University places increased in record time

KTH is one of the universities set to receive government support in the wake of the corona crisis. Around an additional 700 places in foundation technology courses at KTH Royal Institute of Technology will make it easier for more people to retrain. Resources will also be allocated to establish more permanent course places.

The government is providing extra support for education to help those who want to take technology- or healthcare-related degrees due to the corona pandemic. Sebastiaan Meijer is now working flat-out to create around 700 places on KTH’s foundation technology courses.
“We’ve been instructed by the government to increase the number of places on foundation technology courses starting in the autumn term of 2020. Which is a real challenge, especially given that we’re all working remotely at the moment.”

Sebastiaan Meijer, professor at KTH.

Meijer is deputy director of the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH) at KTH and is responsible for the project. At the same time as the university needs to pool its resources, it also needs to adopt a fresh pedagogical approach, he says.

The courses have not been adapted to be held either remotely or to be large-scale or online. Rather, a new form of blended learning is being looked at in detail to see how this could be adopted so that some students take courses remotely and others take courses in groups on campus.
“It’s important that those who take foundation courses have access to tutors and other students because the foundation year should also provide an insight into how to study at a college or university,” says Meijer.

There is a lot of interest in distance learning at the moment, he says.
“We’ve spoken about various forms of distance learning for the past 10 years and suddenly we’re in a situation in which we’re trying to apply everything we’ve learned all at once,” Meijer says.

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