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PRESENTED BY LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY

Change the world with a master’s degree from Sweden’s Linköping University

Master’s students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren’t there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?

Change the world with a master’s degree from Sweden’s Linköping University
Photo: Linköping University
When LiU Professor Jan Lundgren began studying traffic systems, he couldn’t have predicted that his field would one day become quite so central to society.

“When I started in this business some 30 years ago, the transport service was a very low tech business. Now you see that tech companies like Ericsson, Siemens and IBM are all entering the sector.”

He explains that with the application of modern technology, the traffic systems sector has never been more relevant.

“We have self-driving cars and big data availability. Everything will be connected with everything and it all relates to traffic systems. Sometimes I feel the area is just becoming more and more relevant.”

Find out more about the master's programmes at Linköping University

What’s more, he adds, it has a pivotal role to play in safeguarding the future of the planet.

“The environment is something that concerns everyone. We talk about a fossil-free society — transportation is one of the main contributors of negative environmental impact. And so working with traffic systems is to work for a better environment.”

Professor Lundgren heads up Linköping University’s Intelligent Transport Systems and Logistics master’s programme, a unique degree that combines knowledge about the transportation system, like supply-chain modelling, road safety and project managements, integrated with technology designed specifically for the transport industry.

Photo: Professor Lundgren

It’s an intense multi-disciplinary programme taught entirely in English that teaches students to understand, develop and control transport systems — skills which are highly coveted today and will almost certainly continue to be so in the future.

“You can say the overall concept of this program is the same as the research we are doing within our department. The traffic system exists all around the world so with this education students can work pretty much anywhere and the problems are essentially the same.”

As with many of the courses at Linköping University — which is a world-leading university based between three campuses in Linköping and Norrköping in southern Sweden — students aren’t there simply to study. Since LiU is the co-ordinating university of the Swedish National Postgraduate School of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems), they are at the frontline of research in the Swedish transportation industry.

As such, the course is hands-on, challenging and just as fast-paced as real-world working life.

“We have very few written exams. Instead we have a lot of assignments, lab reports and project work,” explains Professor Lundgren.

READ MORE: Is this the best Swedish university for international master’s students?

He adds that when he interviews students some years later, which he always tries to do, this is what they say they found most valuable and that prepared them best for life after university.

“There are rarely written exams when you have finished your studies. You have to deliver, co-operate and work on projects. We prepare students for this.”

Photo: Linköping University

You can really follow your interests’

Linköping University researcher Professor Maria Huge Brodin didn’t immediately jump at the idea when she was asked to join a project about the environment.

“It was the early ‘90s and at the time it wasn’t seen as a ‘cool subject’,” Professor Brodin recalls with a hint of humour. 

As it turns out, she found her calling and went on to obtain her PhD in recycling and logistics for recycling. Then, when the environment became a hot topic in around 2006-2007, Professor Brodin was well positioned at the forefront of the industry. It’s now one of the most critical issues faced by the world today and Professor Brodin is at the heart of it.

“When people started bringing the environment into every topic, I was there. Then it became cool!”, she laughs.

Now, Professor Brodin describes herself as a mechanical engineer who “turned green philosophically”, and is the world’s first professor of environmental logistics. Her current research concerns green business models and technology for logistics service providers.

Photo: Professor Brodin

She also manages the Energy Environmental Management degree programme at LiU, mainly taught in Swedish. The master’s programme in Sustainability Engineering and Management is taught entirely in English.

Find out more about the master’s programmes at Linköping University

“It’s a unique programme in Sweden. We focus on companies’ profitability and sustainability in all dimensions. This is what distinguishes our research and what we’re known for,” she explains.

She says that by studying and researching transportation, students can address an area that affects everyone from the average person to major companies. For example, Professor Brodin’s research at Linköping University has involved postal giant DHL and Sweden’s national postal service PostNord.

“We focus on reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for climate change reasons. By studying and researching transport, we address a difficult but very important area. Our work has impact on companies not just within logistics but on business models for sustainability in general.”

READ MORE: The Swedish university where students tackle real-world problems

Professor Brodin adds that master’s students have the chance to effect real change because, like many master’s programmes at LiU, the teaching is not wholly theoretical. 

“The master’s students often have projects in which companies have given them real-life problems which they help to solve. They are also encouraged to take internships when they do their thesis.”

She adds that environmental logistics is a young field which allows both researchers and master’s students more freedom to conduct cross-disciplinary research.

“You can really follow your interests while making a valuable contribution and being creative in the area, which is quite unique.”

Find out more about the master’s programmes at Linköping University 

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This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Linköping University.

BREXIT

‘It’s their loss’: Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

The UK is missing out by barring highly skilled Italian graduates from accessing a new work visa, Italy's universities minister said on Wednesday.

'It's their loss': Italian universities left off UK special study visa list

Universities and Research Minister Cristina Messa said she was disappointed by the UK’s decision not to allow any graduates of Italian universities access to its ‘High Potential Individual’ work permit.

“They’re losing a big slice of good graduates, who would provide as many high skills…it’s their loss,” Messa said in an interview with news agency Ansa, adding that Italy would petition the UK government to alter its list to include Italian institutions.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

“It’s a system that Britain obviously as a sovereign state can choose to implement, but we as a government can ask (them) to revise the university rankings,” she said.

The High Potential Individual visa, which launches on May 30th, is designed to bring highly skilled workers from the world’s top universities to the UK in order to compensate for its Brexit-induced labour shortage.

Successful applicants do not require a job offer to be allowed into the country but can apply for one after arriving, meaning potential employers won’t have to pay sponsorship fees.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome.

Students sit on the steps of Roma Tre University in Rome. Photo by TIZIANA FABI / AFP.

The visa is valid for two years for those with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and three years for PhD holders, with the possibility of moving into “other long-term employment routes” that will allow the individual to remain in the country long-term.

READ ALSO: Eight things you should know if you’re planning to study in Italy

Italy isn’t the only European country to have been snubbed by the list, which features a total of 37 global universities for the 2021 graduation year (the scheme is open to students who have graduated in the past five years, with a different list for each graduation year since 2016).

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, EPFL Switzerland, Paris Sciences et Lettres, the University of Munich, and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute are the sole European inclusions in the document, which mainly privileges US universities.

Produced by the UK’s Education Ministry, the list is reportedly based on three global rankings: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and The Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Messa said she will request that the UK consider using ‘more up-to-date indicators’, without specifying which alternative system she had in mind.

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