Mihkel Solvak elected as Head of Skytte Institute
The Council of the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies elected Mihkel Solvak, Senior Researcher in Technology Studies, to the position of Head of Institute.
Previously, Mihkel Solvak served as the Acting Head of Institute, a temporary position which he took up in the spring of 2017. At the time, he did not imagine fulfilling the position of the Head as a long-term goal. “I’m happy to take this responsibility, it will be an interesting time full of learning moments,“ he said.
Solvak considers maintaining and raising the attractiveness of the MA programmes as a development goal of the Institute. “Compared to other institutes, we are very international and our aim is to preserve it. Studying in English also benefits the Estonian students and improves quality in general.“
An issue to address in the future is, according to Solvak, avoiding losing touch with the Estonian society due to scarcity of Estonian students enrolled in MA programmes. “We should have one very attractive programme in Estonian, this requires resources and dedication,“ Solvak explains.
Solvak also appreciates the positive group dynamics among staff that creates a conducive work and study environment. “All our staff members, including professors, are relatively young, especially if compared to the university’s average. Therefore, we do not have the conflict of generations. In addition, we have so many enthusiastic people both from Estonia and abroad, as illustrated by the high share of external funding, which brings diversity to our lives.“
Mihkel Solvak has a degree in Political Science from the University of Tartu and he defended his dissertation in 2011 on the topic of private members’ bills in parliament. His main research interests are parliament studies, electoral behaviour and public e-services. He is a researcher at the Centre of IT-Impact Studies and the Head of Estonian National Election Study (ENES) steering committee.
The term of the Head will start on 1 January 2019 and lasts for three years.
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Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
University of Tartu
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