Third-cycle studies – a way to labor market

Third-cycle studies seem to be time and energy well spent – in any case in the field of technology. These are the findings of a study by the Swedish Higher Education Authority published last week. The report shows whether those who completed a doctoral degree between 1998 and 2012 have a job or not – that is, whether they have established themselves in the job market three years after their degree.

It is through courses, study programmes and research that KTH Royal Institute of Technology is able to respond to society’s need for pioneering innovative expertise. This can be observed in that our courses and study programmes continue to be very well subscribed.

The report shows that the proportion established in the job market was highest among those with a Ph. D. in technology – that is, 86 percent of the women and 89 percent of the men in total. For KTH in particular, the average was somewhat lower, but more even between the sexes.Of the 2,330 people who completed their Ph. D. during the period, 84 percent were established in the job market three years after doing so.

In this regard, funding is naturally a crucial issue, with third-cycle studies with reasonable terms and a good working environment meaning that the number of students completing their studies is increasing. Is there still more to do in this area? The fact that the scholarships are being phased out is basically a good thing, but KTH has a number of international agreements with exchanges at first- and second-cycle level that also include third-cycle studies funded through individual scholarships. It is not self-evident that these individuals wish to take up a position in Sweden, but rather that the purpose of their study programme is to enable them to return home after completing their degree or continue their academic career somewhere else in the world. On the other hand, third-cycle students with scholarships are being deprived of the opportunity to take part in courses and study programmes or other activities within the organisation that provide valuable experience.

Even if the number of women who choose to take third-cycle studies has increased over the years, there is still much to be done in this to make it easier for women to pursue an academic career on equal terms. As I previously mentioned, this is a crucial quality issue.

The study also reflects the expertise demanded by society and the surrounding world, where for example 93 percent of those who had been awarded a Ph. D. in computer and information science had established themselves in the job market within three years. Mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and electronics are other areas with high figures.

According to the report, however, the results are different when it comes to foreign Ph. D. students who decide to study here – which increasing numbers are choosing to do, but a majority of them do not decide to stay in Sweden after completing their degree. Sometimes, this is due to practical difficulties associated with staying in Sweden. Slow, complicated processes make it difficult for the individual, which risks leading to a lack of expertise among those with a third-cycle education in Sweden in relation to companies and the public sector. Sweden is missing out on a potential valuable link to the rest of the world through these individuals, who could serve as ambassadors for their home countries.

In the field of technology – unlike other subject areas – a majority worked in the private sector, and a lower proportion at for example KTH chose to remain at their own university. If research and education is to reflect the needs of the surrounding world and its challenges in the form of global demand, good terms for researchers are an absolute must, as well as high-quality third-cycle education.

Another piece of the puzzle is lifelong learning, with Vinnova recently being tasked by the Swedish Government to produce short, flexible courses at university level for specialists who have already embarked on their professional lives. It is very pleasing that resources can now be offered for trials of new concepts for short courses within lifelong learning.

The fact that Vinnova in particular has been tasked with this is possibly somewhat surprising; courses at university level are, as we know, the responsibility of universities and institutes of higher education. How I see it, however, is that the joint dialogue on which real cooperation is based will be crucial if resources are made available. This important dialogue between universities, the business community and the public sector is precisely what I have found lacking on several occasions when lifelong learning has been discussed. We can’t all blame one another; we are now able to seriously test our collaboration on lifelong learning. That is at least what I am hoping for.

Higher education on export

Higher education is a growing global market in which Swedish universities should be more assertive and “contribute to global collective knowledge”. This sounds good, but unfortunately the interim report from the Internationalisation Inquiry to some extent pushes on an open door.

The fact that the international dimension is to be integrated in universities’ core activities and in associated rules and systems is all very well. But there is probably not one Swedish university that has not already included this aspect in its daily work and is working hard to further expand the exchange of knowledge and personnel.

As research like industrial know-how is interdisciplinary in nature, universities and other institutes of higher education have been historically quick to exchange knowledge – particularly concerning industrial innovations.

Without wishing to be too conceited, KTH Royal Institute of Technology is able to tick off many if not all of the measures suggested in the interim report.

But of course it’s good to do what is largely a thorough inquiry into internationalisation when new, strong knowledge nations are popping up all over the place.

But it would also be exciting to survey what they have that we don’t. And how they do what they do. In particular, those countries with universities that are making rapid progress in terms of their competitiveness are of interest in terms of understanding and perhaps being inspired by them.

As usual, part of the explanation lies in the volume of resources on offer, but that is obviously not the whole story. Unnecessarily complicated bureaucracy, but also the fact that the role of a public authority naturally involves compliance with rules and regulations.

Establishing a structure for regularly identifying obstacles is a good suggestion, as well as coordination to facilitate internationalisation. Attaching value to the fact that students who choose to spend a semester abroad are allowed to receive credits for this, even if it is not exactly equivalent to the course they were going to study at home in Sweden, and thus avoiding extending their studies. This is something that universities can facilitate even further.

I would, however, have liked a clearer and more explicit strategy regarding which parts of the world we should focus on and what priorities should be made and why.

The interim report states that internationalisation is not only seen as a necessary response to Sweden’s need to assert itself as a knowledge nation in the global competition, but also as an area that, in addition to the sphere of research and education policy, has a bearing on other policy areas such as aid, trade and migration. Internationalisation also allows for use of the tool that in the commission of inquiry is termed scientific diplomacy.

But it would be unfortunate if the inquiry were to risk falling into the trap of becoming too politicised and applying the one-size-fits-all principle.

Nobody, or at least very few people, disagree about the importance and necessity of greater internationalisation if Sweden as a knowledge nation is to be better able to assert itself.

The commission of inquiry also accommodates providing greater opportunities for universities to establish activities abroad. This is positive – but as always it’s important to analyse and identify the added value of satellite campuses in advance.

Some crucial components of Sweden growing as a knowledge nation internationally, as I see it:

– Let Swedish universities be bilingual; a unilateral transition to English makes it more difficult for international students and teachers to be active in Swedish society

– Enable credits to be awarded for international experience, with flexibility and openness to variations in length and location.

– Increase coordination so that the left hand (that is, the public authority) knows what the right hand is doing

– Develop a national internationalisation strategy that clearly conveys the long-term purpose and goal, with the higher education aspect clearly illustrated

 

Five campuses that reflect our mission

Visiting our five campuses is always a pleasurable experience. They reflect the breadth and depth of our research and education – and of our collaboration for that matter.

They are all located in different surroundings, providing different opportunities for collaboration with the surrounding community, business sector and academia.

I recently visited KTH Södertälje, where we have our new educational programmes and where our new research which focuses on sustainable production is carried out. The programmes have been carefully moulded in close collaboration with our neighbours – that is, the global giants AstraZeneca and Scania.

As I wrote previously, KTH Royal Institute of Technology has always been a clear component in the growth and success of Swedish industry in the world. And this is why it seems natural that KTH’s expertise goes hand in hand with the ability of Swedish companies to foster innovation and novel approaches. KTH is both a catalyst and a technology development partner in this area.

If you take the commuter train, it’s easy to get to KTH Flemingsberg, a hub for medtech education and research, with Södertörn University, Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish Red Cross University College close by.

KTH Kista, based in the north of Stockholm, with ICT focusing on contemporary and future information technology, is in the midst of various international companies and entrepreneurs.

KTH Solna, is not so far away has SciLifeLab serving as a hub for various life sciences. At SciLifeLab, being an international infrastructure itself with four components: Karolinska Institutet, KTH, Stockholm University and Uppsala University, the basic concept is collaboration.

It is in these encounters between disciplines, seats of learning, companies and society that KTH can justify its existence and make a difference! The physical environment has great significance, not just for well-being and efficiency but also in terms of providing inspiration and the desire to learn.

KTH also has a number of new educational environments on campus that are conceived to inspire people to engage in new ways of thinking and enable discussions and encounters between students in which they swap ideas and learn from each other. Study environments that reflect KTH’s ambition to collaborate on all levels and the goal of providing our students with education that is relevant and up to date and also encourages critical thinking.

To mention but a few of these, at KTH Södertälje, there are for example lab environments and classrooms that have been furnished in a different way.

At KTH Campus on Valhallavägen there is a recently built teaching building and KTH Live-In-Lab, with the buildings themselves being and being capable of functioning as objects of study.

KTH’s place in Europe

Since 1 January, as President at KTH Royal Institute of Technology I have been a member of the board of CESAER. Since its inception in 1990, the objective of the network has been to share experiences in education, research and innovation. KTH is a member of several networks, and this is a way for us to exert influence and make a crucial analysis of the surrounding world.

CESAER is one of the longer-running European networks of which KTH is a member. CESAER stands for “Conference for European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research” and to be a member, the seat of learning is required to be entitled to award doctorates in the technology and engineering science field. The network currently consists of 51 universities in 25 countries in Europe. These include both specialised universities such as KTH and broad universities with a technical faculty. The network is one of several European networks in which a large share of the activities focuses on work on policy and lobbying aimed at the EU and its various education and research programmes.

This is why I spent last weekend in Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde, where CESAER’s new chairman, Sir Jim McDonald, is the Principal & Vice-Chancellor. KTH gains a great deal from taking part in European efforts by being active in lobbying organisations of this kind. Another benefit is being able to bring home best practices from universities in other countries that can be used in various ways – not least in nationwide lobbying work. As one of the founders of CESAER, KTH has a good reputation. There is great potential for our opinions to be seen and heard in various policy documents submitted in the EU’s work on the new Framework Programme.

Within Europe there is talk of “modern universities”, and the CESAER meeting also devoted time to this. A great deal concerns the social benefit provided by universities, something which is also on the national agenda. Personally I can see that KTH supplies a great deal of social benefit in the form of students with first-, second- and third-cycle degrees. KTH conducts successful research that benefits society and the business community. It also contributes to making Sweden a successful nation in the field of innovation.

Open access and open science are other points for discussion at CESAER; at the meeting, we discussed the misconception that “open” means the same as “free”. This particularly applies to access to research infrastructures, where the issue of financing is just as relevant in this network as it is nationally. In addition, this is something that the Minister for Higher Education and Research, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, brought up at the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s and the Association of Swedish Higher Education’s annual presidents’ conference at Steningevik outside Stockholm last week. The minister said that a special commission of inquiry on research infrastructure would be appointed. However, she made the caveat that this inquiry would not begin before the Swedish general election but instead would be a task for the next government.

In addition, during the CESAER meeting, I was made aware of the concern that seats of learning in the UK are expressing regarding future participation in European education and research collaborations after Brexit. This is also a crucial issue for KTH, which has many in-depth partnerships with seats of learning and researchers in the UK.

Analysis of the surrounding world and lobbying work are processes that take time and energy. It is particularly pleasing to see the teachers and researchers who are making an effort to conduct debate on a national level. During the past week (https://www.svd.se/hogskolorna-har-fastnat-i-en-ekonomisk-bubbla – in Swedish) we were able to hear some thoughts about how the lion’s share of external grants contributes to less freedom to choose research questions and, in particular, how this affects the time available to spend on education. Before Christmas (https://campi.kth.se/nyheter/professor-vill-hoja-undervisningens-status-1.782843 – in Swedish) we got to read a post on the importance of working to increase the tariff of education and collaboration. This form of nationwide lobbying is enhanced by KTH playing a part in European and international contexts. In these contexts, KTH can introduce points of view that we consider to be important, and we can obtain ideas and thoughts that are beneficial to KTH’s development.

Competence without borders

Now that it’s time once again to welcome international students to KTH Royal Institute of Technology, I am as usual pleased that our excellent global reputation has made an impact. This is apparent by the fact that many people are choosing to spend the whole or part of their study years here.

KTH’s campus has an international character and tangibly demonstrates in its everyday activities that both knowledge and research essentially have no boundaries, or perhaps rather that they cross boundaries. It is important to protect this, and mixed research settings most likely provide the greatest benefits and the best results. Otherwise, there is a risk – above all when it comes to research environments – that different group compositions will result in widely varying realities. The same applies to learning groups, that studying together in international groups prepares students for a global job market and fosters an understanding of different cultures.

At KTH we start from the same values in order to create attractive environments for work and learning in which, as far as possible, there is an international mix of women and men interacting, ensuring that the work culture is not too splintered. This naturally means that variations are always welcome.

Collaboration across boundaries is something of a core feature of research and its fundamental concept. Internationalisation being the path towards increased quality and for tackling social challenges has long been an important and desirable factor for many researchers. Knowledge and skills are developed through exchange and input from other countries and researchers. As globalisation has increased in pace, this has become an increasingly obvious reality for many people. On 31 January, a proposal for an internationalisation strategy will be issued by the commission of inquiry on internationalisation appointed by the Swedish Government.. I hope that the opinions continuously submitted by KTH to the inquiry will be reflected in the interim report and, eventually, in the final report.

The fact that since 2009, KTH has been in engaged in research collaborations of various scopes with around 65 of the world’s countries is a clear indication of its significance. The surrounding world is changing rapidly, and it is necessary to have the courage to think in new ways and be open to new partners with rapidly growing and increasingly competitive research. International co-publishing and citation is a result of the international impact of researchers. Several of KTH’s research environments are at the absolute forefront of research and are internationally renowned and visible. Other research settings need to expand their international publication and international presence.

A report from the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education outlines the countries with which Swedish seats of learning more or less traditionally work with while indicating countries growing in terms of research that it might be worth concentrating on. It is important to also take the leap to join forces with new countries and regions in research collaborations.

I encourage our Swedish students and researchers to pack their bags and study/research for a term or two at a foreign seat of learning, as it is important and provides memories, perspectives and skills that will last a lifetime.

Don´t forget the third-cycle education

With the arrival of the new year we encounter hopes and exciting steps to take in terms of the development of KTH Royal Institute of Technology and the surrounding world. Our new school organisation and the new development plan are setting the tone and direction towards an even more efficient and excellent seat of learning.

A key part of being able to develop and renew many research projects, learning initiatives and programmes is obviously a persistent awareness of quality and recurrent work in this area. Another key factor for the success of a seat of learning is its researchers, teachers, administrative staff and students.

But it is also a question of money, resources and funding, and how these are to be applied for, allocated and, not least, suffice.

As many people have indicated, there is a great deal of room for improvement and change, including to promote the development of seats of learning to enable their best sides to evolve – instead of the current situation in which all seats of learning are treated in the same way and compete for the same funds, regardless of their circumstances.

This is why I’m looking forward to the report from the Government inquiry, which is in full swing, that will highlight the current governance and resource allocation system for Sweden’s universities and institutes of higher education and offer a proposal for a future system.

Last week, the analyst Pam Fredman provided in a rough sketch, an initial hint of what may conceivably emerge, and there are many important trains of thought and aspects regarding a new financing model. (http://www.sou.gov.se/utredningen-om-styrning-for-starka-och-ansvarsfulla-larosaten/aktuellt/ in Swedish) The inquiry is to have been completed by December this year.

The proposal includes that, instead of the current system in which the funding of the seats of learning is earmarked for education and research/third-cycle studies respectively, the seats of learning shall receive a pool of funds to allocate as they see fit between these two areas.

I think that having a single grant rather than two different ones may support the view that there is a vital link between education and research. One thing that is implied in the rough sketch is that basic grants must increase. This is an incredibly important issue; the seat of learning’s own priorities and strategies are hard to implement with such a large proportion of external contributions as is the reality today. Another element of this is that external funding with high demands for co-funding “eats up” the basic grant. This also needs to be dealt with by the governance and resource inquiry.

Greater security in the funding of teaching and research staff lays the foundation for an attractive seat of learning in my opinion. On the other hand, it is a matter of concern if you intend to eliminate the view that different areas of education have different amounts of remuneration – what are known as price tags.

This puts special universities, such as institutes of technology and other institutes of higher education with one main area of education, at a disadvantage. It primarily benefits the large, broad universities, which are able to redistribute funding between educational areas. KTH’s educational area is mainly within the realm of technology; its programmes require relevant and up-to-date infrastructure.

This requires a great deal of resources, as comprehensive – but absolutely crucial – laboratory work in both education and research is very expensive. This is the case even if you consider all the new opportunities presented by educational models that are emerging in the wake of digitisation. Even if the governance and resource inquiry turns out such that current funding in the form of first-cycle funding and grants for research/third-cycle studies are to remain unchanged, the inquiry needs to consider how resources are allocated when expanding education provision.

Third-cycle education is not mentioned specifically, but an approach is required for this portion. Should it continue to be linked to research, or should it be counted as education? With a single grant, each seat of learning is naturally free to use the total funding as it sees fit. It is important, however, to word things in terms of skills supply, including where postgraduates are concerned. This applies to both the need within academia and to society in general. In recent years, external research financiers have financed Ph. D. students to a lesser extent, while opportunities to provide scholarships for third-cycle studies have been become less freely available. This justifies addressing third-cycle studies in the inquiry.

With a single grant, seats of learning have more of an opportunity to decide for themselves where needs exist and how resources should be allocated, which is likely to not only encourage independence, but also efficiency.

 

Time to sum up?

As President of one of Europe’s top institutes of technology, I’m very satisfied with the past year. Many initiatives have been taken, gone to plan and been highlighted at and through KTH Institute of Technology.

There have been many reasons for me to be proud – after just over a year in this post – of all the good work carried out in research, education and administration.

As the Christmas holidays approach, it’s often the case that we start summing up what has been achieved over the past year. At KTH, in the world and on a personal level.

To make sure that I don’t omit anyone or anything from the list of success stories, I’m choosing to once again be fascinated by how multifaceted yet solid our organisation is.

Almost on a daily basis in my professional life, I’ve been surprised and impressed by smart and innovative solutions, ideas and suggestions that go hand in hand with positive development.

At the same time, things are happening in the world around us that make demands of us as an institute of knowledge and that urgently require research, refinement and the polishing of results. This applies to everything from medtech and sustainable transport to artificial intelligence, to name just a few areas in which KTH is a prominent player.

Educating engineers and architects able to tackle contemporary and future challenges with a high degree of relevance is a pressing task.

Being bold enough and willing to renew yourself is crucial in a world that is both complex and ever-changing.

But just to name a couple of decisive issues that will also make a mark on our work in the coming years, KTH has been reorganised to benefit development in our educational environment, and a new development plan has staked out the path. I’m convinced that both these initiatives will take KTH to a new level in the global arena, where our education and research is to be characterised by excellence and – like today – a great deal of commitment.

Thanks for a great year!

KTH chooses direction

“A leading KTH”. This is the title of our new 17-page development plan. The plan clearly and conveniently sets out a vision for the direction that KTH Royal Institute of Technology should take over the next six years.

The strategy describes the forthcoming development divided into eight different areas that show the choices KTH has decided to make and focus on. Until 2023, KTH shall be a leading, integrated, visible, open, more digital, sustainable, gender-equal and international institution.

This vision is based on living in a changing world in which development takes place exponentially, on several levels simultaneously. It is not the case that one foot is placed in front of the other in order for an organisation, company or seat of learning to move forward. True development is achieved through structured and systematic work on several levels in parallel. In our case, the basic components are education, research and collaboration.

The plan describes areas where KTH should and can take further steps forward and other areas where we can assert ourselves more distinctly. This does not mean that what we do today should be diminished – on the contrary, it is our sterling efforts that have brought us to where we are today, one of the 200 best universities in the world and one of the ten best institutes of technology in Europe.

As society becomes increasingly complex, KTH will be expanding its breadth and expertise. As the challenges we face change shape and grow, KTH must be ready to renew and modify itself, in spite of its large organisation. This is coupled with humility when faced with the task we have as a seat of learning.

The development plan has been conceived as a document to be inspired and guided by. We have carefully adjusted KTH’s course during various internal and external forums, with the words we use not only needing to sound good but also to mean something. I’m very happy with the fact that we, along with the board, have succeeded in this so well.

In our daily work, the development plan will be supplemented by operative plans concerning the organisation which, in turn will cover one or two years with measurable results set against results achieved.

Identity is a key parameter in both an organisation and a development plan. It is also a good starting point from which to move forward. If you know who you are, it’s easier to know where you’re going.

I hope you’ll join us on our journey towards an even more excellent KTH!

A greater exchange with US top universities?

Last week, I took part in Minister for Higher Education and Research, Helene Hellmark Knutsson’s, delegation trip to the US. The focus of our visit was MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A seat of learning that in many ways resembles KTH Royal Institute of Technology and that tops several international rankings.

Our presence there was the result of a meeting between Professor Carlo Ratti at MIT, the CEO of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Maria Rankka and Helene Hellmark Knutsson.

Carlo Ratti runs a research initiative, Senseable City Lab (http://senseable.mit.edu/), which in overarching terms combines urban planning and computer science and big data to build the cities of the future. Having the whole of Stockholm as a “live-in lab” is Carlo Ratti’s vision. Amsterdam is already such a city. A condition for the Stockholm collaboration, according to Carlo Ratti, is that it takes place in partnership with KTH.

MIT is naturally a great deal more than urban planning, and KTH researchers already have several comprehensive partnerships with MIT. But I hope this invitation can lead to deeper collaboration with the City of Stockholm and several of KTH’s partners while allowing us to develop a model for closer partnership with MIT.

MIT has a fairly new internationalisation strategy and is possibly turning towards the outside world a little more than before. MIT students can go on exchanges during certain periods: in January or during the summer months. On the other hand, they can’t take courses during their exchange periods. The international exchanges are primarily intended for internships of various kinds, which can take place at other universities or within the business community. It feels great that KTH’s students have broader opportunities, i.e. they can take courses during international exchanges or carry out projects and degree projects. This better prepares our students for professional life and its ever-growing requirements for working with people from all over the world.

KTH currently has five strategic international partner universities, of which four are located in Asia. Partner universities signify a more systematic and long-term initiative that involves collaboration on both education and research. Our choice of international partner university is based on mutual interest in student exchange, coupled with building good relationships between researchers. There needs to be both a certain volume and a certain level of quality in the relationships between KTH and its international partner universities. At the present time, KTH has only one partner university in the US.

During our short trip, the delegation also squeezed in a meeting with a representative from Harvard. Harvard has also recently appointed an internationalisation coordinator but has no internationalisation strategy in place.

When you are at the pinnacle of the rankings, you haven’t experienced such a pressing need to actively seek out global partnerships – that’s how it seems to me. But we got the impression that this is slowly changing and that Harvard would welcome an invitation to visit KTH and discuss a deeper partnership. So it’s clear that Harvard also wants to be more outward-looking.

The next step will involve us drafting a model and content for partnership between KTH and MIT. I have high hopes for continued dialogue on effective collaboration in the field of sustainable cities and urban development.

New evaluation system opens new ways

A year with the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s new quality evaluation system will soon have passed. The benefits of the system, which covers both education and research, are multiple. The greater responsibility of the seats of learning, however, simultaneously entails a greater workload.

As usual, it is important to safeguard efficiency in our organisation, which is why we have to review both costs and time regarding the administrative work that arises in the wake of the broader evaluation system. By being vigilant so that the system does not pile on the bureaucracy but instead reinforces quality, this can certainly be both identified and managed. As we know, no system is perfect and each quality evaluation system has its merits, which have corresponded to the activities of the seats of learning at the time they have arisen.

We have still not yet seen the design of the quality system for the research portion. In mid-December, along with a few other people, I will be attending a dialogue meeting at the Swedish Higher Education Authority about this. It is highly likely that it will be constructed on the basis of the research evaluations carried out by the seats of learning themselves. Where KTH Royal Institute of Technology is concerned, it will soon be time for a new research assessment exercise (RAE). KTH’s quality system is based on 6-year cycles and for research, RAEs were performed in 2008 and 2012. Planning for the next RAE should be initiated in the spring of 2018. In 2019 the entire KTH quality system will be evaluated by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. The overall picture for all forthcoming quality evaluations, both those initiated by KTH and those initiated by the Swedish Higher Education Authority, must, however, be seen as such that the initiatives do not take over all other activities.

After having carried out one round of thematic evaluation in the area of sustainability in education based on self-evaluation, we can see that a rather comprehensive effort is required.

The advantages of this greater introspection, however, are many. By repeatedly looking inwards at our own organisation, it also becomes clearer and hopefully easier to see what in each seat of learning can and should be developed or wound up.

The system will be shaped by its users, that is, the seats of learning, and it is hoped that, where KTH is concerned, when the new quality evaluation work becomes incorporated in activities, this work will be ongoing and self-evident – and not only linked to the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s evaluation cycles every six years. Here, it will be interesting to see, without prematurely painting a picture of the risks in the system, how different seats of learning elect to conduct the work, perhaps with different focal areas, different levels of commitment, at different levels of the organisation and with different levels of effort – which can be both misleading and make it difficult to achieve effective comparisons. But this remains to be seen.

To mention another clear advantage of the new system, referred to in an op-ed, Sweden will once again be part of ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education). This is crucial for KTH as an international university, and quality is not just a word with positive overtones – it provides an indication of KTH’s position in the world.