En blogg från Högskolan i Borås

tisdag 16 september 2014

Teaching sabbatical 2014

Hi,

My name is Tobias Richards and I’m current on leave from my work as a professor at Univeristy of Borås in Sweden.

I’ve been fortunate to receive a scholarship from STINT (The Swedish foundation for cooperation in research and higher education) within the program Teaching Sabbatical. The purpose of this scholarship is to get inspiration and exchange knowledge and experience from world leading Universities and Colleges regarding education and teaching at different levels; from undergraduate to graduate. My first choice was University of California Berkeley, which also become my destination for the fall semester 2014. The reasons for choosing UC Berkeley (or commonly known as Cal) were several. It has one of the most respected graduate schools in the US and are continuously ranked among the top three University in the world (www.shanghairanking.com) with first place in science, chemistry and physics and one underlying idea with this teaching sabbatical, from my point of view, was to include both undergraduate and graduate studies and to see the connection between them. It is also ranked as the best public national University in the US regarding undergraduate teaching (www.usnews.com/education).

Student gathering at UC Berkeley for one of the welcoming ceremonies in 2014

In my ordinary work, I lead a research group within thermal treatment of mixed material with a special emphasis is on waste materials and sustainability and from that perspective it is really fascinating to live a couple of months in one of the most progressive states regarding sustainability. I will be interesting to see how sustainability and waste management are incorporated at the university and especially how it is communicated and received by the surrounding community. It was therefore encouraging to see that on the fare for the new students, one of the stands were dedicated a zero waste univeristy by 2020.


Stand at the student fare in August 2014

This blog will have two different pillars; one educational and one regarding sustainability where the common denominator is the University. The intention is to have about two posts every month where my experiences and findings are expressed.