The Johan Skytte medal is awarded to a statesperson or public figure who has significantly contributed to the development of the University of Tartu and Estonian higher education in the recent years. The Johan Skytte Medal was founded in 1995.
All persons who were awarded the Johan Skytte Medal before 2020 have the right to receive a pinned decoration.
The University of Tartu Senate decided to award the Johan Skytte Medal to the President of the Republic of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid, who led the University of Tartu Council from 2012 to 2016. The council is the highest decision-making body of the university, holds responsibility for the long-term development of the university and ensures the achievement of the university’s goals. As the Council Chair, Kaljulaid supported the preparation of the university’s governance and structural reform and helped to increase the renown of Estonia’s national university as an international research university. Before becoming a member of the council, Kersti Kaljulaid was a member of the university’s board of governors. The senate also highlights the fact that as the President of the Republic, Kersti Kaljulaid supported the signing of the Estonian Research Agreement between researchers, politicians and entrepreneurs, helping to ensure the development of Estonian research and innovation by a social covenant.
On 19 June 2020, the University of Tartu awarded the Johan Skytte Medal to Tanel Kiik, the Estonian Minister of Social Affairs. The university recognises Kiik for his substantial contribution to promoting evidence-based governance in Estonia and involving the University of Tartu and its researchers in the management of the emergency situation. Rector Toomas Asser said that Tanel Kiik has been a determined advocate of relying on the expertise of universities and scientists in decision-making processes.
Tanel Kiik was born on 23 January 1989. He is a cum laude graduate from the University of Tartu Pärnu College in Entrepreneurship and Project Management and is continuing his studies in the master’s programme of European Studies. As a representative of one of the founders of Tartu University Hospital Foundation, he has a major role in directing the development of the university hospital.
Svend Roed Nielsen