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Top tier education in Medicine and in Control Systems

International panel selects two LiU education units as being Centers of Excellent Quality in Higher Education.

LiUs Medical Program and Control Systems at the Department of Electrical Engineering, a core subject area in LiUs engineering programs, are two out of five national Centers of Excellent Quality in Higher Education 2007. The quality audits leading to this recognition, announced by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, were made by an international panel of scholars.

Designations of excellence are given to educational environments that are leaders in their subject field and demonstrate the capability to provide top tier education. Strongly committed instructors closely aligned to student needs are two main strengths of these educational units.

Control Systems incorporates two subject fields: Automatic Control and Vehicular Systems. The panel of judges emphasized three factors that contribute to creating a top tier educational environment: scientific platform, didactical stance and organizational acumen.

"We do indeed have a strong scientific base," says Professor Svante Gunnarsson. "And we are fortunate to have several highly successful researchers in our faculty--internationally recognized names such as Lars Nielsen and Lennart Ljung--both of whom have written well-received university textbooks."

Research success does not always translate to educator prowess, but LiU instructors are committed to their teaching.

Svante Gunnarsson continues, "Our faculty has a positive attitude to the students' situation and the ability to communicate with the undergraduate on their current level, to impart to beginners the knowledge they need to continue on to the next level of learning. Our students know they can always get a helpful response from the instructors."

The third vital factor, the organization of the educational setting, requires a clear understanding of roles, tasks and accountability. It is about everyone having an awareness of where responsibility lies. This seems simple enough when it works, but when it falters, it can create severe learning problems."

The planners and instructors in LiUs Medicine program have reason to feel extra proud. It is not the first time they have received recognition. The educational program in Medicine has previously been ranked at the top of the list by the National Agency for Higher Education, as well as by the Swedish Medical Association.

The Medicine program is built around the concept of problem-based learning and relies on a core team of committed instructors. There are, however, other ingredients that contribute to the high educational quality," explains Lena Öhman, chairman of the committee for undergraduate education.

"Key courses integrate the future medical doctors with other health care students in joint learning sessions conducted in the same classroom. The goal is to create an understanding of the teamwork required by their professional roles. The students get early clinical training in the regional health care centers and hospitals."

"And," adds Mats Hammar, dean at the Faculty of Health Sciences, "the program not only imparts theoretical knowledge and practical skills, it promotes personal development.

"Throughout their studies, the medical candidates film each other in real-life patient interaction--with the patient's consent, of course. This provides them with the opportunity to evaluate patient-doctor dialogues, their own and others."

Another asset is the continual feedback from students on educational quality. "The students take an active part in the on-going assessment of each course," Lena Öhman concludes.

Rector Mille Millnert is pleased about the Agency having bestowed these two designations of Excellence, but it was not entirely unexpected. "Though two entirely different types of educational environments have been honored, the premises are basically the same: committed instructors and capable leadership that sets its quality imprint on the assigned task."


Page manager: therese.winder@liu.se
Last updated: 2009-06-03