Published: 20-10-2021 12:59 | Updated: 20-10-2021 13:45

Major donation provides investment for KI's students

The Medical Association's student union building in campus in Solna. Photo: N/A

The Medical Association has received a donation of SEK 15 million from The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation to refurbish the old student union building. The project has been ongoing for years with the aim of creating an inspiring environment for KI's students, doctoral students, researchers and alumni.

The new donation is in addition to an earlier donation of SEK 5 million from The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation, which in total has now donated SEK 20 million to the Future Student Union Building project being conducted by the Medical Association.

The project includes a fund-raising campaign for the refurbishment of the old student union building.

"This donation is really important, not just because of its size, but because it is the project’s first large private donation. There is additional value in the fact that the funding is specifically from Hans and Barbara, with their long experience and extensive knowledge of educational issues, who are showing their support for the project," says Anna Eklöf, project manager for the project, KI alumnus and former Vice-President of the Medical Association.

Carl Johan Sundberg at the Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics and inspector at the Medical Association also emphasizes the importance of a renovated student union building:

Carl Johan Sundberg, prefekt för LIME
Carl Johan Sundberg, inspector at the Medical Association. Photo: Håkan Leif

"The extremely generous donation is absolutely crucial for the opportunity to carry out the upgrade of the premises which is needed to further develop and intensify student activities. We understand that this substantial support demonstrates a strong belief in the importance of what students do and can do in the future for their further development, but it is also of significance to the healthcare and lifescience industry in Sweden," he says.

Hans Bergström is very familiar with Karolinska Institutet and its operations after having been a member of KI's Board of Directors and a member of KI's Culture Committee.

"The Medical Association has had a unique connection across generations. This tradition is important to take into the future. The student union building is also conveniently located next to Aula Medica. But the premises really do need to be renovated, and we hope that the project will now be able to be relaunched," says Hans Bergström.

Important with a common meeting point

Barbara Bergström also emphasizes that the student union building is an important building.

"The fact that there is a pleasant central meeting point for students at KI and a centre for many activities is important for studies and for solidarity. I can imagine that it means a lot to students who have come to Stockholm from the provinces or from other countries," says Barbara Bergström.

About The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation

The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation is a foundation whose purpose is to support projects based in Sweden that promote knowledge, education and medical research. The foundation has been a major contributor to the organization Forska!Sverige (Research Sweden), which Hans Bergström – associate professor of political science and former editor-in-chief of Dagens Nyheter – initiated 12 years ago. Hans Bergström is familiar with Karolinska Institutet and its operations after having been a member of KI's Board of Directors and thereafter a member of KI's Culture Committee.

Barbara Bergström is the founder of Internationella Engelska Skolan, now with 43 schools and its approximately 30,000 students throughout Sweden. She recently received the Royal Patriotic Society Medal for performing "significant deeds" within the field of education.