A global network will strengthen KTH’s influence
KTH has started to work with some of the world’s most prestigious universities in a new global network. The network, the Dean’s Forum, will strengthen KTH’s ability to influence the political agenda, for example within the EU.
This is as prestigious as it gets in the academic world. When the Dean’s Forum of Engineering gathered for the first time in November in Tokyo, the host university had invited some of the world’s highest ranked universities.
The United States was represented by MIT and the University of California, Berkeley. From Europe came ETH Zürich, Imperial College and KTH, who represent northern Europe in the network. Furthermore several French technical universities participated as observers.
The University of Tokyo started the network in order to launch a partnership at a global level on issues common to the technical universities’ futures. The issue of broadening the engineer’s professional competence is a prioritised concern.
Vice Dean Per Berglund says that KTH has never before participated in collaboration with so many highly ranked universities as in the Dean’s Forum. Appearing in the same group as these partners is extremely prestigious for KTH, he says.
“We can raise awareness of the engineering programme on the political agenda in a way that none of our other collaborations are capable of doing. If we can show a united front on various issues it may have a major impact globally and within the EU”, says Per Berglund.
The forum took a first step on the issue of the engineer’s expertise. The universities agreed that they will work to broaden the engineer’s expertise without losing the depth related to the basic knowledge.
“Sweden and KTH are already quite far ahead on this issue. We have, for example, launched the CDIO and other development projects which aim to broaden the engineer’s expertise. This is not as common internationally, and therefore it is advantageous to be able to firmly establish this common understanding within the network”, says Per Berglund.
Following on from that, you have to fill the cooperation with content such as entrepreneurship, innovation issues and other common interests, he emphasizes. Per Berglund hopes that the network will lead to the start of joint courses. This would give KTH the opportunity of offer educational programmes with very exclusive brands.
Other issues discussed during the first meeting of the forum included exchanges of PhD supervisors and student exchange programmes. The issue of how to work together in interdisciplinary projects among other things was discussed within the area of multidisciplinary research. One of these areas related to measures for the prevention of natural disasters.
At the Dean’s Forum, KTH was represented by the President Peter Gudmundson, Vice Dean Per Berglund and Torkel Werge from International Relations.
Text: Christer Gummeson