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Graduate leaders: "We need to invite young people"

Panel members (researchers) standing on a stage in front of a screen
Associate Professors Steven Schmidt and Geidre Gefenaite, Lund University, Associate Professor Signe Tomsone, Riga Stradins University in Latvia, Doctoral Student Nicholas Levak, Karolinska Institutet and Professor Marja Aartsen, OsloMet in Norway.

One of the seminars at the Nordic Gerontology Congress, NKG2024, 12-14 June in Stockholm, was about the future.

On Thursday 13 June SWEAH coordinator, Professor Susanne Iwarsson, and study coordinator Associate Professor Steven Schmidt, held a seminar about graduate education in gerontology in Northern Europe together with other leaders from universities in Europe.

– During our ten years, we have had several challenges, for example the pandemic. We will increase our international cooperation. It's very motivating and encouraging for the future, Professor Susanne Iwarsson said.

Four university leaders on a stage
Professor Frank Oswald, Goethe University, Frankfurt in Germany, Professor Judith Phillips, Stirling University in Scotland, Professor Taina Rantanen, Jyväskylä University in Finland and Professor Susanne Iwarsson. Photo: Lill Eriksson

A panel discussed strategies for securing the interest of junior scholars to invest in research on ageing, life circumstances and health, from a Northern European perspective. 

– We need to invite young people, that is a challenge, said Associate Professor Signe Tomsone, Riga Stradins University in Latvia, and made clear that research make impact in society.

– Right education that interest them is number one. Ageing in general does not. Number two is networking and keeping the students, said Marja Aartsen, OsloMet in Norway.

– Interdisciplinary is important, to be open and take in students who have no experience of ageing. That was the way for me and then everything fell into place, said Associate Professor Geidre Gefenaite, from Lund University.