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Students closer to researchers in new strategy

Strategy — The University of Copenhagen's new strategy towards 2023 focuses on talent and collaboration.

Several members of the University of Copenhagen’s Board broke out into spontaneous applause when the university’s new strategy was passed after the strategy’s title and the last corrections were negotiated into place at the meeting of 11th December.

Within a few days of you starting to study at the University of Copenhagen you should be able to feel the rush of research.

Rector Henrik Wegener

Not only because the strategy was finally completed after a marathon-long process that started in March 2017, but also due to satisfaction with the final result.

Rector Henrik Wegener is full of praise for the many employees and students that have participated actively in the work on the strategy over the last months. More than 350 employees and students have contributed more than 450 pages of input.

“I think we have set our ambitions at a high level and that we have showed a desire to reach further and higher. We’ve reached something that should and must be the core of the University of Copenhagen,” says Henrik Wegener.

 

In this new third strategy, which runs until 2023, we will focus on a better connection between research and education, between the disciplines and the administrative processes.
From the strategy 'Talent and cooperation'

Closer to the research

The rector emphasizes chapter two in the strategy paper as the most important for students, as it is about ensuring closer links between research and education, and between education and practice.

“The research must permeate all education programmes, and the students’ commitment and active participation is to contribute to research,” it states.

The strategy is not a ‘sausage factory’. On the contrary, the focus is on UCPH offering invigorating, challenging and intensive education programmes.

Elias Westergaard, student-elected board member

“The idea is that within a few days of you starting to study at the University of Copenhagen you should be able to feel the rush of research. I’m pretty sure students will soon find specific new offerings that will allow them to get closer to research in their study time,” says Henrik Wegener.

He adds that students will also find that in the longer term, the education programmes will be coupled closer together with the labour market, and that the study environment becomes more intense with a better opportunity to meet researchers and instructors in informal frameworks.

Need not cost extra

The government’s so-called re-prioritization contribution means that, until 2021, the UCPH is to have its grant for education cut by two per cent each year.

Henrik Wegener still believes that it is possible to achieve the goals of the new strategy.

“We must constantly develop the way we do things, even though it is of course easier if new money is included. ÚCPH has still a large budget to work with, and the changes will not entail major additional expenses,” says the rector.

Satisfied students

Economics student Elias Westergaard – who is one of the two student-elected board members – is pleased to have achieved the goal of having the  psychological and social study environment improved in the strategy.

Four FOCUS AREAS

1. Attraction, development and upholding of scientific talent

2. Education programmes with closer links between research and practice

3. Co-operation and community engagement – both nationally and globally

4. A unified and focused university

He is also pleased with the fact that ‘practice’ has taken on a wider meaning, as something that takes place both inside and outside the university.

“The strategy is not a ‘sausage factory’. On the contrary, the focus is on UCPH offering invigorating, challenging, and intensive education programmes. The link between research and education is a particular feature of the university, and the strategy has a good eye for this,” he says.

Support from departments to be ensured

Studies show that 80 per cent of all business strategies never really leave the boardroom and start to work in the organization.

It is the rector’s responsibility to ensure that things don’t go wrong at UCPH.

According to Henrik Wegener, one of the methods to ensure this will be a so-called strategic year-wheel, so that all departments relate to the strategy.

“I cannot imagine that there are no parts of the strategy that each department does not want to work on,” he says.

One of the ideas is that all department managers involve students and employees in drawing up an annual target plan to achieve the strategy goals.

“You could say that a continuous strategic dialogue is being built into the system,” says Henrik Wegener.

Nine educational goals

The strategy contains nine goals for the education programmes of the University of Copenhagen:

1. To promote learning environments that provide room for formal and informal meetings between academic staff and students.
2. To create a good framework for the contribution of all academic communities to research-based education and clearly recognize excellent teaching.
3. To further develop models for student involvement in research activities and to ensure credits for this in education programmes.
4. To strengthen and coordinate UCPH efforts in pedagogy and didactics and spread new evidence-based teaching methods, including feedback and tutorials, etc.
5. To strengthen students’ ability to work with practice-oriented elements in teaching, for example through case- and problem-oriented teaching methods that also strengthen skills in collaborating across different subject areas.
6. To support the student’s career planning and to clarify how the programmes can be put into play in the labour market, including strengthening efforts to provide students with prerequisites for innovation and entrepreneurship.
7. Establish talent programmes in collaboration with external collaborators nationally and globally.
8. Develop and spread the use of digital teaching methods so that teaching is linked to e-learning.
9. Strengthen the instructors’ skills in digital teaching methods and ensure knowledge sharing across disciplines.

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