– It is incredibly pleasing that we have an attractive programme and continue to beat our own record for the number of first-hand applicants. The numbers are a receipt that our distance learning education is appealing to many for several reasons while there is shortage of occupational therapists throughout the country, says professor Maria Larsson Lund.
The latest preliminary figures from the Higher Education Council show that the occupational therapy program at Luleå University of Technology is more popular than ever with first-hand selectors. 207 first-hand applications have been made to the education, which is 86 more than the university in second place. The difference is 71 percent compared to last year's figure, which was 43 percent.
The number of first-time applicants for the occupational therapy program at Luleå University of Technology has increased by 28 per cent this year compared with last year. The strong increase is unique to the program in Luleå, as other occupational therapiy programmes are increasing more sparingly or not at all.
Long-term investments in education
In the latest evaluation by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, the occupational therapy program at Luleå University of Technology was the only occupational therapy program in Sweden that received the grade "Very high quality". Among other things, The National Agency for Education wrote that the education to a great extent show knowledge of the area's scientific basis and knowledge of current research and development work as well as knowledge about the relationship between science and proven experience and the importance of the connection to the profession.
Long-term efforts have also been made to strengthen digital skills as a tool for student learning and for the upcoming profession.
– In order to educate future occupational therapists, it is important that the education provides the foundation for a knowledge-based professional practice that is socially relevant and person-centered. Digital skills are an important factor for lifelong learning, as knowledge and needs change very quickly in society, says Maria Larsson Lund.
Work is ongoing to improve and develop the program. A self-assessment of the program's practical skills has recently been implemented to develop the content of the education. Means have been sought to develop the laboratory equipment with, for example, more cognitive aids, and also to develop forms for how students can be supported to develop their professional learning network.