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»Creating benefit for more people« — here is the University of Copenhagen’s 2030 strategy

Strategy — After a lot of wrangling and multiple preliminary drafts, the UCPH 2030 strategy has finally landed. Here is a summary of the content.

The University of Copenhagen’s (UCPH) long-awaited 2030 strategy is here.

This is after the Board gave it its final stamp of approval. You can read the entire strategy on the intranet KUnet here.

‘Creating benefit for more people’ is the name of the new strategy, which consists of three fundamental strategic ambitions:

  • UCPH is to be the best place for the best ideas
  • UCPH is to be an innovative and solution-oriented university
  • UCPH is to be a life-long learning partner


»Our excellent research and talented students will contribute even more to society, addressing local and global challenges ​and creating new jobs. That is the essence of the strategy,« Rector Henrik C. Wegener says in a news item on KUnet.

During the consultation phase, several organizations have criticised the fact that sustainability is not named as an independent, strategic ambition. This includes the Green Youth Movement, which on several occasions has demonstrated in front of Board meetings to show its dissatisfaction.

At UCPH, we must be able to pursue the best ideas as soon as they arise – even if others don’t believe in them

Henrik C. Wegener, Rector


Earlier this year, Bo Fritzbøger, Associate Professor at the Saxo Institute, and Jakob Fritzbøger Christensen, project manager at the Sustainability Science Centre, wrote an opinion piece [in Danish] entitled ‘Sustainability should be a strategic ambition for UCPH’.

»In our view, however, sustainability cannot be reduced to a means [to achieve other objectives, ed.]. The sustainable development of society is the most important objective of our time. And if it is not constantly in explicit focus, we fall into business as usual and short-term profit maximization,« they opined against the former draft, in which sustainability stood to cut across all three objectives.

This is also how sustainability ended up in the final strategy.

Sustainability, including economic, social and environmental sustainability, is so crucial to the progress of society and that of the University that it is a key component in the realization of all three ambitions,« it states in the final strategy.

Three ambitions

In the final text, the three strategic ambitions are presented in video clips by the UCPH rector, Henrik C. Wegener, Prorector for Education, Kristian Cedervall Lauta, and Prorector for Research, David Dreyer Nielsen.

The three UCPH managers are accompanied by people from the private sector: Jesper Nerlov, Chief Technology Officer, Topsøe, Henrik Kai Hansen, CEO, Lehnsgaard Rapsolie and Birgitte Brix Bendtsen, Chief People Officer, Better Energy.

The first ambition states that there should be space at UCPH for »wild ideas, unconventional experiments, and innovative collaborations that are challenged and tested by peers according to scientific standards.«

»At UCPH, we must be able to pursue the best ideas as soon as they arise – even if others don’t believe in them. Good research requires time, lots of time. And at UCPH we need to create a framework that allows people to concentrate and immerse themselves in their research – including research that crosses disciplinary boundaries,« Henrik C. Wegener says.

Researchers are best in terms of channelling knowledge out from the universities

David Dreyer Lassen, Prorector for Research

UCPH will also contribute to innovation »that develops new solutions that respond to societal challenges and create new jobs,« according to the strategy’s second ambition.

»When we produce good results, we should be better at reaching outside the university. Researchers are best in terms of channeling knowledge out from the universities,« says David Dreyer Lassen.

Finally, UCPH needs to »meet society’s increasing need for skills development and being a lifelong learning partner for the individual,« says Prorector for Education Kristian Cedervall Lauta and adds:

»It is not enough to think of education as a kind of driving license for a long working life. We need to be there all the way«.