Imagine designing your own course by choosing which programme you wish to read and where you should study – virtually or physically at KTH and/or other universities in Europe. That can become reality within the next eight years. Future students can graduate with a very competitive European degree in their hand.
The thinking behind this possible future is the European Universities Initiative in the European education and research environment to raise the quality, capacity and competitiveness of university education and research. KTH is a member of one of the networks that will consist of 17 European universities in the first instance.
This is very much in line with KTH’s already existing excellent partnerships and efforts to further develop our programmes and learning environments.
One trend in recent years for example, is that fewer and fewer students are choosing to go to lectures. I hope and believe that this is not so much a sign of a lecturer’s ability to capture the interest and attention of students and more about the format of simply sitting and listening feeling a bit dated, perhaps. When access to books was almost non-existent and lecturers therefore shared their knowledge by standing at a lectern and explaining what the book was about was an entirely different time.
Today, you can choose to take a course via the internet and listen and watch a lecture at a time and place that suits you. This offers enormous opportunities and via the European Universities Initiative, universities will be able to stimulate each other to cooperate around other new models for learning.
In time this could also offer scope for lifelong learning – where adding to your skills set and updating your knowledge could be done within one European university where sought-after, specific and fresh knowledge can be expected to be found within the European Universities Initiative.
European Universities are also expected to also generate more mobility among researchers and staff. And while KTH has very much been an international university for many years, we can and will take further steps in this direction. Developing and honing state-of-the-art knowledge within both research and education can undoubtedly gain from increased European cooperation.
At the same time, the need for critical thinking has probably never been greater; to be able to absorb and evaluate knowledge and then to extract what is important for a certain position or to build new knowledge from the combined knowledge accrued, will be future virtues.