University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Here is the new UCPH student ambassador

Welcome — Bo Gad Køhlert is to start as the new student ambassador 1st April. He has 15 years experience in administering programmes at Roskilde University (RUC) and the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU). At UCPH he is to help give guidance and counselling to students in their encounter with the university’s administration.

Bo Gad Køhlert knows exactly how student administration works. The new student ambassador who is to start at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) on 1st April has for the last 15 years worked as deputy head of the student administration at the IT University of Copenhagen (ITU) and as head of the secretariat for the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University (RUC).

At UCPH his job includes guidance and counselling of students and analysing the areas of programme administration where there are problems.

“My task will be to continue to look at what kinds of problems students are experiencing. I look forward to meeting them and finding out what the challenges are. I am basically here to strengthen students’ legal rights and help to create greater clarity in their encounter with the university’s administration,” says Bo Gad Køhlert.

“Big win”

It was a unanimous nominating committee consisting of representatives of students, staff, management and board, that appointed Bo Gad Køhlert. He replaces Tina Kaare, who resigned in December, allegedly because of disagreement over the job description.

If I see an error in procedures that repeats itself, I have a duty to report it to management

Bo Gad Køhlert, student ambassador at UCPH

Alexander Thorvaldsen, who is the student-elected member of the University’s Board of Directors, has high expectations for the new student ambassador.

“UCPH is a big place with many rules, where you can easily get into difficulties as a student. As an employee you have a union, but the students are left on their own if they, for example, receive incorrect guidance, or if they experience confusing decisions by the study administration. I hope they will be able to take some cases through the student ambassador before they end up as a big complaint case. And with his wealth of experience, Bo Gad Køhlert is a big win for UCPH.”

A good diplomat

UCPH is the first university in Denmark to have a student ambassador. During the first three years of the scheme, the number of cases rose from 132 in 2013 to 285 in 2015. In one month’s time, an evaluation of the student ambassador scheme will be finished, and then the University’s Board can decide whether the student ambassador procedures should be adjusted.

According to the mandate, the student ambassador can offer impartial legal advice, but cannot decide on, or be a party to a student’s case.

“I cannot make decisions, but I can help make management aware of general problems and argue for changes to procedures. I uphold, as my point of departure, full confidentiality for students. But if I see an error in procedures that repeats itself, I have a duty to report it to management,” says Bo Gad Køhlert, who stresses that the job requires good diplomacy skills.

“For me it’s about maintaining a good dialogue with both the students and the administration. Yet UCPH is such a large organization that I expect different challenges to arise, depending on where I will look across the organization. But it is an interesting challenge that I am looking forward to getting started with.”