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press release

Danish Leaders and students from Educational Institutions Travel to USA to get Inspiration for Improving Student Wellbeing and Learning

Who Innovation Centre Denmark Silicon Valley and Boston 

For many years, American universities have studied student wellbeing and done research that can benefit Danish students. For that reason a delegation consisting of eight leaders and eight students from Danish higher educational institutions are traveling to the U.S. next week to meet with leading American universities on the East and West coast.

Leaders from different sectors of the educational institutions, here among, University of Copenhagen, Dania Academy of Higher Education and Aarhus School of Architecture are traveling together with students from national student organizations to USA next week to experience how leading universities in Boston and California work to improve student well-being in their institutions.

The visit is a part of the project “Designing a Happier Student Life for Better Learning,” launched in 2020 after the Danish government in 2019 granted DKK 25 million to promote student well-being and improve learning environments on higher educational institutions.

The project aims to gather and draw upon new knowledge and help inspire the Danish effort within student well-being. It has been well known for a long time that there is a close connection between well-being and learning in all parts of educational sector, therefore the project is assessing the best initiatives in the U.S. to inspire the Danish educational institutions.

Boston and Silicon Valley are homes to some of the best universities in the U.S. and the world. The academic level and ambitions naturally create a huge pressure on the students, which is why these specific universities have unique experiences on how to design educational environments that foster not just well-being but has a focus on better learning as well,” explains Allan Skårup Kristensen from Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley.

In Boston the delegation will meet with Mary Christie Institute, the universities Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, NorthEastern, and the small – but globally leading –Olin College of Engineering.  In California, the delegation is attending workshops and meeting with researchers, professors and students from Stanford University and UC Berkeley to learn how they systematically utilize courses on happiness, positive psychology and the so-called “gratitude-exercises” to strengthen student well-being. During the week-long visit, the participants will be presented with great opportunities to nurture and expand the student well-being network and share experiences and capabilities with American universities.

I am really looking forward to the visit, and hope to learn methodological approaches and hands-on experiments that can contribute to a concrete action plan,” says Mia Wilkenskjeld Jørgensen, Chairwoman for the Danish Business Academies (DESO).

The well-being of students is a global challenge and we as educational institutions must take responsibility for contributing to find a solution. I am looking very much forward to gain new knowledge, new acquaintances and explore possibilities to how we can work with our students in the upcoming years,” says Kristian Cedervall Lauta, Dean of Education at Univeristy of Copenhagen.

In addition to the delegation visit, the project organizes webinars, workshops and masterclasses in Denmark hosted by American researchers, while continuously sharing cases and examples serving as inspiration to the Danish education environment.

One area that is especially interesting to keep a close eye on is the transition from student to young professional, as it can be a very stressful period for the students, since they often doubt their own skills and question their belonging to the new workplace. In the U.S, they work with concrete methods and systematics to support the students in this transition. Both while they are still students and in the time period after graduation,” explains Torben Orla Nielsen, Innovation Attaché in Boston.

You can read more about the project here.

contact information

Natasha Guman, Press Advisor
Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley
Ph.: +1 (650) 283-3062
E-mail: [email protected]

Martin E. Vigild, Senior Consultant, Ph.D.,
Centre for Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
Ph.: +45 7231 8078
E-mail: [email protected]

Allan Skårup Kristensen, Innovations Attaché
Innovation Centre Denmark in Silicon Valley
Ph.: +1 (650) 283-9414
E-mail: [email protected]

Torben Orla Nielsen, Innovations Attaché
Innovation Centre Denmark in Boston
Ph.: +1 (857) 424-8785
E-mail: [email protected]