Educational Strategy of D&IT: the Computer Science BSc and MSc programmes at GU
by Wolfgang Ahrendt, programme leader
- (1) deepen integration in D&IT structures and routines
Traditionally, executive responsibilities around CS@GU are fully concentrated on one person ("studievägledare/utbildningssekreterare") only.
This leads to:
- a too high workload
- an immense variety of tasks and parties to communicate with
- consequently an immense variety of necessary knowledge and know-how
- no backup in times of peaks, holiday, sickness
- a system that is extremely fragile to change of personnel
Work on issue (1) has started, but there is a long way to go.
- (2) CS@D&IT@ITU@GU: lack of understandable structure around the programme
- CS@D&IT@ITU@GU has a visibility/transparency problem in the university landscape of Göteborg, certainly externally, but even internally. As D&IT is dominated by Chalmers, and ITU is dominated by the Institution of Applied IT, CS@D&IT@ITU@GU is in constant need of explaining itself even within D&IT and ITU.
- A related problem is that D&IT, as such, is quite invisible as part of GU. During her visit at ITU, GU's rektor specifically pointed out the need for (sic***)
Both problems could be addressed simultaneously by sharpen the profile of D&IT as an institution at GU, both in self-perception and external presentation (which often goes together).
The transparency problem (2) could grow over proportion, and become unbearable to deal with for the programme leadership, if one (and only one) of the six specialised Chalmers MSc programmes at D&IT would be renamed to "Computer Science - <subtitle>", as currently proposed.
- (3) Marketing/Recruitment
- Outer-European recruitment for CS MSc programme so far very problematic. The number of first-hand applicants seems fine (between 100 and 200, need to check again). Out of these, 7(!) are considered 'want to have' students after central and local screening.
- Inner-European international applications to the programme are very few. Those however are are good or very good in average, by no comparison better the outer-European applications.
- Conclusion: We should significantly invest in marketing CS@GU in some (bigger) European countries, for instance with newspaper announcements, and by using our Erasmus contacts. The fact that we have faculty from many countries can be of use here. Besides marketing the MSc programme, we can also market (Erasmus) study visits. (Some Erasmus students will become MSc students eventually.)
Inner-European mobility is after all the driving force for the whole Bologna process. In this zero-sum game, Sweden has great potential to be on the winner side with relatively little effort. We should act quicker than other Swedish universities.
- Inner-Swedish recruitment:
This point, in its full extent, exeeds the frame of this document. Some remarks: Big steps forward will be difficult to achieve. One problem seems to be a rather low mobility of prospective students (who tend to study not too far from home). Another problem is the difficulty to market the specific profile of CS@GU (very broad, research oriented education) within the frame of ITU only. One possibility is to complement marketing via ITU with some standalone, D&IT specific marketing of the CS programme, which is well justified given the breadth of the education.
- (4) Future: CS@GU as (one of) the major IT related education(s) in Göteborg
The D&IT educational strategy should contain the ambition to expand on the CS@GU BSc and MSc programmes, for several reasons:
- In practice, D&IT has full control over the study plan, i.e., the study plan is shaped by specialists, and less influences by external regulations, as on the Chalmers side.
- Each CS Bachelor student spends more HST, in average, within D&IT, when compared to a D or IT student.
- The Chalmers model of Master's programmes has led to a high number of programmes (6) at D&IT. The problematic consequences of this (including marketing) are currently discussed. CS@GU has a simpler, and more flexible, internal structure, which is an advantage for both the institution and the students.