University-industry collaboration to support lifelong education

Ny artikel från Cecilia Bjursell och Anna-Carin Ramsten. 

Artikeln University-industry collaboration to support lifelong educationlänk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster presenterades vid INTED2020-konferensen i Valencia förra veckan.

Abstract:

Collaboration between the university and industry can contribute to generating a rich and relevant educational content. Furthermore, it can create a network of contacts with the surrounding community and future employers. Collaborating with an educational institute can also be a way of engaging in lifelong education and learning. This includes developing specific knowledge while training generic abilities, not least the ability of working collaboratively. There has come a movement in university-industry collaboration that involves a shift from (A) simple knowledge exchange to (B) the creation of shared frames of reference. This does not entail that problem-solving and knowledge dissemination should be set aside, but we observe that new dimensions have been added to the working methods that are already in play. Additionally, there is an increasing demand on higher education to provide lifelong learning, but how can this be done? The objective of this study is to explore innovative models of collaboration in continuous higher education. The paper is based on a qualitative case study method. Case study can be a way to explore unique cases, and in this particular paper, to explore new forms of collaboration as part of lifelong education. Considering the ongoing changes in university - industry collaboration, the question arose whether there are initiatives to collaborate in new ways in education to support lifelong education in working life. We started to search for new forms of education collaboration (in the national context of study). Since we looked for new forms, they were not to be found in data bases or previous literature. and we found that the most efficient method was to simply ask around in our networks. The criteria to include a case was: 1) that is was based on collaboration between university and working life, 2) the collaboration was aimed at higher education for professionals, 3) that the case exhibited a form of collaboration not identified elsewhere. When the cases were identified, we contacted the organizations for interviews with key informants. Based on the interviews, we constructed cases that described what they had done, what was unique and what we can learn from these cases. The interviewees got to approve the cases and make sure that the facts were correct. The main result from these cases is that it is industry and working life, not universities, that initiate collaboration to develop new models for lifelong education. Such collaborative efforts also hold a potential for the integration of research, education, and innovation. However, we need to:(i) develop robust models outlining how this can be achieved and(ii) clarify how the development of skills takes place. In our paper we draw the following conclusions:- Proximity facilitates collaboration and regional initiatives are the appropriate level to reach a critical mass while remaining geographically close to collaborating businesses.- Collaboration in higher education can be said to have undergone a cultural shift towards approaches that support active learning and a sense of responsibility in society.- The educational innovation that we have identified through the case descriptions has taken place on the initiative of external actors who contacted the university institutions based on specific needs.

 

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Läs rapporten Innovativ utbildningssamverkan för livslångt lärandePDF av Cecilia Bjursell och Anna-Carin Ramsten. 

2020-03-13
2020-03-13