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“A success for the whole university”

The University of Agder celebrated its PhD candidates on Monday 7 September.

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Photo of rector Sunniva Whittaker giving a speech.
Rector Sunniva Whittaker gave a speech to the doctoral candidates. (Photo: Kjell Inge Søreide)

“We are proud to see that the number of doctoral candidates increases every year, and 2019 gave us more candidates than ever. Their success is also a success for the whole university, and it makes us all proud”, said Rector Sunniva Whittaker in her speech to the candidates.

The degree ceremony was held on Monday 7 September at 16:00 on Campus Kristiansand. The doctoral awards ceremony is a formal occasion where the graduates receive their diploma. The ceremony this year was held for all those who completed their doctorate degree between June 2019 and August 2020.


The ceremony this year was special, with restrictions on the number of guests each candidate could invite. This because of the coronavirus pandemic. There was entertainment by Associate Professor Mariam Kharatyan who performed two compositions by Edvard Grieg.

Bilde av deltakarane under seremonien.

The ceremony this year was special due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: Kjell Inge Søreide)

Director of Collaboration and Innovation in Kristiansand municipality, Wenche Delhi, also gave a speech to the graduates.

“To know what, why, and how are the pillars of modern society. Your work gives us a more secure basis upon which to develop society. You are part of tomorrow’s solution”, she said.

Lifelong learning

24 doctoral candidates took part in the event, from all six faculties at the University. All the deans were present to hand out diplomas to their respective doctoral candidates.

Bilde av Mehdi Ben Lazreg som mottar doktorgradsdiplom.

Mehdi Ben Lazreg was among those who received their doctoral diploma. (Photo: Kjell Inge Søreide)

“Even though you have passed your final formal exam, research is lifelong learning. Be curious, read what other researchers write, expand your horizon, learn new research methods, and add to your digital skills. The research frontier moves rapidly in every field, and keeping up to date requires significant effort”, Rector Whittaker said.

Doctoral candidate Sigurd Tenningen gave a speech on behalf of his fellow graduates thanking for supervision, good colleagues, generous library services and a PhD supervisor who always kept an open door.

“These things made life as a research fellow a great privilege because there is no denying that writing a dissertation can sometimes be a bit of a struggle”, he said.