Hyper Island: Welcome to the 21st Century College

Hyper Island, Stockholm: Is this the visionary school for what many colleges and universities will look like in the future? I had the fortune to visit Hyper Island outside of Stockholm, Sweden. This is the school’s main campus and is composed of a little over 100 students; primarily Swedish.

The term “hyper” is an appropriate one as these students are full of energy and ideas; the passion is palpable. All the students within these walls are digitally focused. There are no accounting or biology majors here. Rather there are experts in creating digital monsters, videos with Adobe After Effects, iPhone applications, etc.

There are also no professors here either. Rather there are rows of modern long white tables with Macs, plenty loaded with the latest software. When students are not editing video or creating avatars, these Macs are usually displaying one of the major social media sites.

Hyper Island Uniqueness

  • Lectures are replaced by collaboration and weekly team readouts of problems each team is experiencing and attempting to resolve
  • Coaches instead of professors
  • No books: learning is achieved via “hands-on” practicums with Fortune 1000 companies

This approach appears to be working for Hyper Island and its students.  These students are gobbled up for jobs and internships by the Crispin Porters, DDB Needhams and Great Works of the world. The modern worker may greatly resemble one student that I spoke with who received his first computer when he was 3 ½ years old.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

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