We are proud to present a new strategy for the University of Copenhagen. With this strategy, we are setting a clear direction for the University leading up to 2030. We aim to benefit more people and open the University up even more to the world outside. We will continue developing our framework for curiosity-driven research, and we will offer research-based education and lifelong learning of world-class quality.
Our outstanding research and talented students will contribute even more to society, addressing local and global challenges and creating new jobs.
We would like to thank all the dedicated staff and students at the University, who, throughout the year, have given their input, provided us with new perspectives and given us wise words of encouragement – all of which have helped drive the strategy in the right direction. We have also received valuable contributions from external partners, all of whom have helped us maintain our focus on the world around us.
We will now begin the journey to fulfil our ambitions by 2030. We look forward to continuing working together with you to realise the new strategy.
Chair of the University Board
The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) aims to create more benefit for more people. On the basis of our excellent research, education and innovation we aim to generate new knowledge, inform more people and contribute to welfare, prosperity and a sustainable society. UCPH will advance knowledge and provide solutions in collaboration with the surrounding world.
We aim to enhance our position as a world-leading research university. UCPH is a multi-faculty university with a multiplicity of academic disciplines, offering rich opportunities for specialisation and conducting research of the highest quality. This is the University’s foundation and essential for realising our ambitions in the short and long term.
UCPH creates value by doing research and educating graduates at the highest international level. Curiosity-driven research grounded in academic freedom provides the foundation for both basic and applied research, and for undertaking mission-driven research. Our graduates, PhDs and postdocs contribute to the general education of society, bringing new knowledge and research-based working methods to the labour market and to the business community.
The transition to sustainability requires major changes in society and everyday life. The geopolitical situation is changing and navigating international collaboration will be challenging. The digital transformation of society holds great potential but requires new knowledge and new skills. These complex challenges call for critical thinking and knowledge-based solutions. We are committed to contributing to the development of society through research, education and innovation.
The strategy highlights three ambitions for the coming years where we particularly need to evolve: UCPH wants to be the best place for the best ideas, be solution-oriented and innovative, and be a lifelong learning partner. These ambitions can be realised only through joint efforts across the University. The strategy encompasses the whole of UCPH but will affect different parts of the University in different ways.
Sustainability, including economic, social and environmental sustainability, is so crucial to the progress of society and that of the University that it is a key component in the realisation of all three ambitions. We will push forward on all fronts to boost initiatives addressing, for example, climate change and the biodiversity crisis.
The best place for the best ideas
The University of Copenhagen wants to be the best place for curiosity-driven research and for generating ideas with the potential to make major scientific breakthroughs. We will embrace bold ideas, unconventional experiments and innovative partnerships - challenged and tested by peers in accordance with scientific standards. The best research requires time for immersion, and we want to create possibilities for our researchers to work on the best ideas. The best ideas and new competence needs often arise across existing disciplinary boundaries, and we will provide better opportunities for leveraging the breadth of our research for interdisciplinary breakthroughs and educational initiatives across disciplines. Our students will experience engaging teaching and degree programmes that keep evolving under our guiding principles for education.
We set out to create favourable conditions for the individual’s development with a strong focus on core expertise and by providing opportunities for mobility and interdisciplinary collaboration. UCPH wants to be recognised for an attractive study environment with high levels of student well-being and where students are part of communities and supported in their academic and social engagement through their education. We will ensure an attractive work environment, inspiring personal and professional development, innovation and quality in our employees' day-to-day work.
The University’s research is increasingly funded by external grants, particularly from private foundations. In a changing funding landscape, UCPH wants to contribute to developing research partnerships with public and private foundations. This will ensure that external funding contributes to fostering new ideas and conducting independent, curiosity-driven and society-relevant research, education and innovation at the highest level across the University.
An innovative and solution-oriented university
The University of Copenhagen will – together with partners – work to ensure that excellent research and talented students form the basis of innovation that helps develop new solutions to society’s challenges and create new jobs.
UCPH strives to become better at translating new knowledge and research-based ideas into sustainable solutions. We will support innovative teaching initiatives and practice that encourage solution-oriented thinking among our graduates.
We will enhance the culture and framework conditions for innovation, entrepreneurship and business collaboration, and we will invest in and help develop a more coherent innovation ecosystem at the University, in Copenhagen, the rest of Denmark and in Northern Europe. Our aim is to support researchers and students all the way from idea to business and to encourage partnerships with organisations, authorities and businesses.
Lifelong learning partner
The University wants to respond to society's growing need for skills development by being a lifelong learning partner for people and society. We will offer world-class research-based education at Bachelor's, Master's and PhD levels and provide opportunities for continuing and further education throughout people’s careers.
We will offer demand-driven and professional support for all our activities as a lifelong learning partner and design internationally attractive programmes that can extend the University’s multifaceted research to far more people than today. UCPH will support a sustainable transformation by offering relevant competences and the latest knowledge.
Continuing and further education programmes will enable research and education to enrich each other through academic inspiration, pedagogical development and networking.
We will offer a wide range of open university courses, and contribute to public democratic debate, the general education of society and people’s enthusiasm for science.
The University is situated in a world of constant cultural and societal change, and it requires constant attention to ensure that we live up to our role as a key stakeholder in society. Accordingly, we will keep working to strengthen six prerequisites for the University's general activities and for our efforts to deliver on the ambitions set out in the strategy.
Universities have been entrusted with academic freedom to ensure the best conditions for generating and communicating new knowledge and to facilitate constant and critical discussion of existing knowledge, norms and practices. Academic freedom applies to both research and teaching, and it is task for the leadership of the University to champion the responsible conduct of research. The University's democratic culture and value creation must be encouraged through inclusion and participation.
Diversity, equity and inclusion
A university should be characterised by creativity, curiosity and vision, which only comes about through allowing everyone at the University to contribute and participate, which will enhance the quality of research, education and innovation. Diversity, equity and inclusion will be prioritised across all our activities. We aim to be an even more attractive place to study and work: a truly international institution where linguistic and cultural differences are valued. Employees, researchers and students should feel welcome regardless of background, orientation or needs.
Sustainable infrastructure and operations
We are ambitious in our endeavours to become a more climate-friendly organisation. We have set overall objectives that address significant challenges in relation to climate footprint, resource use and biodiversity on campus. In the period covered by this strategy, we will translate these objectives into concrete actions and policies. The University will actively use the knowledge generated by our researchers and by the world around us to promote and support the green transition. We will create opportunities that make it easier for students and staff to work with the University’s green transition.
The University of Copenhagen aims to bring knowledge into play in international contexts and contribute to a better and more sustainable world. It creates value for research and education when the University's researchers collaborate and publish with peers across borders and universities. We want to attract, retain, develop and motivate the best Danish and international research and teaching talents to work at the University. We encourage student mobility, attract full-degree students, engage in international alliances and seek new partnerships with elite universities across the world.
Well-being, communities and good leadership
Our most important asset is talented staff and students who take responsibility for themselves and each other. The University will be known for prioritising well-being and job satisfaction and for fostering strong and committed UCPH communities. Good leadership is a key prerequisite for a good work/life balance for staff and students. Our management must be professional, courageous and empathetic, and the conditions for management and leadership must be attractive.
An integrated administration
The University of Copenhagen aims to have an integrated administration which, as an integral part of the University, contributes positively to discharging the University’s core activities. The administration must be seen as user-oriented and efficient with a high level of professionalism, excellent opportunities for personal and professional development and a shared service culture.