Interview with Focus Group participant Martin Stafström
Martin Stafström is currently the programme director for the Master’s Programme in Public Health at Lund University and shared his experience about the Focus Group Meeting Vilnius he attended.
Can you explain how you heard of the FG meeting and why you decided to join?
I came to learn about Mastermind through an e-mail sent from our admissions office. At the time it was an invitation to the Milano Focus Group Meeting. As it had taken some time for the e-mail to dripple down to our program we didn’t have a chance to attend the Milano meeting. However, we did inform our admissions office to contact us as soon as they learned about future Mastermind FG meetings, which they also did.
What was for you the most characteristic thing in the Focus Group meeting, the thing you remember best?
The toolkit regarding ‘What to look for/at?’ This is quite ingenious, as it highlights that the admissions process is not primarily a sorting hat, but rather the quest for a perfect match between programme and student – a notion that needs highlighting.
What would you tell (or what did you tell) colleagues at your university about the Focus Group meeting?
I will tell them about the structured approach provided in the Mastermind toolkit, while particularly emphasizing posing questions to the admissions process in order to develop appropriate indicators.
Mastermind Europe develops Tools and Guides to help people like you improve master’s admission and in this way get a more international, more diverse classroom. How useful did you find these Tools & Guides and the underlying concepts. What was your experience in testing these tools?
I was particularly happy with the underlying concept. The toolkits need, taking our organizational culture into account, some editing and amending to better fit into our current nomenclature and line of thought.
Anything else that you would want to share with us on the Focus Group meeting or the Mastermind Europe project?
I do understand that admission processes differ from institution to institution and from program to program, but I found it somewhat surprising that there was a relatively small proportion of academic staff at the Focus Group Meeting – especially given the scope of Mastermind. I have offered our admissions office to arrange a seminar about what I learned in Vilnius, however, I have made it clear to them that I would like to have those ultimately responsible for the admissions to attend (i.e. the academic leaders), it will be interesting to see how that goes.