Monica Ungerholm *


The Autumn Days


The Autumn Days are transparent

and painted on the gold ground to the forest...

The autumn days smile at the whole world.

It is wonderful to fall asleep without longing,

tired of flowers and growing greeness,

with the red wreaths of wine by my pillow...

The autumn days have no longing any more,

its fingers are implacably cold,

in dreams it sees everywhere

how white flakes continually fall.


Poem by Edith Södergran (1892-1923)

Swedish authoress and poetess

Autumn is the start of academic life in Sweden like in many parts of the world. When I am writing this all 25.200 individuals - 20.000students, 1200 post-graduates, 3.000 staff and faculty - all forming Linköpings Universitet - are facing a year of new endeavours, new meetings, and new contributions to the academic society. You will find most of us in Linköping, which is situated in the south of Sweden - 200 kilometres south of our capital Stockholm, which can be reached by train in approximately 2 hours. Forty kilometres north of Linköping - on the way to Stockholm - you will find Norrköping - a city with an industrial atmosphere where our new satellite campus has been established. There, in Campus Norrköping, some 2000 people are busy building up new undergraduate study programmes based on latest research results in the fields of teacher training, technology, media and communication studies, and analysis of culture and society.

Trying new fields, walking new pathways - a non-traditional co-operation across subject and faculty borders is the interdisciplinary approach that has become a hallmark of Linköpingniversity since its foundation in the 1960’s.

Cross-linking is a key word. This stands for the creative atmosphere that as enabled Linköping to come up with exciting new study programmes transform the traditional curriculim. The three entities which form Linköpings universitet are the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Institute of Technology. Each of them contributing to the cross-linking in different ways:

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences with its interdisciplinary research organization now influencing the undergraduate degree programmes more than ever - one of the first interdisciplinary degree programmes established being in the field of cognitive science (studies interaction between man and machine). A new problem-based teacher training curriculum is being introduced with focus on children’s development and living conditions and on youth cultures. The faculty has elaborated a comprehensive programme of change for the teachers’ training programmes and their connection to research. The research organisation has been strengthened and new possibilities for research are being established. Three new professorships have been established for educational work. The professorships are addressed to research with a clear relevance for school and teachers’ training. New programmes are being planned integrating languages and culture studies.

The Faculty of Health Sciences being the first faculty in Sweden to introduce problem-based learning into medicine and health sciences programmes. The students are responsible for their own learning process from the very start of their studies.

The Institute of Technology in its designing of degree programmes like Industrial Engineering and Management, Computer Sciences and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, and a problem-based learning approach in the Master of Science programme in Information Technology.

Cross-linking stands also for an internal structure and spirit that facilitates inter-and multidisciplinary research in the international frontline.

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences comprises departments such as Management and Economics, Computer and Information Sciences, Fine Arts (including craft and design), Physics and Measurement Technology (links with teacher training), Education and Psychology, Teacher Training, Language and Culture, The Tema Institute, Mathematics, and, a newly established department situated in Campus Norrköping, the Department of Thematic Studies.

This organisation facilitates co-operation over discipline-borders and helps faculty to interact in everyday co-operation.

Cross-linking also stands for Linköping University’s ambition no take an active part in international co-operation by joining and creating networks for research and student and faculty exchange. Thus the international network is of a considerable size.

The university’s commitment to the European co-operation under the Socrates programme is an integrated part of the inner life of the university, and to this day frame agreements have been signed with some 300 European universities. Linking with institutions of higher education in non-Europeancountries is also an important part of the university’s internationalization programme.

Linköping University has closed agreements with Portuguese institutions of higher education such as Institutos Superiores Politécnicos de Lisboa e de Setúbal, Universidade de Coimbra, Universidade do Porto, Universidade Portucalense Infante D. Henrique, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública. The teacher Training Department and the Adult Education Unit within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences have been involved in teacher training projects too.

Welcoming international students.

The University offers courses and programmes on advanced level taught in English for students from all over the world, and the university has committed itself to the ECTS in the European context. Three international master’s programmes (Manufacturing Management, Communication and Information Interactivity and Material Physics are offered by the Institute of Technology. The International Management and Industrial Engineering Graduate School recruits students in high position in the Swedish industry. The school is run by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Technology in collaboration. The Faculty of Health Sciences offers for example a course in Sports Medicine on advanced level. And master programmes in Public Health and Medical biology.

Research is carried out in many fields of study with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The Tema Institute has been very successful with the interdisciplinary research programmes - temas - like Child Studies, Health in Society, Communication Studies, Technology and Social Change, Water and Environmental Studies. New temas are Gender and Ethnicity. Each tema is organized not only with significance to the scientific realm but also on the basis of social relevance. This enables a unique co-operation between researchers from a large number of disciplines. Disciplinary research is also carried out in for example management and economies. Education, history and psychology.

Apart from the traditional doctoral studies nine graduate schools linked to multidisciplinary research programmes are now a part of the curriculum of the Institute of Technology (some of them in cooperation with other faculties. Examples that can be mentioned here are: Visual Information Technology; International Graduate School in Computer Sciences; Excellence Center in Computer Science and Systems Engineering. Forum Scientum: Scientific Computing.

At the Faculty of Health Sciences close contact between preclinical (theoretical) studies and clinical research is one of the most important features. Health-oriented research is carried out in more than fifty fields.


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* International Relations Manager - Faculty of Arts and Sciences