Widerströmska High School will welcome its very first students this autumn. The college will specialise in life science courses; and on completing their studies, students will also have a genuine dose of entrepreneurship to take with them.
Campus Flemingsberg is already Sweden’s eighth largest campus with around 17,000 students attending five different colleges and universities. This family is now set to grow further with the addition of Widerströmska High School.
“Interest is considerable from parents as well as from potential students and staff. Recruitment is currently in full swing, and we’re holding joint information meetings for everyone during the spring,” says headteacher Mona Lifwergren.
Recruiting a high school teacher is not easy, however, especially in the Stockholm region. But the school’s life science profile, combined with opportunities to co-operate with the surrounding colleges is highly attractive.
“In less than a week we received around 75 applications for the advertised positions. Among those who have contacted us are people who have previously worked in research and have retrained as high school teachers, as well as those who want to teach and conduct research in parallel.
There is already an agreement in place that will see Widerströmska High School share the Södertörn University library, which will also provide information services to Widerströmska students. There are also hopes of benefiting from the various teaching skills available at the different colleges.
“We offer easy access to the colleges’ public lectures and seminars, as well as opportunities for further training for our staff. At the same time, we want to be a link for the colleges to the surrounding community through our parents and students.”
Widerströmska will start out with four different courses: economics, science, technology, and a healthcare programme. Each incorporates an entrepreneurial approach.
“We’re reflecting what is already available at Campus Flemingsberg so it’ll be easy to co-operate with neighbouring institutions. The heads of the various colleges are open to this, and the responsible staff are establishing the type of co-operation that they want.”
Widerströmska High School will also offer an optional fourth technical year, which will give students an engineering qualification. This add-on is free for students in Sweden.
“This is something that a lot of companies I’ve spoken to ask for, particularly in the medtech sector. They currently need people with these skill sets, and in many cases are ready to employ people,” says Lifwergren.
Widerströmska High School is located in the NEO building on Campus Flemingsberg, in the same building as Karolinska Institutet. At full capacity the school is expected to have some 500 students.