"Membership of the Academic Society is both interesting and enjoyable, so I recommend employees to join," says Eva Enefjord, Chair of the Academic Society.

"All categories of staff are welcome," adds Eva Holmquist Jaberi, Treasurer of the Academic Society.

Study visits, culture and lectures

The Academic Society currently has members from a range of occupational groups and organisational parts of both universities. In this way, the Society serves as a kind of melting pot. As it writes on its web pages, the emphasis of the activities is on the word ‘society’.

The Academic Society has arranged a variety of events over the years. For example, researchers lecture on a range of topical subjects such as volcanic eruptions, solar cells or thunderstorms. Activities include study visits to parts of the universities and to completely different organisations, such as at the police station in Uppsala. Not all events are linked to the universities.

"There is also great interest in visits to general cultural events such as music, entertainment and theatre, arranged both in Uppsala and elsewhere," says Eva Holmquist Jaberi.

Unique opportunity with two universities

Being a joint venture between two universities probably makes it unique as a staff association. The double affiliation also provides unique opportunities.

"Study visits and lectures by researchers from SLU will be of particular interest to us at Uppsala University, and vice versa, of course," says Eva Holmquist Jaberi.

"Yes, our study visit to the Species Information Centre at SLU was very interesting," adds Eva Enefjord.

The Society arranges a party every semester. This year, an autumn theme party is planned for 11 November.

"There will be 1960s music, and we will probably have something to eat that has a 1960s theme," says Eva Enefjord.

A spring party is arranged on Sweden's National Day on 6 June.

"The tickets are usually snapped up quickly," says Eva Holmquist Jaberi.

The Academic Society is open not only to employees at Uppsala University and SLU but also to retired employees. For example, Eva Holmquist Jaberi retired about five years ago.

"As a pensioner, the only things I miss about work are the parties and workmates. But that's what I get in the Society," smiles Eva Holmquist Jaberi.

Regeneration a challenge

The Academic Society is a non-profit-making association, fully independent of both universities. In other words, voluntary initiatives are needed for the association to offer an exciting programme.

"Of course, an interesting programme is what attracts new members, and we are happy to receive suggestions for activities," notes Eva Holmquist Jaberi.

Eva Enefjord and Eva Holmquist Jaberi end the interview by noting that the Society's motto is probably to have as good a time as possible.

"For example, what you get to hear at our dinners is very interesting. You make informal contact with people you otherwise wouldn't get to meet,” smiles Eva Enefjord.