University to award Skytte medal to Katri Raik

On Friday, 24 March, the University of Tartu is celebrating the Skytte Day and UT rector Professor Volli Kalm will award the Skytte medal to rector of Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, former director of the University of Tartu Narva College, Katri Raik. Katri Raik is recognised with the medal for her mission-driven work in integrating Estonian education and developing teacher training, strengthening the position of the Estonian national university in Narva and internationalisation of higher education in Estonia.

Katri Raik worked in the University of Tartu from 1991–2015 and her greatest challenge was undoubtedly establishing the Narva College of the University of Tartu and building it up over 17 years. In 1999, she started to build up the structural unit of the university in a Russian-speaking and, at that time, quite a closed environment. “Developing European-level, Estonian-taught higher education in an environment where there was very little of Europe, higher education and even less of the Estonian language, is a really great thing. Katri Raik proved that it is possible to provide higher education on European level outside Tallinn and Tartu. In a country of the size of Estonia, however, it can be done well only supporting on good cooperation with the parent university and partners,” UT rector Volli Kalm underlined the current Academy of Security Sciences rector’s dedication, professionalism and remarkable cooperation skills in developing the regional college.

Rector Volli Kalm also points out the contribution of Katri Raik to guaranteeing the new generation of qualified Estonian teachers, especially teachers for Russian-speaking schools. “Under the leadership of Katri Raik, Narva College became the most important training centre for teachers of Russian schools in Estonia. Today there are more than 1140 young people with teacher’s education, graduates of Narva College. A conference for teachers of Russian-speaking schools is organised annually in Narva and this tradition is particularly worthy of attention. Today, Narva has become a valuable part of the Estonian education landscape,” said Kalm and added that thanks to Raik’s work, Narva has definitely come closer to Estonians, and Estonians closer to Narva and to the people of Narva.

Johan Skytte was a Swedish politician and statesman, under whose initiative Academia Gustaviana was founded in Tartu in 1632. Skytte medal is an award granted by the University of Tartu to a statesperson or public figure who, in the opinion of the senate of the University of Tartu, has contributed the most to the development of the University of Tartu and higher education in Estonia in the recent years.

Earlier awardees of the Skytte medal include Ene Ergma, Tõnis Lukas, Rein Taagepera, Dag Hartelius, Andres Lipstok, Jüri Raidla, Andrus Ansip, Lennart Meri, Katarina Brodina, Jacques Faure, Kai Lie, Svend Roed Nielsen, Mihkel Pärnoja, Marju Lauristin and Mart Laar.

The Skytte Day is celebrated on 24 March at 16 in the Narva College of the University of Tartu. Presentations are delivered by head of UT Institute of History and Archaeology, professor of medieval history Anti Selart (“Narva 1558 – who was the traitor?”); head of Chair of Public Economics and Policy of UT School of Economics, professor in research and innovation policy Kadri Ukrainski (“The idea of the knowledge triangle and its implementation in the Estonian higher education policy today”) and Katri Raik, who speaks about Johan Skytte, the University of Tartu, Academy of Security Sciences and the city of Narva.

Additional information:
Kady Sõstar
UT Public Relations Specialist
737 5685
511 9188