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Student influence underneath the tree

As the new president of KTH, last week I received a comprehensive wish list from THS, the KTH Student Union. Like Santa, I can’t promise that everything they asked for will be underneath the tree this year. But some of them are already planned and under way.

Student influence is fundamental to a university’s development, and important in driving development issues at KTH. We take it very seriously – and not only because we have to in accordance with Sweden’s Higher Education Act, but because it helps to improve overall quality. Student influence is also key in driving and achieving change.

Students are a natural barometer at a university, and also a kind of touchstone for finding out what’s happening in modern society. In other words, students provide important insights into where the future is headed.

A long list.
Wish list from KTH Student Union.

But back to the list, which contains 33 different wishes, from greater student influence to stronger links with the business community, broader empowerment, sustainability in teaching, and higher integration of gender equality, diversity and equal conditions (JML). These are just some of the wishes that can roughly be categorised as pertaining to the social study environment, the actual content of the education, and the relationship with the future labour market. I will of course be looking at the entire list in detail, but I can already see that a lot of it is already in progress, particularly in our work on the education of the future.

One thing I can guarantee is that we and the students will be working together to shape the agenda for KTH’s development over the years to come – and strong, dynamic student influence will of course be a major factor in this process. That much I can promise ahead of the festive season.