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UCPH students win award as Denmark's best tutors

Danish Association of Masters and PhDs has elected tutors from the biology study programme as this year's coolest

Every year, tutors at Danish universities are responsible for ensuring a good start for new students. The Danish Association of Masters and PhDs (DM) has for the last nine years awarded a tutor prize to honour the tutors’ hard work.

Thursday 27 October had the Biology programme at the University of Copenhagen named as Denmark’s best tutors. The award ceremony took place at the Studenterhuset Café where the tutors from Biology received a DKK 10,000 gift certificate.

It should not just be about drinking

“In Biology, the focus is on including everyone. With us, it should not just be about drinking. It’s OK if you want to party all night, but it’s also OK if you just want to go to bed early,” says Victoria Santos, a 3rd year student at Biology.

Victoria emphasises how they at Biology are good at ensuring that tutors are constantly evolving:

“After the intro course, we make sure that we evaluate all the tutors. We also get feedback from the new students, which we of course take with us. You learn a lot from it. Furthermore, you are gain many friends. It’s like getting an extra family. ”

Victoria Santos from the winning tutors is studying third semester biology. Photo: Holger Anderson / Danish Magisterforening.

Thanks to students

The tutors/organisers at Biology would like to say thanks to all their new students.

“We value our new students a lot and the tutor prize would never have been possible without them. When you’ve put so much work into something, it’s just awesome to get a little recognition and confirmation that it was all worth it,” says Kathrine Stener, who like Victoria Santos is studying biology on her third year. The tutors reveal that the DKK 10,000 will preferably be used to ensure that the intro course next year will be as good as this year’s – despite the cuts.

Cuts detract from the learning environment

According to Gry Reiter, president of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs’ student section, the Danish Government’s cuts to education have meant that universities have had to cut back on subsidies to social activities such as orientation courses for new students. And this has serious consequences.

“A good study environment prevents stress and reduces the risk that students give up and drop out. Stress and dropouts cost money, and it is therefore expensive to try saving on the study environment,” says Gry Reiter.

Kathrine Stener from the award winning tutor team agrees:

“To start at university is like being Bambi when it steps out onto slippery ice. No one knows which leg you can stand on, and it’s all new. Without a proper intro course there is the risk that new students feel lonely and are discouraged in engaging in their study programme. The intro course is the lifejacket that you put on so that you dare to jump into the water and swim away.”