University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser takes the oath of office

Rector of the University of Tartu Toomas Asser takes the oath of office during the inauguration ceremony at the open session of the council and the senate of the university on August 25.

The ceremony started with the opening address by Council Chair Ruth Oltjer, followed by a speech by President of Estonia Alar Karis. Then, Professor Toomas Asser took the oath of office and received the chain of office from the president.

In his inaugural address, the rector emphasized the university's fundamental values, the national university's ambitions and the collaboration between researchers and businesses.

"We like to believe that Estonia's development and greatness of spirit are not limited by the smallness of our nation or country. In the same way, we are not in favor of limiting the development and growth of a university just because we, Estonians, are few in number. The measure of a national university's strength is that our word carries weight — both at home in the eyes of every Estonian and around the world," Asser said.

In her opening address, Council Chair Ruth Oltjer said that the rector's re-election is a vote of confidence, but also of hope. "It shows that something very important was done right in the previous term. For our academic community, the University of Tartu's responsibility to preserve the Estonian language, culture and education is a mission-driven position," she said.

Oltjer went on to say that Rector Toomas Asser has distinguished himself as a balanced and integrative leader who, together with his team, is capable of discovering bold and internationally influential perspectives without losing site of the native language higher education.

After Toomas Asser has delivered his inauguration speech, the Minister of Education and Research Kristina Kallas (Eesti 200), the Rector of Tallinn University Professor Tõnu Viik on behalf of Universities Estonia, and the President of the University of Tartu Student Union Renar Kihho also addressed the audience.

The Academic Women's Choir of the University of Tartu, conducted by Triin Koch, performs at the ceremony.

Toomas Asser was elected to continue as rector of the University of Tartu by the 292-member electoral council on April 20, 2023.


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Editor: Airika Harrik, Kristina Kersa

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