reflected in the fact that her three given names – Eva Dagmar Elisabeth – had all previously been borne by them.

In addition to the parents, Dagmar and the sisters who died in childhood, the family was rounded out by two sons: older brother Ivan (born 1865) and younger brother Gustaf (born 1869). Ivan started receiving lessons in the home when he turned five, which aroused his little sister’s curiosity. She was considered too young to participate, but as long as she promised to sit quietly, she was allowed to sit in and listen. The whole situation was later described in a newspaper article based on Dagmar’s own account:

She sat on a small stool in a corner with a doll in her lap. She was sure not to interrupt, but no one could stop her from listening intently. In this way, she absorbed everything that was possible to learn using her ears. At the end of the lesson, she would sneak up and look at the book being used, so that she could also read what was there with her own eyes. This was how she learned to read alongside her brother.

In those days, it was far from obvious that young women should be provided with any formal education beyond primary school level, and the state-run higher education system was exclusively geared towards men. But Dagmar Karlberg was doubly lucky. Firstly, she obviously had a family that supported her “desire for knowledge”, and secondly, Kalmar was a city with a number of private girls’ schools. The most ambitious and long-lived of these was the Nisbeth School, led by the enterprising Miss Georgina Nisbeth. One of her stated aims was “to ensure an education for young ladies equivalent in so far as it is possible to that which the boys avail themselves of in the public schools”. To achieve this, Miss Nisbeth recruited several teachers from the city’s boys’ schools to teach the older pupils at her school as well. Among which sat Dagmar Karlberg. She later wrote that “no experiences are so engraved in my mind as those seven years (1877-1884) which I spent at the Nisbeth Elementary School for Girls”.

Drawing of Larmtorget square in Kalmar
Drawing of Larmtorget square in Kalmar probably from around 1839 by J B Pettersson. When Dagmar Karlberg was a pupil there, the Nisbeth School was located in the building on the far right, known as the Jeansson House or “Little Court”. Inset on the right: Georgina Nisbeth, the school’s headmistress. Source of image: Kalmar Museum and the book Georgina Nisbeth och hennes skola (Georgina Nisbeth and her School), published in 1926.

Impudent enough to sit the matriculation exam

The fact that the industrious and well-read Dagmar was thriving at school did not equate to peace and happiness in the Kalmar doctor’s home, however. Her father suffered from a “premature collapse of health due to studies and work”. After periods of leave, he was forced to resign from the hospital in 1883, aged only 53, which explains later reports that Dagmar Karlberg came “from a poor family”. The situation was hardly improved by her father’s death two years later from an inflammation of the kidneys. Her older brother Ivan took his chance to emigrate to Australia, leaving his mother behind with his two youngest siblings Dagmar and Gustaf, both not yet of age. The latter had two more years until he could sit the matriculation exam. Before he could take it, however, his older sister Dagmar, with her Nisbethian education and a few more years of self-study behind her, was “impudent enough” (her own choice of words) to march up to the boys’ school in the spring of 1887 and declare that she wished to take the examination as an “independent student”. This had never happened before in Kalmar and threw the school management into a quandary.

The honourable headmaster did not know how to deal with me. He scratched his head and said:

“It is quite impossible for the young lady to sit among the men, they would be too distracted.” So, I was placed downstairs in the headmaster’s office, which was locked, and there I sat in splendid isolation and completed the written assignments. Well, then came the oral exam, and after that the moment when the happy graduands would, as was the custom, run out into the square and into the arms of all the mamas, papas, brothers and sweethearts to be embraced and cloaked with flowers. But I was not allowed to be part of it. It would have been “inappropriate”. Instead, I had to sneak out the back door – even though I had obtained laudatur [the highest grade].

Despite the discreet exit, it did not go unnoticed that Kalmar had received its first female matriculand. Kalmar Nation at Uppsala University drew attention to it by inviting her to a student party that summer; an invitation that Karlberg was forced to announce via the press that she had not received in time to accept. There was no immediate departure for a seat of higher learning – Uppsala or elsewhere – however. Instead, she spent the following year applying herself to a new subject, Latin, only to complement her examination in the same year as her younger brother Gustaf received his white cap. With the two remaining children thus ready to matriculate, their mother moved with them to Hjortgatan 5, Lund in July 1888. In September of the same year, both siblings enrolled at the University; Gustaf as one of more than a hundred male students that semester alone, Dagmar as Lund’s seventeenth ever female matriculand.

The homes of Dagmar Karlberg
The homes of Dagmar Karlberg and her family during her student years in Lund: Hjortgatan 5 (1888-1892) and Lilla Tomegatan 6 (from autumn 1892). Photo: The author of the article.

Keeping a low profile

Women were few and far between at the University when Dagmar Karlberg started. However, the autumn semester of 1888 saw a sharp relative increase in the number of female students, with no less than five young ladies enrolled within a few weeks. Several of these came to form a network with the older students, but judging from recollections of that time, Dagmar Karlberg does not seem to have been among them, and one can wonder why. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that Karlberg had come to Lund with her family and did not need to build a new community in the same way as the women who had travelled from far away? Or perhaps it was also that the family’s troubled financial situation meant that Dagmar had to spend a lot of time helping her mother in the household alongside her studies?

Karlberg’s progress was comparatively slow in the beginning, which suggests that the latter supposition was the real reason. While younger brother Gustaf graduated with a bachelor’s degree after just one and a half years, it took Dagmar four years to do the same. Their roles soon reversed, however. Gustaf submitted a licentiate thesis in the spring of 1895, but as he did not complete the associated examinations he did not receive his degree until many years later (1903). By then, his older sister Dagmar had already completed her licentiate degree in the autumn of 1895.

It is striking that there is no hint in the documents relating to the Karlberg siblings in the University archives that Dagmar would go on to become known as a polyglot extraordinaire. Quite the contrary: Gustaf was the student of the humanities at the Faculty of Philosophy, where he presented a thesis that was a translation of an ancient Egyptian temple inscription. Dagmar, in contrast, studied the natural sciences and wrote her thesis in mathematics and mechanics on pinch points! As a recent graduate, she also advertised in the local papers that she was offering private lessons in maths.


 Dagmar Karlberg’s licentiate thesis
Introduction to Dagmar Karlberg’s licentiate thesis. Inset is a photograph of Karlberg from the period during or shortly after her studies. It is taken from a photo collage of Lund’s first female students from around 1897 by Lina Jonn. Source of image: Lund University Archives and the Lund University Library respectively

Soon Dagmar Karlberg would take up teaching in a more organised way than the private lessons: she became a schoolteacher. This was not surprising; among the earliest female students at Lund, the most common careers upon graduating by far were either as doctors or teachers, especially in girls’ schools. And it was these schools where Karlberg worked: in Norrköping, Halmstad and finally Skövde. All her positions were short term, however, and Karlberg soon realised that this was not what she wanted out of life. One reason was financial: “it was poorly paid, only 800-900 crowns a year, and I had student debts to pay off”. But there was also a new focus to her personal interests. In contrast to the natural sciences that she had hitherto mainly studied and taught, a love of languages “burst into flame”: “I had an intense desire to learn as many languages as possible,” she later said. And hence her first programme of continuing education: in the summer of 1898 she attended a course at Karl O Lindbergs Handelsinstitut in Gothenburg. This, combined with her own language studies, prepared her for what was to become her new commission: as a “foreign correspondent” handling international correspondence for various clients.

Translated “propaganda”

Karlberg’s first job in this new field was “at a large industrial company” in Gothenburg, which went, in her words, “bust”. She would go on to have better luck with similar positions at first the Skultuna brassworks, later the Husqvarna weapons factory and finally the shipowner Erik Brodin’s shipping company in Gävle. In between, she also managed stretches working in diplomatic circles, namely at the US consulate in Bergen and the Greek consulate in Helsinki. In parallel, she also advertised her services as a freelance translator.

Eventually Dagmar Karlberg decided to go it alone: from around 1917 she was no longer employed by anyone but ran her own translation agency and gave language lessons in Gävle. It is likely that most of the assignments she received continued to be of the more formal and mercantile nature that she had undertaken when working for companies and consulates, and there is no indication that she had ambitions to pursue a more literary translation career – with one notable exception. In the spring of 1920, Åhlén & Åkerlund published the book Aftnar vid Genèvesjön [Evenings on Lake Geneva] in an “authorised translation by Dagmar Karlberg”. The author was philosopher and professor Marian Morawski (1845-1901), and the book had originally been published in Polish in 1893. Whether the translation was commissioned by the Swedish publisher or initiated by Karlberg herself is unclear. However, the preface she wrote for the book indicates the latter:

The book is not one of those that are read once and then forgotten. Permeated with the richest thoughts on the deepest questions of life, it grips its reader and takes him captive. [- – – -] Again and again, one turns the pages, only to find something new, something previously unnoticed, and when finally one puts the book aside, it is with the feeling of having found a real friend in it.

The book consists of a number of conversations among a group of international guests at a small hotel in the town of Ouchy, including two Poles (one of whom, a Catholic priest, is the book’s narrator), a Russian, a playwright from the south of France, a Swiss Protestant priest, a German legal philosopher and a female British novelist. Over the course of a series of chapters, they drift between various topics related to religion, science, knowledge and contrasting worldviews. A clear picture of the outcome of these discussions can be obtained by reading reviews of the book published in several Swedish newspapers at the time. These are characterised, it should be noted, by a rather critical tone, albeit not in relation to Karlberg’s translation but rather the message of the book. In what was still then a staunchly state-church Protestant Sweden, the book proved provocative because of its clear thesis that the real truth was to be found in Catholic doctrine – “straight to the Pope”, as one reviewer put it – while another described the book as a pure “Catholic propaganda” and a third said that the author served his thesis “on plates that were quite obviously fired in the factory kilns of Ignatius Loyola”. The latter referred to the founder of the Jesuit order, and the accusation was not without merit: Morawski had not only been a university lecturer but also an active Jesuit.  

The cover and endpapers of Karlberg’s translation of Aftnar vid Genèvesjön
The cover and endpapers of Karlberg’s translation of Aftnar vid Genèvesjön. Source of image: National Library of Sweden.

A language should offer new perspectives”

It is not clear whether Dagmar Karlberg’s translation of Morawski was made directly from Polish or via another language. We do know, however, that she would eventually master a number of Slavic languages, and in general, it seems to have been during these years as a freelance translator that she increasingly began to engage in the self-study of various additional languages that would eventually make her, if not world famous, at least temporarily applauded as far away as Hawaii. This programme of learning gained real momentum, however, only after Karlberg decided to retire in the early 1930s. In the late summer of 1933, several Swedish newspapers reported that “an old lady” in Gävle had learnt five more languages – Bulgarian, Romanian, Chinese, Serbian and Turkish – in the two years or so following her 65th birthday, “merely for fun and out of curiosity”.

Articles on the linguistic virtuoso Karlberg continued to appear far and wide in the following decade. “Russian, Spanish, Romanian and Turkish” were her favourite languages it was claimed (later supplemented by “the soft Malay”) while Chinese was “interesting but impractical”. However, the only languages she found directly difficult were “Basque, Arabic and Hebrew” with Basque being the most difficult “because it is unlike any other language”. Bulgarian, on the other hand, was “child’s play” to learn in just ten days (!) due to her previous knowledge of Russian. Estonian – her 25th language – was something she “mollified […] her convalescence with” after breaking her femur at the age of 69.

Karlberg also said that she preferred to learn languages that were as different as possible from those she already knew – and especially her mother tongue: “a language should offer new perspectives and teach you something about ways of thinking that are foreign to a Swede,” she explained.

How proficient was Dagmar Karlberg in all these languages? Here, as in most of what we know about her study of languages, we must rely on her own testimony: “I do not know all of these languages in the sense of mastering them, of course. In that way I have mastered only my mother tongue. I am, however, able to make use of them, speak and write them quite well.” Being able to write was a key to Karlberg’s method of improving in these new languages. In addition to acquiring textbooks and other literature in and about them, she made sure to find people with whom to enter into a correspondence, wherever possible, such as “a Spanish priest, a professor in Vienna and a Dutchman” or even “a genuine Turk”.

It is an alluring thought that in the most scattered corners of the world, there may still be piles of letters sent by an elderly Lund alumna in Gävle. The story of Karlberg’s lifelong pursuit of knowledge becomes even more fascinating – and impressive – when you realise that she had had problems with her sight since childhood. By 1937 she related that she had lost all sight in one eye and had only about 10 per cent left in the other, but “thank God” she could still read “in bright light” and by holding a black ruler beneath each line as she went. Given these circumstances, it is not difficult to believe Karlberg when she said in another interview that “the desire for knowledge has been a mainspring throughout my life.”

At the age of 73, however, her studies were inexorably cut short. Karlberg had recently taken on her 28th language, Finnish, when her doctor expressly forbade her from continuing to read. Hungarian, which she intended to take on as language number 29, was to be left unexplored.

Cared for by the sisters

The photograph of Dagmar Karlberg in her old age at the beginning of this article comes from the County Museum of Gävleborg. The museum’s database states that it was taken on 20 October 1941 at Brynäsgatan 16 in Gävle. This was an address belonging to the Sisters of Saint Elizabeth, a Catholic order of nuns active in Gävle since 1892 who specialised in the care of the sick and elderly. Between 1933 and 1973, they ran a nursing home at that address where they “cared for many residents of Gävle”, some of whom also “ended their days at the home”. The register of deaths for Staffan parish in Kalmar shows that Dagmar was one of them: she ended her days with the sisters on 12 July 1945.

Given the small number of Catholics in Sweden at the time it was hardly a requirement to share the sisters’ faith in order to benefit from their care, but in the case of Karlberg in particular, one wonders whether the enthusiastic translator of Aftnar vid Genèvesjön might not have been particularly at home in a Catholic milieu where mass was celebrated three days a week. Regardless, she generally seems to have been a lady who found her place in life. Or as she put it in an interview at the age of 70:

It is so much fun to be alive, despite being old […]. Life has so many interesting things to offer. With interests and a good temperament, you will find happiness.

Fredrik Tersmeden

Ph.D.h.c, Archivist at Record Management and Archives


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If you were to change paths, what would you do instead?

We asked four of our more well-known alumni – a comedian, a former top politician, a doctor/TV personality and a former archbishop: If you suddenly woke up one day and needed to change careers, which path would you like to explore instead?

Johan Glans

Johan Glans, beloved comedian:

Running a bookstore is something I can fantasize about at times, especially when I feel stressed. I imagine it to be a pleasant existence. I picture myself engaging in small talk with customers, and when the store is empty, there’s always something to read. But I’m probably naive; reality is usually never that simple…

Annie >Lööf

Annie Lööf, former top politician:

Haha, that’s such a difficult question because I’m currently right in the middle of just that! What would I do if I were to do something COMPLETELY different? Astronaut. I’m so impressed by both the physical and mental strength that people like Marcus Wandt possess. Imagine working at the forefront of the world’s research and innovation while simultaneously testing your own limits. Now I’m reaching for the stars and daydreams, and to be honest, I’m quite content with the life and jobs I have right now.

Henrik Widegren

Henrik Widegren, doctor at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic at Skåne University Hospital (SUS) and Fråga Lund TV expert:

I would like to become a professor of literature, as well as a gardener. In the mornings, read books and teach, and in the afternoons, go out to prune roses and cultivate my garden. A perfect combination!

KG Hammar

K.G. Hammar, former Archbishop of the Church of Sweden, theologian and researcher:

My alternative during high school was literature, and that would still be an alternate life path, preferably in combination with philosophy. So perhaps a professor in those subjects!

Photo credit:
Johan Glans – Robert Eldrim
Annie Lööf – Gabriel Liljevall
Henrik Widegren – Freddy Billqvist
K.G Hammar – Svenska kyrkan

Irene changed her career path and aimed for more job security

After two layoffs, Irene Arnerlind felt that it was time to take the leap and invest in enhancing her skills as well as change her career trajectory. She contacted a study and career guidance counselor, who helped her identify the path she could take to achieve her new goals. This is her story.

Irene Arnerlind
Irene Arnerlind outside her new office.

For over two decades, Irene dedicated her professional life to the fitness industry, holding various roles and responsibilities. For many years, she worked for a large national fitness chain, focusing on product and business development, and later as a manager with personnel responsibilities. Despite her love for the industry and sharing a passion with her colleagues, Irene occasionally felt concerned about a certain lack of professionalism. Ironically, this very deficiency became a reason for her growing interest in the workplace environment and labor law.

“During the pandemic, I was laid off due to a labor shortage. Shortly thereafter, I secured a new position within the industry with another employer. Then the war in Ukraine broke out, and the industry faced economic challenges again, leading to my second layoff due to a labor shortage. Instead of viewing it negatively, I thought that now it’s probably meant for me to change my career path.”

However, it was certainly not an easy decision to make the switch. Irene felt a bit fearful about returning to the classroom after so many years, and just having turned forty. She pondered whether it would be challenging to learn as an “older” individual and how she would manage her daily life. One of the most significant questions, of course, was where and what she should study to enhance her employability.

Irene sought guidance by contacting a study and career guidance counselor

Irene already had a university degree in both Business Administration/Leadership and Public Health. Her elective courses focused on people and organisations in development. While physical health had always been a focal point, Irene’s life experiences grew over the years and she also became interested in people’s mental well-being at work.

“My interest in group development, leadership and especially workplace environment and labor law has grown over the years. So, I knew I wanted to work with these issues, but I didn’t want to be dependent on just one industry. I contacted a study and career guidance counselor at my former university, who suggested that HR could be a broad path for me to take. She helped me find a course at Lund University in labor law and another course, HR in Theory and Practice, at Umeå University. Both were entirely online. Once I had started these full-time studies, I felt that I wanted to make the most of my study time and, therefore, I also enrolled in a professional training program as an HR Coordinator, which was also conducted online.”

Everyday finances

To financially manage her time as a student, Irene took student loans as well as additional loans available to those with children, along with grants. She also utilized some saved money and carefully planned her expenses. Irene learned to distinguish between needs and desires, explored second-hand alternatives, and had an additional job as a group fitness instructor. By being aware of her financial priorities and making wise purchasing decisions, she managed to balance life with a spouse, a house, children and studies.

“I’m a mom and I think moms in general are very efficient! I also have a strong drive and am very goal-oriented. Therefore, I didn’t find it challenging to juggle either time or finances. I looked forward to contributing to something ‘bigger,’ and I also desired increased job security, which is why I aimed for public service. It would pay off in the long run.”

Daily routines and online courses

Dropping off and picking up the children at preschool and school, attending parent-teacher conferences,  cooking, doing the dishes, laundry and driving to various activities is a daily reality that many parents can relate to. The fact that Irene’s studies were completely online, without any physical meetings, turned out to be a central piece of the puzzle to make all aspects of life fit together.

“For me, it was absolutely crucial! I wouldn’t have been able to go back and forth to Lund. It also wouldn’t have been possible to combine it with other studies or my extra job, along with pick-ups and drop-offs. In addition, I have to thank my partner because he did most of the housework.”

Easier to study when already in the workforce

“I found it luxurious to take a break from the workforce; having more knowledge in my backpack is only a positive thing. I also felt that it was easier to study now than it was right after high school. This is partly because I was probably more motivated now and knew what I would use the studies for, and partly because I could apply theories, different cases, laws, etc. from previously gained work experiences. I completed my studies, made a career change, and got a job as a Systems Coordinator in HR at Region Halland. One has to dare to take a leap to move forward.”

Did you know?

The general study guidance services at Lund University are open to you as an alum.
Feel free to read more about the services or book a meeting with the study advisers.
They are available both in person at the Lund Office or through digital meetings.
Learn more about Lund University’s study guidance services here.




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