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Lifelong learning pilot for Scania employees

New technologies demand new kinds of competence. As the industry experiences a new era with autonomous, electrification and digitalisation, the need to extend knowledge in various fields emerges.

Published March 26 2021

Sweden's universities have received an increased mandate from the Government for Lifelong Learning (LLL). This presupposes flexible educational paths and that the individual knows what opportunities there are and what requirements are set for different courses.

Education for professionals

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has long experience from education for professionals, but now increases that engagement and creates a new platform and processes for Lifelong Learning. Recently a pilot course within LLL was given to Scania employees.

Johanna Strömgren, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM) at KTH.
Johanna Strömgren, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM) at KTH.

“Scania and KTH want new ways of working together, so this was initiated by both parties,” says Johanna Strömgren, responsible for Lifelong Learning at School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM) at KTH.

KTH’s courses for professionals are presently less than 1% of the total educational volume, and the target is set to an increase to 20% within three years.

“We need to highlight that we offer education for professionals in a similar way as we do with undergraduate education. Going forward, I believe further education will be an important area, where our industrial partners will be as vital target group as our alumni.”

Pilot course at Scania

Portrait of Eric Falkgrim
Eric Falkgrim, Technology Leader at Scania’s R&D Vehicle Design was one of the participants in the pilot course for Lifelong Learning at KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Eric Falkgrim, a Technology Leader at Scania’s R&D Vehicle Design Research Office, was one of the participants in the pilot, where the theme was sustainability. Normally, he looks at recycling of plastic to decrease CO2-emissions, and how to support autonomous and various vehicle concepts.

“The main topic was sustainable transport systems and how research is co-ordinated within this area.” Falkgrim says.

These are topics that Eric normally deals with, and he appreciated the discussions on strategic work and life-cycle assessment. “This course was a great opportunity to learn more about subjects I find useful.” As he went to school some twenty years ago, a lot has happened since then. “You can learn new things even if you’re an expert within your area.”

Lifelong learning can be described as someone wanting to gain more knowledge motivated by personal or professional ambitions.

Get ideas going

The pilot course was intense, with classes twice a week on top of Falkgrim’s work at Scania. “It was not optimal as I had to prepare and study in-between. But it was worth the additional strain and I believe it is extremely valuable that we gained an instant pay-off, that what we learn is something we can apply in our own operations.”

Strömgren says they strive to find new ways to educate, enabling the participants to plan their own time to a higher extent. “Seminars could be alternated with workshops, group discussions and other interactive elements.”

To enhance your competence, and also learn new things within other areas will be necessary for Sweden’s competitiveness. At KTH, education and research are closely connected, and emerging new research can easily be implemented in education. “It is great to get ideas going,” Falkgrim concludes.

Text: Åsa Flodmark

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