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PRESENTED BY LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY

The Swedish university where students tackle real-world problems

Ranked among the world’s best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

The Swedish university where students tackle real-world problems
Photo: Linköping University

Linköping University is one of Sweden’s largest universities, consistently placing as a leading university in global rankings. It’s also home to a  world-leading research environment for topics relevant to all of society, such as sustainability, materials science, and security.

With campuses in the southern Swedish cities of Linköping and Norrköping, the university and its reputation attract students from all over the globe. Each year around 27,000 national and international students enrol for both undergraduate study at the university and for its 25 master’s programmes that are taught entirely in English.

LiU’s interdisciplinary approach to education and research arms students with the knowledge and skills they need to solve the problems we are facing today and in the future. It also helps graduates to hit the ground running in professions like teaching, medicine, and engineering —  making them among the most desirable in the labour market.

Find out more about the master’s programmes at Linköping University

One practical way LiU prepares its graduates for life after university is through Problem-based learning (PBL), an innovative method in which students tackle real problems to aid their learning of concepts.

It’s a technique second-year Experimental and Medical Biosciences master’s student Karolos Douvlataniotis uses regularly as part of his programme. He explains that the students are divided into groups and presented with a problem for which they must find a solution together.

“We’re given a problem or scenario, for example, a viral infection, and then we discuss what we think is important and prepare an answer. Afterwards, all the groups discuss our answers.”

It’s a technique Karolos believes will really help him in the future, when he plans to enter the research field.

“I think it’s a very good method because you actually have to do your own preparation. You also have to be very focused! It definitely gets you ready to go into research.”

And that’s exactly what Karolos’ two-year master’s programme is designed to do: prepare students for a career in the life sciences field. The full-time course is taught at the university’s hospital campus alongside laboratory and hospital staff, so students get daily insight into life in a professional research environment.

This combination of studying, PBL, and daily exposure to a working laboratory ensures that by the time Karolos graduates, he’ll be prepared for whatever his future career throws at him.

“Studying at Linköping will absolutely help me get where I want to be. It’s giving us the experience we need to go straight into work.”

PBL is a method that 22-year-old Linda Johansson, now a second-year master’s student in Sustainable Development, used throughout her undergraduate degree. She agrees with Karolos that it’s effective and offers broader insight into problem-solving.

Browse the 25 master’s programmes offered at Linköping University

“It’s a really good way to learn because people solve problems in different ways,” she explains.

“It creates a good discussion and you learn more because you get different ways of solving a problem.”

Linda’s department also uses another innovative technique favoured by the university; visualisation.

The technique helps to make complex data and teachings more understandable through easy-to-comprehend images, maps, and diagrams.

It’s a modern technique Linda believes helps raise awareness about pressing issues surrounding sustainability and climate change.

“Climate change can be quite complex and hard to understand because there are so many different areas involved. By using visualisation tools, like a movie or a game that people play to understand climate adaption in a city, it helps them to gain an understanding of a difficult issue.”

She believes it also has the power to communicate in simpler terms what the average person can do about climate change. Once more people are aware of what they can do individually, she says society as a whole will be better equipped to tackle the issue.

“I think many people think climate change is so big and so complex they can’t do anything about it. Visualisation helps people to understand climate change and see that actually small actions, like sorting out your waste for example, really make a difference on the whole.”

If you want to study for your master’s degree and simultaneously tackle the challenges the world is facing, Linköping University might be the right environment for you. The university offers 25 master’s programmes in five different subject areas, which you can learn more about on its website.

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Linköping University.

 

HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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