University West’s mission is to provide an excellent education and conduct high-quality research. The university specialises in Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and one of its overarching goals is to be Sweden’s leading university in this field.
Collaboration – a central strategy
The university’s core activities are education and research. The university’s central concept and brand promise is to create knowledge through collaboration, and therefore collaboration is a central strategy for achieving high-quality education and research. Collaboration means mutual collaboration with partners in the surrounding community, public sector, and trade and industry. This requires both a high level of academic expertise and a humble attitude as regards the knowledge and perspective of other parties. Collaboration is to be linked to both research and education and take place primarily within the framework of Work Integrated Learning. In a globalized society where complex problems require multidisciplinary collaboration, it is natural and essential that University West’s teachers and researchers collaborate with colleagues in the academic community in Sweden, abroad and across disciplines.
Education – linked to research and collaboration
University West is to have a wide range of study programmes and courses which facilitate lifelong learning through different types of educational models. To achieve high quality and relevance, education at University West shall be closely linked to students’ future working life and role in society. During their studies, students shall come in contact with working life in a number of ways. A high proportion of the university’s doctoral students shall have direct links to working life. Education at University West is always to be linked to research. The way in which knowledge is created through collaboration and the way that study programmes and courses are progressively linked to research shall be explicitly expressed through the pedagogical methods used. The students’ acquisition of knowledge shall be the main focus and students shall be familiar with the implications of academic learning and how academic knowledge is applied. The university’s learning environment shall be characterized by diversity. Students and teachers from different backgrounds and nationalities shall come together to jointly contribute to and take responsibility for their own and others’ learning and to participate in the development of academic knowledge. The university’s Work Integrated Learning profile also means it can be a driving force and centre for lifelong learning.
Research – linked to collaboration and education
Research at University West shall be conducted through national and international collaboration with other seats of learning and with partners in the surrounding community, public sector, and trade and industry. Research shall have a high degree of applicability and relevance for society. Research findings shall be published in high-ranking scientific journals and also be communicated through popular science channels. Relevant research findings at the university shall be used as much as possible in all the university’s study programmes and courses.
Entitlement to award two third-cycle qualifications
University West chose to apply for and has received entitlement to award two third-cycle qualifications, namely, Production Engineering and Work Integrated Learning (WIL). Two subjects are linked to WIL: Educational Studies and Informatics. The possibility of linking more subjects to WIL may be considered in the future. On the basis of strategic and financial assessments, there are no plans to increase the scope of the university’s entitlement to award qualifications.
Three vital research areas and the ”Primus” KK environment
University West has chosen to focus its research on three vital research areas: Child and Youth Studies, Learning In and For the New Working Life, and Production Technology West. Researchers from different disciplines and departments shall cooperate in these research areas. In order to develop the university on the basis of these areas of strength, University West chose to apply to become a KK environment and this goal was fulfilled in 2017. The “Primus” KK environment is a research initiative that combines Production Technology and Work Integrated Learning (WIL). The “Primus” KK environment shall help to densify the existing areas. A common feature of the three vital research areas and the “Primus” KK environment is that they shall involve several academic disciplines and study humans in a digitalised society. On the basis of strategic and financial assessments, there are no plans to increase the number of research areas.