The need for higher education increases as Skellefteå grows

Skellefteå is undergoing a major expansion and has an increasingly advanced business community, which means an increased need for higher education.
- This creates good conditions for developing access to higher education in Skellefteå, says Ida Lindh, Strategic Director at Campus Skellefteå.

The new establishments, with Northvolt as the main attraction, mean thousands of new jobs in Skellefteå. In recent years, strategic partnerships have been signed with Luleå University of Technology (LTU) and Umeå University, and in 2020 a partnership was also launched with Mälardalen University.

- They are at the forefront of digital study groups and have expertise in automation, robotisation, simulation and visualisation, areas that our business community needs today. In addition, they have developed a platform of shorter, digital courses that can quickly qualify you for university-level studies if you don't have them already," says Ida.

A growing Skellefteå, with a rapidly increasing population, will demand skills in a number of different areas.

- We will probably see a mobility in the labour market that we haven't seen before. This will require other types of training, such as nursing and teaching, as well as other academic professionals needed for a growing society. There is an important collaboration with Umeå University in the area of strategic skills supply," says Ida.

National competence centre

Last year, Skellefteå also launched a strategic collaboration with RISE, Northvolt and LTU. The aim of the collaboration is to build a national competence centre in Skellefteå with a focus on the smart and green industry of the future. This includes research and profile training at various levels, as well as new methods for rapid competence transformation.

- We are a node in Vigeo, which is a new test and demonstration environment for digitalisation and digital infrastructure for lifelong learning. This is an area where we want to be at the forefront and we are also involved in a project on how technologies from the gaming industry can contribute to the industrial education of the future,' says Ida.

Interest in polytechnic education is also growing. In 2020, as many as eight new UAS programmes started and there are plans for even more in the coming years.

Working with industry

YH courses are shorter than university courses and are developed in close cooperation with companies in industries that are looking for skilled workers. Campus Skellefteå currently offers courses in gaming, IT and creative industries, industry and manufacturing, and healthcare and society, among others.

- The business community influences the content of the courses and supervises them, which makes them relevant to companies and increases students' chances of getting a job," says Ida.

In autumn 2020, three new YH programmes focused on the new industry started and even more programmes, both short and long, are currently being developed in the same area. Gaming is one of several areas that have grown on campus. In 2020, four new YHut programmes in gaming started and this autumn there will be six YH gaming programmes to complement the game development programmes that currently exist at LTU in Skellefteå. The growing games industry in Skellefteå has had difficulty recruiting, and this is where the courses make a big difference. Both for already existing local companies, but also for companies that are thinking of establishing themselves in the city.

- There is a fantastic interaction and community feeling between the companies and the students. This makes Skellefteå a more attractive student city," says Ida.

Flexible solutions

The Corona pandemic has accelerated the provision of flexible forms of education and driven the development of distance learning through regional, national and international colleges and universities. It has blurred the line between campus-based and distance education, which presents great opportunities for Campus Skellefteå. In autumn 2020, an initiative was launched where students in local study groups can take international online courses via Campus Skellefteå from some of the world's best universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The courses aim to meet the need for rapid skills transformation.

- There has long been talk of lifelong learning and today we see that many people want and need to upgrade their skills later in life. Here we are well placed to find flexible solutions, both at university and YH level. There is now a gigantic range of distance learning courses and programmes available through internationally renowned universities," says Ida.

Great approach

Through distance learning, 32-year-old Daniel Degerman added technical skills to his CV, which then helped him make a leap in his career. The course certificates played a big part in getting him a job as a technical salesman at Skellefteå Kraft.

- The courses made Daniel stand out in the crowd, says his boss Patrik Sundberg, business unit manager for products and services at Skellefteå Kraft.

Daniel had previously taken courses in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Science before starting the University of Maryland's Agile innovation and problem solving course in the fall of 2020. The course, offered through Campus Skellefteå, is in English and runs for four weeks with an estimated three hours of study per week required.

- The structure with a local study group is great. It makes it easier to motivate yourself and we can support each other in the group," says Daniel, who is positive about the low enrolment. I studied the child and leisure programme in upper secondary school, but it was no problem to take these technical courses. I've been able to replay lectures and google phrases that were difficult to understand.

Read more about Campus Skellefteå's educational offer here External link.


Senast uppdaterad:
2 March 2023