Datum 2022-08-25
Artikeltyp News

Recipients of the Teaching Prize are appointed

Lena Hellström-Färnlöf, Lina Nilsson och Elisabeth Wulff-Sahlén.

By highlighting skilled teachers and other employees at MDU, the University does not just want to focus on teaching expertise, but also stimulate educational development and continuing professional development. The prize is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to education at Bachelors and Master’s level.

This can be done through teaching in an innovative and creative way, or by allowing students to make connections early with their future employers. The prize can also go to someone who focuses on their students and encourages them to be curious, creative and to think critically.

The prize consists of a sum of SEK 50000 which will be bestowed in conjunction with the Academic Ceremony on 7 October 2022 and will be distributed among the recipients. The Vice-Chancellor decides who or which persons will receive the award.

Four categories

Four categories are included in the criteria for the Teaching prize. Those persons who are appointed as recipients of the 2022 prize are relevant in several categories.

Teaching achievements
The nominee/nominees have demonstrated teaching expertise by enabling and developing learning for all students.

Collaboration internally and externally
The nominee/nominees have shown commitment and ability to collaborate with colleagues or with representatives from the students' future employers.

Educational leadership
The nominee/nominees have in various ways worked to develop education and teaching.

Dissemination of models and results
The nominee/nominees have worked to communicate great models and results both in the region, in the country and abroad.

Recipients of the Teaching Prize

This time, many teachers have been highlighted for their exemplary achievements brought about by the pandemic.

“I am really happy and proud that MDU has so many talented and appreciated teachers. Not only do they create great conditions for learning and pay attention to the students. They also develop the organisation and collaborate in different ways both within and outside the University,” says Lena Gumalelius, acting Vice-Chancellor at MDU.

The recipients of the 2022 Teaching Prize are:

  • Lena Hellström-Färnlöf, Professor and Artistic Director at the Academy of Music and Opera at MDU.
  • Lina Nilsson, Lecturer in Public Health Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences at the School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.
  • Elisabeth Wulff-Sahlén, Lecturer in English, Department of Languages and Literature at the School of Education, Culture and Communication.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Lena Hellström-Färnlöf

Professor and Artistic Director at the Academy of Music and Opera at MDU.

Lena Hellström-Färnlöf is very committed to education and her students. She spends a lot of time and energy giving the students the best possible conditions, which created particular challenges during the pandemic. This includes everything from providing teaching in flexible formats adapted to the student's needs to arranging technical prerequisites to enable high quality teaching.

Lena uses both proven teaching methods and develops new ones. The focus is on the individual student and what is required for them to develop and reach their full potential. Lena is fantastic in strengthening the students' singing technique, helping them cope with stage fright as well as developing their self-image. With her in-depth knowledge and abilities, she always manages to bring out the best in each student. Lena also actively contributes to the development of the entire education programme and plays a prominent role in creating the positive reputation enjoyed by the singing education at MDU.

Lena has also shown great commitment when collaborating with external parties. Thanks to her many contacts in her professional life this gives the students numerous opportunities to meet key people in the sector and to sing on real stages, outside the University's own domains.

Lina Nilsson

Lecturer in Public Health Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences at the School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.

Lina inspires both students and colleagues with her desire to develop and improve the education in several different ways. For many years, Lina has been very committed and in her profession has continuously developed her skills in various types of education linked to digital tools.

The goal for Lina is always to find new educational opportunities that benefit the students' lifelong learning. What is noteworthy are alternative types of education based on PBL methods (problem-based learning) where the students themselves become more active and where the teacher takes on the role as a supervisor instead. Lina, in cooperation with LÄRUM and other colleagues, has created a course in the public health science programme whose design is based on the PBL methodology. Students have given the course high scores in the evaluation and there is a clear increase in performance and knowledge in the course's examinations. Participants on the course have expressed that this type of learning was "both fun, exciting and developing in a new way".

Lina demonstrates courage by taking on educational and didactic challenges for increased commitment and activity among the students. She also encourages colleagues to take part in new types of education and show this through the educational leadership that contributes to MDU's educational development.

Elisabeth Wulff-Sahlén

Lecturer in English, Department of Languages and Literature at the School of Education, Culture and Communication.

Elisabeth Wulff-Sahlén has great knowledge, a huge amount of commitment and a genuine desire for all students to acquire knowledge. She develops and adapts her teaching and materials and has a particular ability to engage and activate students by being creative, varying her teaching and by giving detailed feedback on examinations. She takes advantage of criticism from course evaluations to further develop the education. Elisabeth is helpful, sympathetic and treats her students in a respectful manner.

Elisabeth has been a driving force regarding digitisation in teaching. She is an early adaptor with new digital tools which she also encourages her students to use, also in their future professional roles. She often serves as an ambassador and is a source of inspiration among colleagues when new ways of working and systems are to be developed and introduced. Elisabeth was one of the main contributors to the rapid adaptations when new prerequisites were required due to the pandemic.

She also collaborates outside the University where she co-founded a common platform for teacher educators at MDU and active teachers in the surrounding community, English Teachers Sharing. At an early stage they started to organise well-functioning online seminars to share good teaching practices.


Both students and employees at MDU can nominate one or more candidates for the Teaching Prize, individual employees, teaching teams, a department/unit or a division.

The nomination process has highlighted many teachers for their excellent and committed efforts that are appreciated by both students and colleagues.

64 nominations were submitted involving individual teachers or groups of teachers, and there are 80 named individuals in total among the nominees.