Published: 10-10-2017 11:20 | Updated: 10-10-2017 11:31

Closing of the course for future education leaders at KI

The Future Education Leaders course, a program to highlight and develop the skills of Karolinska Institutet’s (KI) educational leaders, will conclude on 10 October. Participants will be holding a poster presentation in Aula Medica and KI PRIME recipient Brian Hodges will be giving a lecture.

“This is a hybrid between a pedagogical and leadership course. An important element is that participants build networks with each other,” explains Sari Ponzer, course project manager.

This is the second time that the course has been held. The project was initiated by the Board of Higher Education with the overall aim of ensuring the future supply of scientifically qualified educational leaders within the teaching organisation.

“We have two core activities at KI, research and education, and it is therefore self-evident that those who choose to become educators must be offered the opportunity to be assigned to leading positions. Specific skills are required of educational leaders,” says Annika Östman Wernerson, Dean of Higher Education.

The requirements for participants, who are nominated by their heads of department, are that they must have a PhD and documented pedagogical experience. They must also be employed at KI within education or research, or affiliated to the university as a researcher, teacher or clinician. Interest in participation was high and the total number of applications was approximately twice the 20 available spaces.

“The participants come from a very wide range of professional backgrounds and disciplines, as well as from various departments within the educational organisation,” says Sari Ponzer.

Course lecturers have included Carola Lemne, Director General of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and Brian Hodges, recipient of the 2016 Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education (PRIME). Hodges will also be closing the course with a presentation on the theme of leadership.

Networking an important component of successful leadership

The content of the course focuses on the regulatory frameworks of educational activities, formal and informal decision-making structures and KI’s core values and ethical code of conduct. An important element of the course is the building of personal networks prior to a continued career at KI, something that, according to the course evaluation, has proved successful.

“Surveys carried out during the course have shown that participants are positive, with a general feeling that they have learnt from one another and gained a useful network,” says Sari Ponzer.

Ann-Helen Patomella.Ann-Helen Patomella, deputy head of division in the Division of Occupational Therapy and one of this year’s course participants, concurs with this positive feedback. In addition to establishing networks, the course has also contributed other insights.

“The importance of having someone with whom one can discuss leadership issues, as well as the vital role of communication in providing a clear leadership.”

The Future Education Leaders course will not be held the upcoming years, but the issue will not be allowed to fall by the wayside, declares Annika Östman Wernerson.

“I believe that the course may be held again in a couple of years, although no decision has yet been made. Now it’s important that those who have taken the course are provided with the opportunity to develop their leadership within the organisation, and we will be monitoring their future progress.

Closing in Aula Medica

This year’s course participants will be presenting their final projects in a poster exhibition on 10 October from 3 pm-5 pm on the 4th Floor of Aula Medica. The exhibition will be preceded by a presentation on the theme of leadership by PRIME award winner Brian Hodges, 2 pm-3 pm at the same venue.