How Graduate Professional Development Programme contributes to the development of Integrated Research and Education Environments (Forsknings- och utbildningsmiljöer):
Graduate Professional Development projects strengthen education through the development of flexible, research-linked courses and training for working professionals. This provides the environment in question with:
• a new student category: working professionals;
• strengthened master’s-level education;
• a high level of competence in web-based format;
• awareness of knowledge and competence needs in the business sector; and
• a strengthened position as a leading academic partner for companies in relevant industries, both nationally and internationally.
About the programme
The Graduate Professional Development Programme relates to master’s-level instruction for working professionals. Courses and training are developed through matching competence and development needs in the business sector with the knowledge found in strong academic environments. Since course participants are working professionals, high demands are placed on flexible forms of learning. This means that through the support of the programme, universities can achieve international positioning through web-based instruction. For companies, this means that employees can assimilate relevant knowledge at the university, including research findings generated either there or globally. The courses developed must be incorporated into the regular course offerings at the university and quality assured according to established procedures. The aim of the programme is to provide working professionals and companies with a competence boost for knowledge-intensive business development and innovation.
The programme’s contribution to the university’s development
Since the courses are being developed for working professionals in co-production with companies, the environment in question obtains not only a new student category, but also good insight into the knowledge and competence needs of the business sector. This has resulted in identification of important research issues and newly-started research projects. The high demands for flexible forms strengthens the knowledge and competences of the university concerned in new learning formats such as MOOC, Web-based flipped classrooms, and digital laboratories. Through this, good opportunities open up for the universities to establish themselves in the international education market within their strong, profiled research and academic fields.
The programme’s contribution to business sector development
The Graduate Professional Development Programme is an important effort in the continual supply of competence for the business sector. Through matching the knowledge in the academic environment with the competence needs of the business sector, employees can develop the competence companies need to retain and strengthen their renewal and their competitiveness. These flexible forms make this possible regardless of the companies’ geographic locations. Examples of the effects:
• Companies include training or courses in their internal systems for competence development and competence supply.
• Companies have renewed existing products and processes as a result of their employees’ competence development.
• Course participants have been given new positions/increased responsibilities in their respective companies.
The programme is divided into two steps. Step 1 is an open call for proposals, in which funds are sought for investigation and planning, as well as development and implementation of courses/course modules, in a pilot round of 10–15 credits in total. Step 2 is a targeted call to projects that have completed Step 1, and is divided into two phases. In Phase A, funds are sought for continued development and implementation of courses, including methodological development, for a total of 45–90 credits. In Phase B, funds are sought for consolidation of activities.
In Step 1, the project period is a 1,5-2 years, and support from the Knowledge Foundation is a maximum of SEK 3 million. Producing an application for Step 2 is included in Step 1. Several HEIs, research institutes, and industry organizations can collaborate on the activities if it increases quality or relevance, or if it otherwise contributes positively to development.
Who can apply, and how it works
• Sweden’s university colleges and new universities, authorised to award at least master’s degrees in the field in question, are eligible to apply for funding.
• Calls for proposals are issued annually. Step 1, which is an open call for proposals, is announced in the spring and autumn. Step 2 is directed towards projects that have completed Step 1 and is announced in the autumn.
• Applications must be registered via the Ansök & rapportera portal.
Within the programme, there are currently six projects granted in Step 2. Please visit their websites:
• PROMPT – Professional Master’s Education in Software Development
• Expertise in Sustainable Wood Construction
• Social Media and Web Technologies for Innovation and Growth
• Online Diagnosis – Online Engineering at Master’s Level
• Gjuterimagistern 3.0
• ProdEx – Expert in Production Technology