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TRANSark – Transforming Higher Education

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)


TRANSark is the shared vision of a transdisciplinary group of educational provision at NTNU, with the ambition of contributing to the emerging paradigm shift in higher education. TRANSark aims to be in the vanguard of developing and testing next-generation, ´high impact´ pedagogies, initially for architecture, product design and medicine. The centre wants to move professional education from discipline-specific teaching to advanced generic learning methods, whilst simultaneously transferring cutting-edge disciplinary knowledge and values to general pedagogy.

Strengths and weaknesses:

TRANSark already exists as a centre and is an immerging force for pedagogical innovation with high student involvement and achievement. R&D-based education is a strong feature of this bid and already present in the current educational provision. However, documentation of quality in the existing provision is unclear.

The relationship between architecture on one side and product design and medicine on the other is not balanced, neither in the documentation of quality nor in the centre plan. It is not clear how committed the product design and medicine groups are to this centre or how the centre draws on the different strengths of these communities. This is a major drawback in TRANSark’s bid.

The principle of moving from ‘best practice’ to ‘next practice’ is highly commendable, and the conceptual framework is promising. However, it needs to be developed with a greater coherence and depth. Furthermore, external professional groups are poorly represented in the centre plan.

Points to consider:

  • How can the architecture, product design and medicine groups build on their existing excellence and develop this further, using their complementarity as a strength?
  • What are the key steps to be taken to achieve the centre goals?
  • What does the centre want to accomplish that will not happen without an SFU grant (additionality)?

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