We are strong!


There have been discussions in social media outlets recently regarding our Bachelor level programmes. Let me put your mind at ease – the Faculty of Engineering’s Bachelor’s programmes are maintaining a high standard, and we will make sure that continues!

Our academic programmes are solidly anchored to our incredibly strong research foundation. This research link is, in my opinion, a crucial element of creating and maintaining high quality academic programmes that keep up with the latest technological developments. An important part of our quality assurance is the Academic Development Unit that develops our teachers and teaching methods.

The Academic Development Unit (called Genombrottet in Swedish, which roughly translates as ’The Breakthrough’. Ed.) has received attention from many different sources, both nationally and internationally. Last, but not least,  I would like to highlight that the Faculty of Engineering LTH is a part of Lund University – Sweden’s biggest and broadest university – with all the benefits this brings in the form of diversity and natural meeting places.

So why this discussion? During recent years, the Faculty of Engineering LTH has ’over-produced’ within our programmes – meaning that we have educated more students than we have received funding for. There are many reasons for this, the primary reason being that the Master’s degree was lengthened from 4.5 to 5 years, without extra funding being provided. We have also had high application rates; society has demanded more engineers and we have delivered!

This over-production has meant that we have had to use our administrative capital (savings) in order to pay our departments for the teaching they delivered. This has led to an imbalance in our finances, and our outgoings have exceeded our incomings. That is why the Faculty of Engineering has spent the last few years working towards decreasing our over-production, while at the same time lobbying for more student places to meet the industry’s increasing demand for engineers and architects – so far to no avail!

Our departments have had to review how they work: how much classroom-based teaching should we provide, and what other alternatives exist? Does more classroom-based teaching always result in higher quality? Students also need time for reflection and individual assignments. One example is laboratory classes, which is an expensive form of teaching that we also value highly at the Faculty of Engineering. It is my opinion that, with better and clearer preparation, it is possible to shorten laboratory time and improve results at the same time.

How can we utilise new tools and new channels? A great example is how Jonas Månsson, a senior lecturer in mathematics, uses YouTube to help students. At the Professors Inauguration on 13 March, Jonas was given the student’s choice award for excellence in teaching. Check the web! This is just one example of the excellent teaching that exists at the Faculty of Engineering.

Our finances are stretched, but not yet in crisis. We receive approximately SEK 500 million each year in government funding, which is a significant amount. As an addition to measures already taken, I have initiated a review of our academic programme structure, being led by Deputy Dean Annika Mårtensson. This is to see if we can make our programmes more cost effective while also assuring quality. The current structure has been in place for good few years, and it is time to see if we can renew and improve. At the same time work carries on to evaluate and follow up on the quality of our programmes and courses. It is always possible to do better!

In my eyes, the Faculty of Engineering is home to some of the best programmes in the country, and I am confident about the future. Together we will make the Faculty of Engineering even stronger!


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Viktor Öwall
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering LTH

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