Erasmus+ trip to Malmö
Nayiri Keshishi (Lecturer in Learning Development, Social Science Foundation) and Dr Shelini Surendran (Lecturer, Biosciences Foundation) share their experience.
We wanted to visit a Scandinavian university, so we decided to approach Malmö (a non-partner institution) and request a bespoke programme which related to our remit at Surrey. This resulted in a two-day exchange with the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CAKL): a university-wide centre that offers education and carries out research within teaching and learning in higher education, widening recruitment and participation. CAKL's mission is to support Malmö University's teachers in conducting their teaching and students in developing their learning.
Walking into Malmö felt like I was stepping into the Tate Modern museum – the architecture and design of the whole university was phenomenal. I also thought the flexible classroom design was unique – I had never seen writeable walls before and iPads outside classrooms that showed availability of rooming.Dr Shelini Surendran (Lecturer, Biosciences Foundation)
Since becoming a Swedish higher education institution in 1998, serving society has been a unique selling point for Malmö. In fact, four of the five faculties have ‘society’ in the title and collaborating with society is a strategic priority.
With 24,000 students, of which only 13,000 are full-time, and the average age of these students at 27, specific support is required to help Malmö students succeed in their studies. In addition, a third of these students are from a ‘non-academic’ background and a third are from a non-Swedish background.
Therefore, CAKL runs various programmes to support these groups:
- A one semester academic introduction course, covering topics such as academic writing, presentation skills and research.
- A one-year Swedish language course, for those whose first language is not Swedish.
- A specific programme for migrants, which covers the Swedish labour market, internships and careers advice.
As part of the programme, we also presented on various learning and teaching projects at Surrey, such as Hackathon17 and The UGPN Academy, which came second in the 2021 HE Innovate award for most innovative approach to widening participation in the curriculum.
One way in which we hope to continue our relationship with Malmö is through CAKL's external seminar series in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. As part of their decision to invest in teaching and learning pedagogy in higher education (HE), CAKL arranges this seminar series where colleagues across Europe are invited to participate. It is a good opportunity to explore HE pedagogical research and to share your own research results.
I’d encourage colleagues to make the most of these training mobility opportunities.Nayiri Keshishi (Lecturer in Learning Development, Social Science Foundation)