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A student life in constant change

What is it like to be a student at KTH? It is easy to think you know the answer if you studied at KTH yourself, even if it was years ago.  Thanks to the excellent collaboration with our students via THS, we can gain an insight into what it has been like – before, during and hopefully soon shortly after a pandemic.

When I walked up Drottning Kristinas väg for the very first time in 1977, I felt a bit odd and nervous due to my background. Nobody in my family had ever been to university before, and especially not to study engineering. But I had made up my mind, like Pippi Longstocking, I to take charge of my life and continued resolutely up the hill. It was exciting and big.

I realised pretty quickly that I would have to spend at least 40 hours a week on my studies to stay the distance. In association with the university reforms that were introduced that same year, students were given the right to play an active role in board work at universities and colleges, along with the right to be a member of programme boards and department boards. Since the year 2000, paragraph four includes the words Students should have the right to have a say in their education at universities. Universities should endeavour to enable students to play an active part in work to further develop courses.

Such exchanges of information and views with our students are an important element in developing our study programmes in line with the times and from a quality perspective. This can not only concern questions about study programmes but also things like the optimal length for a lecture, how teaching can be made more accessible or proposals for items on a course.

Over the course of this year, we have been battling in various ways to rearrange teaching and other activities with only certain elements on campus and the rest remotely. And our teachers – and students have had to battle the most to achieve results.

In the first (of four) sub report (in Swedish) that was published last week from UKÄ  on how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted universities and colleges, it is clear that students have managed to perform pretty much as well as the year before. But the social side of studying has been severely affected. Many students have felt lonely, isolated and have missed their fellow students and normal life as a consequence of the reset.

I am therefore especially pleased about all the initiatives that have been taken at KTH to overcome this and make things that bit easier and more fun until this miserable time is over. THS has also, with our support, launched a number of activities for both international and Swedish students, that are proving very popular.

This collaboration with students through THS has become a  great cooperation.