Making Students Benefit from a Research Alliance – University of Copenhagen

04 September 2016

Making Students Benefit from a Research Alliance

How can undergraduates benefit from their home university being part of an international strategic research alliance? With the University of Copenhagen’s membership of the International Alliance of Research Universities, the answer is; the IARU Global Summer Program.

Opening new perspectives
This summer, the Global Summer Program celebrated its 10th year anniversary. The program aims to connect students with their peers from around the world and to explore and discuss critical issues in a global perspective which require multidisciplinary approaches.

The Global Summer Program has expanded from 10 to 24 inter-disciplinary courses from 2008 to this year’s edition – this is an increase of participating students from 66 to over 200. Many of the courses are hosted at the 11 members and many of them are also open to students from non-IARU partners. Again this year, the courses were led by top researchers within their field of expertise. UCPH offered courses within philosophy, urban life and healthy aging.

For UCPH student, Sophia Mai Howard Andresen the program was a bit of an eye-opener: “I wrongly assumed that we would all share the same fundamental values and ideas of global citizenships, but I later realized that the lack of agreement was an eye-opener that would matter more to me in the long run than I appreciated in the moment."

Framing the future
“As a student it was very unique for me to be able to join a program that allows me to meet with not only students from around the world, but also being exposed to professionals with several years of valuable experience. Working with them has definitely given me a clearer picture of what I wish to pursue in the future” says Maria Anna Clarissa de Leon Jensen about her intensive research-led course of environmental science with fellow IARU students at University of California, Berkeley this year.

Another GSP alumna, Hannah Duchwaider Madsen, reflects on her GSP experience at Oxford University and explains how the multidisciplinary approaches to research has opened her perspective; “the course first and foremost encouraged me to seek out more interdisciplinary methods within the field of research for my studies in the future.”
As inspiration to her bachelor's thesis, Hannah kept in touch with her professor from Global Challenges of the 21st Century; “He inspired me and helped me find literature. Hopefully my relation to Oxford is not over, as I might apply for further studies there after I have finished my master at UCPH.”

Connecting GSP Alumni
This year, GSP alumni have been invited to join the annual GSP coordinator’s meeting to share their ideas and perspectives on the future of the GSP. It underlines that student involvement and their academic return is of importance to the member universities.

Participants of the GSP become part of growing alumni community where ideas and experiences are shared and developed, and who knows, one of the future world leaders might be found among the growing pool of IARU GSP alumni