A foretaste of the future

Last week was the deadline for applicants wishing to study at KTH to become an engineer, an architect or maybe a teacher. Applying for a higher education course is a way of investing in knowledge and in yourself. Perhaps it is an unusually good idea to do this right now.

Ahead of an autumn that nobody can predict anything with any degree of certainty, there has been a substantial increase in the number of applications for places at universities and colleges. The number of applications for our degree programmes at KTH has increased by 18 percent in total and the number of applicants for whom KTH is their first choice has increased by over 12 percent compared to the corresponding applicants for the autumn term last year.

According to government proposals in the spring amending budget, KTH is likely to be given greater scope to meet the changing needs of the employment market for continuing professional development and in-service training courses and first cycle education. Talks are in progress on broadening the scope of the foundation year and foundation term, that is to say, the preparatory courses to apply for a Master of Science in Engineering course at KTH.

The job market is in a state of flux right now, where some 60,000 people have been given notice of being laid off, businesses and companies have been forced to close and many people have become jobless. At such times, an academic first cycle or advanced course can be a way forward. Without knowledge that is regularly updated during the course of your working life in order to be able to address, tackle and resolve complex questions, we will find ourselves at a disadvantage.

The instant digitalisation that the crisis has forced upon us, where both our courses and exams are now being held online in order to progress, will probably become a regular and reliable part of education. This can also facilitate broader recruitment in the longer term. However, digital courses should not and cannot replace the physical environment.

Spending time in the laboratory together, meeting, bouncing ideas back and forward on campus and in the library will continue to be a self-evident part of a KTH education in the future. However, as a consequence of this enforced rethink, in future, we will be able to offer prospective students the best structure for each specific study programme.