Welcome to Ålesund and Møre og Romsdal

Speech at reception, opening of ESSSAT XIX, Ålesund, 2022

President, participants:

My name is Johann Roppen. I’m rektor by the Volda University college, one of the three academic institutions cooperating in order to make this conference to happen.

Volda University college is the oldest of the three institutions, established in 1861 as a teachers training college.

The two other institutions are Molde University College and the Ålesund department of Norwegian University for Science and Technology.

This is the first time the three of us are joining forces and supporting an international conference, and I hope it’s not the last time.

All in all the three institutions in total has more than 11.000 students and some 200 doctoral students. 

The professors of theology are to be found at the Volda university college, while technology is an important subject in Ålesund as well as in Molde. And I’m happy to see several colleagues from the region participating at the conference.

When professor Knut-Willy Sæther by the Volda University College first presented the idea of bringing the ESSSAT-conference to our region, it sounded like a wild idea. Just look at the sites for previous conferences: Big cities in Europe, mostly: Madrid, Lyon, Łódź, Warsaw, Assisi, Tartu. Edinburgh, Barcelona.

But then come to think about it: Several of the ESSAT-cities have excellent football teams. But so do we: Three teams in the top division is more than any other region of Norway, including the capital Oslo. And one of the teams have played in the Champions league, playing Real Madrid, Porto and Olympiakos. So maybe it’s possible? If we do this as a team?