A long journey…
After many months of restrictions, online teaching and no or limited access to our campuses, some UCPH students – and staff for that matter – are showing clear signs of distress in their social and academic lives. Isolation is taking its toll.
While we in Denmark have had financial relief packages for our businesses and industries since the beginning of the Corona crisis, it is only recently that we have seen large-scale efforts to support initiatives focusing on mental health and well-being. Worldwide institutions within HE have diagnosed the problem with the drop in student well-being, so naturally it makes me happy to see that UCPH follows that trend a step further as the university has launched a student well-being help package to support initiatives related to improving the well-being of students. You can read more about this topic in our newsletter.
Likewise, I am happy to see that even if online teaching was imposed on us, many of our academics have taken the opportunity to explore new possibilities and formats within online teaching and have found positive gains. Like Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun from the Faculty of Theology, who turned her summer course into an online format.
Online mobility and the future
Online mobility is undoubtedly a complex field, which is why many HE institutions have been a bit hesitant on this matter. But now more than ever, the crisis has forced progress within the field and we have established new skills, technologies and best practices. We are now looking forward to working with our academic staff, other colleagues and international partners to continue developing online, blended and hyper-flex formats post-corona and to include these types of courses in our offering to international students in the future.
Internationalisation and the future
Getting through the pandemic is indeed a long and tough journey, but in addition to the positive development of new course offerings, I also notice that we keep seeing a keen student interest in international exchanges. We see international partnerships and projects of continued collaboration. Together we explore new online opportunities, but we also have our eyes set on what we want to achieve together post-corona.
Finally, the rollout of vaccines gives me hope that we will be able to meet again across borders in a not too distant future.
These are things that keep my spirits up when I sit by myself at the dinner table for breakfast, work, lunch, work, dinner…
By Anne Bruun
Anne Bruun is Director International at UCPH
Photo by Kim Vadsk.