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Plan to attract elite PhD students

Glimpses of university’s new strategy flashed at New Year’s briefing of administrators

Students from preferred, elite, nations and universities will in the future be offered a more attractive combined Master’s and PhD at the University of Copenhagen. This was one of the many ideas revealed to university administrators at the annual New Year breakfast briefing.

The university »would improve the quality of international PhD students being attracted to Copenhagen,« the new Prorector, Thomas Bjørnholm said at the briefing, which also included talks on strategy by Rector Ralf Hemmingsen and university director Jørgen Honoré.

»Out of the 800 PhD students we get every year, 100 should come from the best places in the world,« Thomas Bjørnholm explained to the assembled staff who had chosen to eat their coffee and rolls in the Ceremonial Hall for the annual event.

Guaranteed PhD process

Subsequently questioned by the University Post as to the specifics of the plan, Thomas Bjørnholm said that he, and his colleagues who are working on the new strategy, take their inspiration from elite universities like Harvard and Stanford, who are better at attracting the most talented undergraduates and bachelors.

The best students should have a better incentive to come to Copenhagen and do their PhD.

The new plan could offer prospective students a combined five-year (2 + 3 year) Master’s and PhD programme to the elite from the best universities abroad, making their applications and study track in Denmark easier.

It should be »as a kind of guaranteed process,« Thomas Bjørnholm said.

Classroom quality

Attracting elite PhDs was just one of the new strategies flashed to the assembled staff.

Thomas Bjørnholm is a key figure in the working out of a new university strategy, a kind of five-year plan, that will replace the current Destination 2012 strategy.

Other strategies included focussing on the quality of it’s education; encouraging co-operation between ‘the wet and dry Faculties’, or between Natural Sciences on the one hand, and the Human or Social Sciences on the other; and on giving up an artificial split between applied and basic research, Thomas Bjørnholm explained.

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