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Emma Ingo feels that pedagogical merits are overlooked when teachers are hired or promoted. (Photo: Marc Femenia)

Students’ union: Give more consideration to pedagogics

Published Sep 18, 2018

There should be anonymous examinations and a greater focus on the educational merits of teachers, according to Emma Ingo, president of the students’ union since summer.

Research merits and teaching merits should be given equal weighting when teachers are appointed. KTH and the Student Union, THS , are both in agreement on this. However, Emma Ingo feels that in practice, research is favoured.

The Union has therefore presented a specific proposal that a pedagogical expert should be involved when hiring and promoting teachers.

“Learning becomes far more enjoyable with someone who has a well-thought-out educational philosophy. You can force students to learn via a series of really tough exams. Or you can stimulate them to develop a passion that leads to creativity and innovation,” she says.

Emma Ingo was keen to become involved with the students’ union before she had even started at KTH.

Developing a code of conduct

“My brother invited me to a guild pub. I have almost always been involved in various politically independent party associations, so I thought the union sounded really interesting. My friends said, “you’ll love it”. I even read the THS charter.”

She now has a Bachelor's Degree from the Civil Engineering programme, specialising in Engineering Chemistry. She is on a sabbatical during her 12-month presidency before starting a master’s degree in Macromolecular Materials, polymers and wood.

As union president, she has greater responsibilities than when she was chair of the THS chemistry guild.

“It's a challenge to also have HR responsibility for the students on the union executive and the people who work in our cafes and restaurant. But I think it is important to do things that help me to develop and learn more.”

During the course of the year, the union is campaigning on equality and health and safety at work. Personnel and students will be given training in equality issues and a code of conduct will be developed so that everyone who works here will be required to sign. THS is also going to start a network for the student guilds and continue to work closely with the KTH Equality Office.

Anonymous exams

Another important issue for Emma Ingo is anonymous examinations. A very large number are presented in writing and could be marked anonymously.

“It’s about inclusiveness, diversity and equality. I am not saying that there is any marking bias today, but there is a risk that teachers have different expectations on their students.”

KTH is probably going to organise a pilot project with anonymous exams, something that Emma Ingo naturally welcomes. She feels cooperation with the university is good.

In July 2019, she will hand over to the next president.

“It's a luxury to be able to work with this on a full-time basis for 12 months. Having said that, you are limited in the sense that we will eventually be replaced, but we do manage to achieve some goals. KTH is very good, but that doesn't mean it could not do better.”

Text: Ann Patmalnieks

Emma Ingo, president of the students´union.

Other key issues for the students’ union:

  • Relevant training for students with seats on various official bodies at KTH.
  • Better contact between student health and safety representatives and more cooperation with the trade unions at KTH.
  • Internationalisation: there is a board representative who is English speaking. The union board's working language is English. “We cannot exclude the 25 percent of students that come from other countries.”

More about the students’ union: THS works with enterprise sector contacts, student welfare officers and course programme monitoring. They participate in decision-making processes at KTH via representatives on different bodies. The president and executive board of the students’ union are elected for 12-months at a time. The executive board consists of 12 members.