Tracks prepares students for the future

Chalmers’ new educational initiative, Tracks, offers interdisciplinary and individualised studies, starting this autumn. It will make students better prepared to solve future societal challenges, such as energy supply, transport and more efficient use of resources. 
The name Tracks refers to just that – the students choosing their own track, and the tracks that will be created between the existing programmes.
“It is about keeping our students’ high employability also in the future,” says Kristina Henricson Briggs, Vice Director for Tracks.

Flexible and individualised education
Tracks is a ten-year investment from the Chalmers Foundation – one of the largest investments in the field of education in the University's 190-year history.
A large part of the studies will be interdisciplinary, meaning that they will cross educational and subject boundaries. This offers the students great opportunities to broaden their knowledge outside of their chosen main area. Their studies take place mainly in project form, and the study plan can be adjusted and developed based on new circumstances.
“We are creating an arena in which we train our students to address major global challenges,” says Mikael Enelund, Director of Tracks.

And there is no shortage of global challenges that need addressing, in areas such as sustainability, transport and infrastructure, energy, global systems and vehicle safety.
“These are all areas where Chalmers has cutting edge research,” says Mikael Enelund.

The preparations are in full swing, and during the academic year of 2019/2020 the first themes and projects within Tracks will start. More themes and projects will gradually be added.

The Tracks model consists of challenge-driven courses and projects, where students from different disciplines work together to understand and/or solve complex societal challenges, to develop, build, test and implement new processes, products and systems, in order to gain and develop interdisciplinary competences.
This structure of education will give the students the opportunity for a more individualised study path, through which every student will be able to tailor their own educational profile.  Based on their interests, they can choose one or several Tracks courses, reflecting on which prerequisite competences they require, and attaining them through a supportive infrastructure.
The intention is also that programmes and courses will be more flexible to be able to develop faster and include new technology and pedagogy. In the quality assurance process, only overall general learning outcomes will be specified for Tracks courses while specific content and outcomes are defined in connection with the course start.

Investment in learning environments
Tracks also includes a large investment in Chalmers' learning environments. To meet the needs of the Tracks courses, Chalmers will create outstanding modern learning environments with, for example, computer resources for machine learning and artificial intelligence, as well as labs where students can build and test prototypes, and open, creative areas for group work.
"Since Tracks is modernising both the education and the premises, it is an exciting and important development. It will be of benefit to both our current and future students and is something that Chalmers is very proud to offer," says Kristina Henricson Briggs.


Text: Erik Krång
Picture: Johan Bodell


Published: Mon 01 Apr 2019. Modified: Thu 18 Apr 2019