On Friday, January 19, Linnaeus University was visited by Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for higher education and research. The discussions during the visit, where also politicians from Växjö and representatives from the student union Linnéstudenterna participated, focused to a large extent on how Linnaeus University creates good for society – through research, education and collaboration.
Vice-chancellor Peter Aronsson talked about the university's aspiration to build knowledge environments to meet the societal challenges.
"We must become better at bringing together cutting-edge knowledge in order to meet the societal challenges we are facing today. One way of doing this is building interdisciplinary knowledge environments", says Peter Aronsson.
Niklas Ammert, dean at the board of teacher education, talked about the ambition that all programmes within the teacher education should contain some form of activities integration in addition to the existing teaching practice placements (VFU). The idea is to strengthen the students' professional expertise.
"Teacher students get to spend more time at schools, which is a major plus. It is an exciting idea that we will follow closely", says Helene Hellmark Knutsson.
In connection to the presentation of the project Reaching for the stars and the introduction of the education and research centre Epic in Växjö, a teacher education within technology was discussed.
Reaching for the stars aims to stimulate interest in technology in compulsory school pupils, while Epic, among other things, focuses on upper secondary school pupils.
"Epic is a prerequisite for a teacher education within technology", says Ann-Charlotte Larsson, deputy vice-chancellor with responsibility for internationalisation and innovation.
The possibility to obtain a double degree in order to be able to combine, for instance, the engineering profession with the teacher profession was also discussed.
"We have noticed that there are engineers who have a strong societal commitment and would have liked to work as teachers as well. A double degree offers flexibility on a changing labour market", says Hellmark Knutsson.
Catherine Legrand, pro-vice-chancellor, gave a few examples of programmes at second-cycle level and their research connection, as well as the strong international elements in the programmes. After this, the minister met with students on the interdisciplinary innovation master. The programme makes it possible for students to learn from each other's knowledge and the programme is offered in close collaboration with a number of companies, among them Ikea.