Government Minister Matilda Ernkrans at Dalarna University

Last week, Minister for Higher Education and Research Matilda Ernkrans paid a visit to Dalarna University. One of the aims of her trip to Dalarna was to find out more about what the University is doing in the field of collaboration.

The visit began at Campus Falun with a presentation by Vice-Chancellor Martin Norsell of the facilities there and discussions about the future challenges facing the University. Martin Norsell raised the importance of receiving funding so that the University can continue to develop and build on the research being conducted at its two campuses.

As well, the Minister learnt about the successful efforts over recent years with the University's work-integrated teacher education programme. Dalarna University was the first university in the country to introduce the concept, which has drawn national interest. Bengt Ericsson, Director of Dalarna Centre for Educational Development (Pedagogiskt utvecklingscentrum - PUD) at Dalarna University, explained how such work-integrated learning means that students receive a wage at the same time as they are studying towards qualifying as teachers. Also there to welcome the Minister was Professor Sara Irisdotter Aldenmyr, Director of the Research Profile Education and Learning.

Matilda Ernkrans stated how impressed she was by Dalarna University's successful collaboration with, above all, municipalities in this area.

"Dalarna University has demonstrated great ambition in terms of work-integrated teacher education and is, furthermore, especially good at collaborating with both the private and public sectors," she stated.

The Chairperson of Dalarna's Student Union Anton Petersson met to talk with Matilda Ernkrans.

The visit to Campus Falun concluded with information from Dalarna's Student Union Chairperson Anton Petersson. After this, the Minister headed to facilities at the coppermine in Falun for further meetings and dialogue with KLOSS-Net, which is a national network for directors at Swedish institutes of higher education who work with issues related to collaboration. This autumn, it was Dalarna University's turn to act as host.

The afternoon took the Minister to Campus Borlänge, where she visited the solar energy laboratory and received information from the Head of School Patrik Kenger and Professor Mats Rönnelid. The afternoon also included information about language studies from Loretta Qwarnström, Director of Languages, as well as information about web-based learning from Niklas Brinkfelt, Director of the University's NGL (Next Generation Learning) Centre.

The afternoon programme included a presentation on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships by Johan Kostela, Strategic Officer, Collaboration, and Marit Söderqvist, Process Manager, both of Dalarna University.

The Minister also had the opportunity to talk with union representatives at the University, Christina Romlid and Anna-Carin Jonsson, before proceeding into the downtown area of Borlänge, where the new Campus Borlänge will be established by late 2022.

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Municipal Commissioner Jan Boman, Matilda Ernkrans and Martin Norsell pictured close to where the new Campus Borlänge will be located.

Attending with the Minister was Amanda Johanson, State Secretary, and Klas-Herman Lundgren, political expert.

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