Mapúa exchanges students and faculty with Sweden's Lulea University of Technology

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AR-ID-BE professors Maria Socorro Gacutan and Leo Mario Oaper went to LTU in November last year under the Linnaeus-Palme exchange program (Photo credit to Lars Andersson of LTU).

As part of its continuous improvement effort to better the structures and methods of using international experience in enriching its programs, Mapúa Institute of Technology hosted for the second time exchange faculty and students from Lulea University of Technology (LTU) in Sweden through the Linnaeus-Palme Swedish exchange program.

“The activities in the Linnaeus-Palme exchange have contributed to benchmarking with industrial and architecture programs in Sweden, and our exchanges with them made available new methods, techniques, and study of global and international orientation,” Architecture, Industrial Design, and the Built Environment (AR-ID-BE) Dean Gloria Teodoro said.

The Linnaeus-Palme exchange program is for teachers and students at the undergraduate and master's levels of education. It aims to strengthen cooperation between institutions of higher education in Sweden and developing countries, thus increasing global contacts in the world of higher education.

The program is administered by the International Programme Office for Education and Training, and is financed by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA).

According to Dean Teodoro, the first faculty exchange between Mapúa and LTU happened in 2012 when two faculty members from LTU came to Mapúa in August and two Mapúa faculty members went to LTU the following month. The first round of student exchanges, meanwhile, happened in 2013 where four Mapúa industrial design students went to study in Sweden for two terms (August to December 2013) in exchange of four LTU students afterwards (January-June 2014).

This year, LTU Industrial Design Program Chair Dennis Petterson and Industrial Design Faculty member Bengt Holmqvist arrived last February in exchange of Mapúa faculty members Leo Mario Oaper and Ma. Socorro Gacutan who went to LTU in November last year.

“The faculty members who participated in this exchange are spreading global knowledge in their teaching environment. They cited their experiences and observations in Sweden with local students and faculty members informally and formally in their class lectures,” Dean Teodoro said, adding that online conferencing were conducted to share design solutions generated by students who were under the foreign faculty members in LTU.

“Students who participated in the program also had a broader perspective in design approach, culture, education, and life in general,” said Dean Teodoro.

LTU students were asked to create 3D cardboard sculptures that will look good in all angles (Photo credit to Lars Andersson of LTU).

The second round of student exchange happened during this academic year wherein four Mapúa students, two industrial design and two architecture students, went to LTU to study for two terms (August to December 2014). In exchange, three LTU students are currently enrolled in Mapúa for this term until the next quarter, namely: Erik Földhazy (industrial design), Patrick Rönnquist, (architecture), and Sebastian Sjöström (architecture).

Aside from the Linnaeus-Palme program, the Institute also partners with different institutions abroad for exchange activities.

Since 2008, Mapúa has been exchanging students with Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan, and has 149 inbound exchanges and 382 outbound exchanges for Exchange Student Research Internship and Credit courses.

The Institute also signed an Exchange Co-operation Agreement with Kumoh National Institute of Technology of South Korea, last February 2013. This gave way to 20 undergraduate inbound exchanges, and 36 outbound exchanges for credit courses, international summer program, and dual degree program.

“There will be another round of faculty and student exchange next school year [wherein] four Mapúans will study for two terms in LTU,” Dean Teodoro said, adding that this will be in exchange for four LTU students who will study for two terms in Mapúa.

Mapúa will also send two of its faculty members to LTU to teach for three weeks, while two professors from LTU will teach in Mapúa, in exchange.