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Studies at Lund University are usually undertaken one course at a time, with an examination or essay at the end of each individual course. Studies at the Faculty of Engineering are an exception in that two or more courses are often studied in parallel.
Courses can be anything from two to 20 weeks long, with five, 10 and 20 weeks being the most common lengths.
Methods of instruction can vary greatly. Some courses, mainly in Engineering, have as many as 30 formal lecture hours per week, while some, e.g. Social Sciences courses, may have as little as 10 hours, and rely more on the students’ individual reading. The most common form of instruction is lectures to groups of 25-30 students. In some subjects, laboratory work is a naturally important element. Practising the ability to cooperate in small groups is the purpose of group work, a form of teaching which has become increasingly common.
Critical thinking and freedom of mind are the cornerstones of academic life at Lund University.
By critical thinking we mean the ability to assess information on different topics and to form independent and well informed opinions; to scrutinise and question beliefs that are sometimes taken for granted; to revise opinions in the light of new evidence or knowledge; and to give and receive criticism in a constructive and generous manner, as well as the readiness to engage in discussion with fellow students and to learn from others. By freedom of mind we mean the ability to liberate oneself from narrow-minded and conventional wisdoms, to value the authenticity of ideas and experiences in whatever shape they may come, and to appreciate and seek fresh perspectives on old ideas; in short, the ability to think ‘outside the box’.
This teaching approach has no doubt contributed to Sweden being ranked as the most creative country in the world.
Critical thinking and freedom of mind are stimulated in all activities at the University. In seminars, workshops and experiments, students analyse and present solutions to given problems and assignments. Theoretical concepts are tested in practical situations, and practical experiences are employed to develop and enrich theory. A large part of the learning process takes place outside the classroom as students read and discuss the course material with each other. Students at Lund University are trained to efficiently assess large amounts of information. Study techniques are taught in the classroom and also by study advisors and through workshops.
Critical thinking and freedom of mind are not just analytical skills; they are lifelong wisdom.
" At Lund University we learn to seek knowledge ourselves."
"At Lund University the focus is on students achieving their very best - it is about knowledge and not time."
"You really learn to think critically and analytically. And I am very impressed by the lecturers."
"In India you listen more and take notes. Here there is a lot of discussion and one doesn't have to share the lecturer's opinion. The educational approach is more practical. I like that."