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Lifelong learning to suit everyday life

We are now expanding work with our lifelong learning by intensifying relationships with our strategic partners within contract education. A partnership that is going to be very instructive.

As I blogged recently KTH has ambitious aims of growing within lifelong learning and I also offered very powerful reasons for this. We have now gone up yet another gear in this work.

Our traditional way of thinking about education at KTH has long been in the form of programmes and courses. Our courses are typically worth 7.5 HE credits each and often include activities in the form of lectures, exercises, seminars, project work and lab work scheduled over the days of the week. In turn, these courses are intended to follow a programme progression that ultimately leads to a specific degree. A reasonable format for the education of young engineers, teachers and architects, viewed from a historical perspective. A format that is easy for government powers to measure and pay us accordingly for.

This offers predictability and a certain sense of security for students, together with a social context as most elements are normally based at the various KTH campuses. However, for someone who also has a full-time job and possibly a family, this format with direct government funding for continuing professional development, is often not compatible with their situation and everyday life.

The same applies to contract education for both the public and private sectors, other organisations, and their employees. What we have traditionally offered in the form of contract education can often be described as formal courses that very largely follow the programme course format. However, formal courses only account for a small proportion of continuous learning for working professionals, probably no more than ten percent while the rest is made up of more informal learning.

To move forwards, we need to intensify relationships with our strategic partners within contract learning and adapt the format more in line with the way working professionals learn. One current example is our partnership with Scania where we are developing new formats together that are compatible with lifelong and continuous learning for such students, for the sake of both their own development and their company. Formats that we can package as clearly defined learning activities that are also attractive for our teachers to engage in.

Do I think this will affect the education KTH offers in general? “Yes, very much so. And this development is probably both unavoidable and desirable. We have plenty to learn from each other.”

Thank you and best of luck messages for the week. Thank you to Scania’s departing CEO Henrik Henriksson who has personally supported the educational partnership between KTH and Scania, and the best of luck in the important sustainability work to lead the switch from tradition steel manufacturing to a sustainable fossil fuel free alternative. Best of luck also to Christian Levin, Chair of the KTH University Board, who is taking over as CEO at Scania. I look forward to a continued good educational partnership.