We are in the middle of the semester and our days are filled with teaching and research activities at the same time as the daylight is becoming shorter and shorter. But luckily the advent season is coming up, which means that we are allowed to start hanging up advent candelabra and some Christmas decorations. This is something at least I enjoy very much:).
One of the most important news coming from me as dean of Education is that we are changing the guidelines for how we at the ITM-school should manage the written exams. There will be a school management decision that describes ITMs guidelines for managing written exams as a complement to the KTH exam rules. One of the most important aspects in the decision is that all teachers shall send a digital version of their exams to the studentexpeditions at least three working days before the exam date. This since it’s the studentsexpeditions responsibility to print the exams, make sure all the exam guards get their copies as well as delivering it to the FUNKA unit. This means that the possibility for teachers to print the exam themselves and then deliver it directly to the exam rooms disappear.
In addition we have also reinstate that the studentexpedition sends out an email to all the examinators approximately one week before the exam with the information on how many student that are notified, a room placement list (which shows the rooms that are booked for that specific exam) and a reminder to submit the exam to them no later than three days before the examination date.
Based on this I hope that the preparations and executions of all of our written exams will be improved and more efficient.
Another important educational issue is that ITM has specified the procedure for reporting a disciplinary matter (if we suspect that a student have been cheating). This process has been described in a presentation that I hope have reached all of you! If not please let me know.
Finally I hope you all read our Present Sigbritt Karlsson blog, Flexible employers wanted, where she shares her thoughts on the future working life for our students. https://www.kth.se/blogs/president/2018/10/flexible-employers-wanted/
If not I can recommend it since it was very interesting!
/Anna Jerbrant, Director of First and Second Cycle Education
During November 6-7, eight universities from Japan, Korea, China, Canada,Taiwan Germany, France and Sweden met in Sendai in Japan to discuss the possibilities to collaborate to reach excellence in education and research. The event was arranged by Tohoku University who has an overall aim to reach a top 10 ranking in the fields of Spintronics, Environmental & Earth Science, Cosmic Physics, Machine Science, and Materials Science. Together with the Director of Studies Anders Eliasson I attended a workshop focusing on materials science, where collaborations within the areas of “Metallurgy”, “Materials Science” and “Materials Processing” were discussed. Each university was given one hour each to explain the education of BSc, MSc and PhD students. In addition, visits to laboratories and meeting with students took place the second day. Here it was clear that the equipment at Tohoku University is very modern and advanced.
It is clear that it is difficult to collaborate with other universities on a Bachelor level, with the exception from the University of British Colombia in Vancouver. They already have 30% foreign students on their Bachelor programs, which all are given in English. On a MSc level, it is clear that the simplest way to reach a fruitful collaboration is by students carrying out MSc theses at a partner university. However, it is possible to create double degree programs with some universities.
It is also clear that it seems quite easy to collaborate on a PhD level with most universities. For example, Tohoku University has received at least 1 student per year from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering KTH during the last 15 years. During this meeting it was clear from discussions with several faculty members that more KTH students are welcome to carry out research in their groups.
One peculiar reflection was that the French universities got complain from the French authorities that they were ranked very low in international rankings. Then, a number of institutes and universities recently merged into the University of Lyon, which in total has 140 000 students (Yes! You read it correctly!). In this way they anticipate that they fast will obtain a higher ranking. I have an innovative solution, namely that we merge all science universities in Sweden to create the Royal Nobel University of Science!
No, I am kidding! We really need to reconsider what is important for us at KTH and not only consider ranking. Our main impact is through our undergraduate and graduate students. We need to give them a suitable “toolbox” so that they can contribute to developing societies in an innovative and sustainable manner!
/ Pär Jönsson, Deputy Head of School
Internal Environmental Audit
At present, KTH is performing an internal environmental audit. The internal audit group visited by ITM last Friday, and a review of was carried out regarding:
- Follow-up and evaluation of mandatory requirements
- Management’s commitment and responsibilities
- Organisation and working methods for sustainability work
- Sustainability-aspects within the framework of the quality process for education and research
The KTH Sustainability Office will support the schools in their effort to maintain and develop environmental management practices and thereby the work towards achieving sustainability goals. The purpose of this organisational change is to create “One KTH,“ by way of enhancing support and strengthening competence regarding the work with the environmental management system’s administrative procedures.
The KTH Sustainability Office will work directly with responsible managers and responsible function heads instead of – like today– environmental agents. This means that Charlott Flodin and Adde Jeihouni will resign as environmental representatives from January 1, 2019.
Read more about the Environmental Audit here (in Swedish only).
Organisational Changes for Operational Support
The Rector has decided on the new internal organisation for Joint Operational Support (GVS). The new departments at UF will be:
- Finance and Procurement (Finance and Procurement)
- Planning, Evaluation, Quality (Planning and evaluation, Administrative Law)
- Human Resources (Human Resources, Employment Law)
- Education Support (Academic Registry, Students´ Office, International Relations)
- Research Support (Research Office, Contract Law, Fundraising)
- Collaboration (Communication, KTH Business Liaison excl. Fundraising)
- Sites and Operation (Site Services, Department for Building and Environment)
- ICT Services (IT Department, Records Management and Archive)
- Common Infrastructure (Internal audit, KTHB, KTH Innovation incl. IPR Law, Open lab, Alba Nova, SciLifeLab Administration)
Internal Audit is subject to the KTH Board, but will organisationally be places within GVS. Head of GVS is Managing Director Anders Lundgren. The Rector further decided that the KTH’s Head of School Council will function as a strategic council for the Joint Operations Support (GVS). The new organisation will be put into effect on January 1, 2019.
Read Rector’s comments on the Joint Operational Support (GVS) here.
/ Christina Carlsson, Head of Administration
One of the most important news coming from me as Dean of Education is that we are changing the guidelines for how we at the ITM-school should manage the written exams. Right now we are preparing a school management decision where Jan Wikander will determine ITMs guidelines for managing written exams as a complement to the KTH exam rules. The decision will be taken later on this autumn and it has been discussed (I hope) in several different groupings (so that you’ve had the possibility to influence it). One of the most important aspects in the decision is that all teachers shall send a digital version of their exams to the studentexpeditions at least three working days before the exam date. This since it’s the studentsexpeditions responsibility to print the exams, make sure all the exam guards get their copies as well as delivering it to the FUNKA unit. This means that the possibility for teachers to print the exam themselves and then deliver it directly to the exam rooms disappear.
And although the decision isn’t formally made yet, it is desirable that we implement this routine right away, for exam period 1.
In addition we are also reinstating the routine that the studentexpedition will send out an email to all the exminators approximately one week before the exam with the information on how many student that are notified, a room placement list (which shows the rooms that are booked for that specific exam) and a reminder to submit the exam to them no later then three days before the examination date.
Besides this other interesting educationally focused things are happening at KTH. The Vice Dean of Education, Per Berglund, welcomes KTH’s staff to four seminars focusing on education and quality:
- The first one is on October 23rd and is focused on Language Policy 2.0, which is a policy for a bilingual KTH.
- The second one is on November 12th and is focused on discussing experiences from the work done with the program analysis performed during 2018.
- And the third one is on November 27th and are focused on a Higher education excellence program. This since KTH needs to introduce a clear incentive structure to highlight the importance of pedagogy and encourage an excellent educational environment (according to the development plan 2018-2023).
Finally I would like to take the opportunity to market two of ITMs new educational programs. From the fall semester of 2019 we will include both a Masters Programme in Sustainable Production Development (given by the Department Sustainable Production Development located at Campus Södertälje) and our ämneslärarutbildning med inriktning mot teknik, årskurs 7-9. This program gives students an opportunity to work within two professions, as both högstadielärare and högskoleingenjör.
Have a nice week!
/ Anna Jerbrant, Director of First and Second Cycle Education
This time I want to share an experience I had last week in Maputo, Mozambique. I had been invited to give the opening speech at the conference organised by Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM). The title of the presentation was Ideas How to Stimulate a Sustainable and Innovative Research Development at UEM.
My trip started with an experience that illustrates how small the world is. On my way home from my last working day before traveling to Maputo I ran in to Fredrik Lundell. As we discussed we realised that Lars Geschwind that works with Fredrik, will get 2 PhD students from Maputo. Then, I mailed Lars and got the information that the new students are part of a new program entitled Comparative Higher Education, Policy and Innovation Studies. In the end I could add this new happening to my talk. It would have been embarrassed if they would have asked me about Lars collaboration and I would not have known about it, especially since we are from the same school!
My talk focused on how research is done at KTH, impact, working environment as well as how to attract students to education and research. Here, I tried to give some examples from KTH where we for example use household waste as a raw material to produce both energy and bricks as well as how you can recycle cars and electronics. Specifically, focusing on important issues related to circular economy and sustainability and which are important to society as well as are attractive for potential students. Besides an audience from the academics from different countries, represents from embassies/financial institutions from Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy participated. After my opening lecture, there was especially a large interest for how we could use household waste (landfills) as raw materials also in Mozambique and other neighbouring African countries. Especially, SIDA shown an interest in future research projects in the area of landfill mining.
The technical outcome from my trip seems to be a serious attempt to write a SIDA proposal on the use of landfills to produce energy and building materials. Here, the KTH researcher Weihong Yang will be important but we expect the collaboration with researchers from the Department of Energy and the Department of Industrial Economy and Management. Another potential scientific outreach from KTH could be a project focusing on cleaning of water from metals such as Hg, Cd and Pb. I know that our colleague Gunno Renman at the ABE school is an expert in the field and I have contacted him regarding this topic.
Besides the engineering talks at the conference, I also listened to other talks in a wide range of areas: violence against women, traffic deaths, malnutrition of children, presence of heavy metals in food, lack of clean water, agricultural methods and biodiversity in nature. This definitely helped me to get another perspective on issues of importance for Mozambique.
As I was shown the neighbourhoods at the outskirts of Maputo I experienced the many temporary houses (“kåkstäder”). Then, I thought that it would be great if we could use the solid material that is left after combustion of household waste as an inexpensive building material for low-cost homes. I thought maybe it is even possible to use this solid waste material to 3D print houses in the future. Is it really possible to combine a fashionable high-tech method with a cheap rest product to influence the life of those in need…
/ Pär Jönsson, Deputy Head of School