Initially planned for the summer of 2020, the doctoral conferment ceremony has been postponed by two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. “May the fact that we are now, once again, able to get together bring us special joy and happiness of reunion,” said Rector Jukka Mönkkönen in his address at the ceremony.
He reminded the audience that the ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees is not only the most prestigious academic celebration, but also a strongly communal ceremony. “In the doctoral conferment ceremony, doctoral graduates of the University of Eastern Finland become part of a long academic tradition, and honorary doctorates are conferred upon major influencers from the realms of science and society.”
“Although science is international and global by nature and although the main goal of universities is to be internationally successful, the significance of regional interaction should not be ignored. The university's doctoral conferment ceremonies have always attracted plenty of public attention, and the festivities are visible in the cityscape throughout the event. In my opinion, this is a small but significant part of the university's regional impact – after all, it reinforces the image of the campus cities as a home to the university. May the doctoral procession walking through the city this afternoon serve as a festive symbol of this relationship.”
“Achieving a doctorate is a moment of career choice for many. Should one become a researcher or do something else,” said Professor Emeritus Jukka Pelkonen, who served as the Head Conferrer of Degrees.
According to Pelkonen, doctoral researchers are a very important resource in sustaining every university’s research, and a doctoral degree is also useful in non-research positions.
“I would emphasize the requirement for doctoral education as an important part of our society's expert tasks, so that the information we receive is based on research and critical reflection,” Pelkonen said, referring to the flood of unverified information in recent years, especially on social media.
Universities have made efforts to create more favorable conditions for research work that has previously been labelled as temporary and precarious, and the University of Eastern Finland has been a pioneer in improving the position of scholarship researchers. “You are the best to judge how successful our own university has been in this mission,” Pelkonen told the promovendi.
In the ceremonial conferment of degrees, doctoral graduates obtain the right to use the insignia associated with their academic status, which at the University of Eastern Finland are the doctoral hat, the university’s own doctoral emblem, and the doctoral diploma.
In this years’ doctoral conferment ceremony, doctorates and honorary doctorates were conferred by the three faculties operating on the Kuopio campus. Professor Kari Lehtinen acted as the Conferrer of Degrees for the Faculty of Science and Forestry, Professor Emeritus Jukka Pelkonen for the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor Kaija Saranto for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.