Principles for KTH education in place
How can KTH’s degree programmes remain relevant and attractive amid increasingly tough competition? This is one of the questions being answered in the far-reaching development process that the Board of Education was tasked with looking at last spring, focusing on future education at KTH.
“KTH is one of Sweden’s leading universities and our programmes generally maintain a very high quality, but this is not something we can take for granted for all future time,” says Anna Jerbrant, Director of Education at the ITM School and a member of the Board of Education.
Research shows, among other things, that universities have to be more agile, use digitalisation to a greater extent, be more interdisciplinary to solve social challenges, and have a sharper focus on the student.
“Many of the global challenges we’re facing span many disciplines. As teachers and as students, we must have respect for other disciplines and have a desire to solve problems together. While our students must of course acquire in-depth knowledge in their own fields of study, there are increasing demands on being able to apply them and solve problems alongside other disciplines,” says Joakim Lilliesköld, Associate Professor at EECS and a member of the Board of Education.
Various exciting initiatives are under way at KTH right now, and a lot is being done to develop our education programmes in different ways.
“We believe strongly in the power of the good example,” says Anna Jerbrant.
The report entitled The framework for future education was produced by KTH’s Board of Education as a foundation for discussion, and comprises an analysis of the current situation.
The work on future education has involved many people in recent years, both from within KTH and among external stakeholders, by taking part in workshops, presentations and other initiatives. The report also includes proposals for how KTH should work to develop and strengthen the university’s programmes in the long term, and the principles behind them. During the spring, the proposal for principles has been established widely at different levels and in different contexts throughout the organisation.
On 14 June, the President made a decision on the 13 principles for future education, which will serve as a framework for KTH’s education programmes moving forward. The principles cover everything from the importance of ensuring that students have both breadth and depth in their respective subjects, to integrating lifelong learning.
Leif Kari, Vice President for Education at KTH. How will these principles be deployed?
“The framework provides a shared general direction for work on future education, while also allowing autonomy for development at the individual, course, departmental, institutional, programme and school level – the best balance from both a governance and a change perspective.”
Is there any particular order of importance for the various principles?
“The more we worked on formulating the principles, the more we could see that they’re all intertwined. So I wouldn’t really say any one principle is more important than the others. Having said that, the work on certain principles does pertain more to the central and school level: Flexible, structured study paths, for instance. Meanwhile other principles can be worked on more locally and at the programme level, such as Basic knowledge and Examinations for learning.”
The principles apply from 1 July this year.
Text: Jill Klackenberg