One of our main missions is to build a full research university (ett universitet). To TS, this means that we must strive to become a university faculty. Building a university faculty in Malmö means a number of things, but a concise interpretation might be borrowed from Malmö University’s strategy, and is that follows:
Long-term, nationally and internationally outstanding research which, together with doctoral education, constitutes one third of the university’s activities.
Education grounded in research, in terms of teaching methods as well as subject matter, which provides the conditions for inclusive and student-active life-long learning.
Strong, coherent and boundary-crossing international academic environments in which education, research and collaboration are integrated.
In this post, I would like to say some things about the third goal. Strong academic environments are typically characterised by education in all cycles, i.e., from BSc through MSc to PhD, and a mutually beneficial relationship between strong teaching and strong research. In many cases, especially those that concern technology and natural sciences, these environments are also marked by collaboration with actors in the society (e.g., companies) and international engagement (e.g., cooperation with researchers at unis across the world). Moreover, it is not unusual that these sorts of environments also include some kind of preparatory course (e.g., a “basår”) in order to increase the possibilities for strong student recruitment to bachelor level programs.
At TS, we are dedicated to build strong academic environments, in fact; this could just as well be said to be the overarching goal of everything that we do. To some extent, we have already come a long way in building strong academic environments. Take, for instance, DVMT, where we have educational programmes in all three cycles. In the other main academic environment at TS (MTM), we are on the move. As of the fall of 2019, we are launching a new MSc educational programme in Computational Materials Science, and the Faculty Board of TS has given us the assignment to investigate the preconditions for submitting an application for a PhD programme in an area relevant for that environment (MTM) to the Vice Chancellor. This very morning, we initiated this process.
In spite of this positive development at TS, one significant problem remains. And that is to gain a better balance between students enrolled in first cycle education and students enrolled in second cycle education. From around 4% in MSc courses as is the case today to at least 10% over the next couple of years (but in the long run, not even 10% is of course enough). To enable this transformation, we of course need more MSc programs, and as of October 15 this year, TS handed over three applications to the Vice Chancellor. Thus, the main authors of these applications deserve our heartfelt appreciation. So, while I am grateful to all the people that were involved in this work (and to all the people that will be involved in the work that comes), in this post;I would especially like to say thank you to the following three main authors:
Sara Leckner for the work on “Media Technology: Strategic Media Development”
Radu Mihailescu for the work on “Computer Science: Master in Data Science and Scientific Computing”
Patrik Berander for the work on “Digital Business and Innovation”
Let’s hope that the Programme Committee (who reviews these kinds of applications) likes the suggestions and that we can look forward to the launch of these programs in the coming years. And let’s also hope that we will hand in more applications about other types of degree programs in years to come. Building a university faculty not only requires education in all cycles, but also sensible balance between the students and the levels that they studying, as well as, an array of relevant, attractive and strategically sound educational programmes. So there are more movements that need to be done in order become a university faculty at a full research university. But for now, let’s all be very happy about the three MSc program applications. I know I am!