DTU presents a plan for relocation. Photo DTU.

DTU presents a plan for relocation

Wednesday 12 Jan 22

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Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
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Continued securing of solid research environments

The research and teaching conducted at DTU require unique equipment and infrastructure that would be particularly expensive to establish in new locations. At the same time, the volume and academic weight of existing research environments will be challenged if they are decoupled and moved to new locations. Therefore, DTU’s research-based educations will be relocated to established research environments that contain laboratories, workshops, etc. Alternatively, they will be relocated to sites with synergies between education, research and the regional business community, for example, in connection with knowledge-intensive industries. Thus, there are limits to where DTU’s educations can be moved. This must also be seen in light of the fact that the new regional grants accompanying the “More and better educational opportunities in Denmark” agreement are far from covering DTU’s costs for building teaching and research capacity in a new location.

The creation of a digital university and the expansion of educations, activities and residential colleges throughout the country will provide more engineers.

DTU will strengthen its presence throughout Denmark in response to the political agreement “More and better educational opportunities in Denmark”, adopted by the government and a broad political majority. In response to the Ministry of Education and Research, UFM, DTU presents a plan with five initiatives - including a digital university, Digital Twin University, where one or more of DTU’s bachelor programmes are offered as a digital education. In total, DTU is relocating 299 study places and creating 300 new study places in regions outside the big cities.

“DTU’s starting point for relocating education is that there is a need for all the engineers that DTU and other higher education institutions can train. Therefore, the launched initiatives must increase the interest in engineering and the number of applications for engineering educations. Outside Greater Copenhagen especially, there are many vacant study places,” says the president of DTU Anders Bjarklev.

Calculations made by Ingeniørforeningen IDA for Engineer the Future (2018) anticipate a shortage of 10,000 STEM candidates, including 6,500 engineers, in Denmark in 2025. Therefore, DTU’s institutional plan does not include the closure of programs or downscaling the number of study places.

"DTU’s starting point for relocating education is that there is a need for all the engineers that DTU and other higher education institutions can train. Therefore, the launched initiatives must increase the interest in engineering and strengthen the search for engineering educations. Especially outside Greater Copenhagen, they have many vacancies,"
Anders Bjarklev, president of DTU.

DTU’s response to the ministry contains an institutional plan and a description of the initiatives in the More Engineers for All of Denmark plan. Together, these plans will maintain DTU’s position as a high-quality supplier of BEng and BSc engineers to industry and the public sector. The plan strengthens DTU’s presence throughout Denmark. It utilizes the possibilities of digitization and secures the supply chain for engineering programs and other STEM programs.

Relocation of educations

DTU’s plan to relocate study programs includes moving study places to DTU Risø Campus and Hirtshals, respectively. DTU Risø Campus will receive two Master’s programs in Sustainable Energy and Wind Energy, which will move from Lyngby. The Aquatic Science and Technology Master program will move to Hirtshals, where some courses are already offered today. The BEng programme in Fisheries Technology is also placed in Hirtshals. However, the first three semesters of the program will take place on DTU’s campus in Sisimiut in Greenland.

Creation of new educations

DTU will create a new program in Biomanufacturing in Kalundborg. DTU will also develop and create a Master’s program in Industrial Design in collaboration with the Royal Academy - Architecture, Design, Conservation.

The second major initiative, Digital Twin University, is expected to contribute an additional 250 new BSc students across the country. DTU will, as soon as possible, and preferably already as a pilot in 2022-23, establish an offer to complete one or more of DTU’s bachelor programs in a digital version. This means that most courses will be offered online, supplemented by conducting practical exercises in DTU’s experimental facilities on campus in Lyngby or Ballerup.

Efforts will be made to develop a digital study environment and build relationships between students online and through local meeting places. For example, it can, e.g., be connected to residential colleges, local educational institutions, or companies. Students who do not have the opportunity to leave their local area are offered an active student life from their residences around Denmark. This is combined with regular visits to DTU’s experimental study and research environments. The students will complete a small part of their education in Lyngby or Ballerup. In contrast, most of the learning activities are completed around the country.

It is expected that this initiative will be attractive to students all over Denmark who do not currently choose an engineering degree at DTU.

Regional elements

In collaboration with municipalities, companies and other universities, DTU will establish residential colleges as a basis for establishing closer cooperation between universities and companies at three selected locations around Denmark.

In a first phase, DTU is working to establish knowledge and learning environments in Rønne, Bornholm - with a focus on Bornholm as a hub for the development of, e.g. offshore wind farms in the Baltic Sea, in Rødby - connected to the Fehmarnbelt construction and in Skive - connected to the green research park GreenLab Skive.

A framework for teaching will be established in a pilot phase, and the students will be offered accommodation locally. After the pilot phase, DTU expects to launch residential colleges to house teaching and accommodation facilities for students and staff. Towards 2030, more residential colleges can be associated with well-established Danish business clusters or leading companies.

Strengthened interest in STEM subjects

Another element in DTU’s response to the political agreement is the proposal to establish a STEM teacher education. Working towards 2010, DTU will collaborate with University College Copenhagen and others to identify the possibilities for establishing a teacher education focusing on STEM. The aim is to strengthen teacher education admission and promote science education and children and young people’s interest in science. The proposal stems from a concern that the supply chain within STEM - from primary and lower secondary education to higher education institutions - has been weakened. Generally, fewer young people choose STEM education. Fewer teacher education students choose subject lines that provide competencies to teach STEM subjects in primary and lower secondary schools.

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