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New Talent Programme at a Teacher College Aims to Strengthen Science in Danish Schools

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is supporting a new talent programme at University College Copenhagen starting in autumn 2018 that aims to end up with more extraordinarily talented science teachers in primary and lower-secondary schools in Denmark. Photo: Thomas Arnbo.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded almost DKK 28 million over 5 years to University College Copenhagen. This will enable it to offer a new talent programme, the Copenhagen Honours College, to 15 especially talented and motivated people studying to become science teachers each year.

Copenhagen Honours College is a supplementary educational programme for the most ambitious people studying to become science teachers. They will be able to take a 2-year course equivalent to 6 months of full-time study (30 ECTS credit points) in addition to their standard programme. The supplementary programme supports the students in getting an extra scientific boost and strengthening their professional self-confidence. The students will be trained in developing specific courses and will be able to participate in relevant research and development projects and to focus in depth on disciplinary and interdisciplinary challenges.

“Science teaching in Denmark’s primary and lower-secondary schools needs a boost. The most talented and motivated people studying to be science teachers therefore need additional challenges. I am delighted that the Foundation’s grant will reinforce our ability to educate science teachers with special competencies and thereby motivate primary and lower-secondary students in science subjects,” says Stefan Hermann, Vice-Chancellor, University College Copenhagen.

In welcoming the launch of the talent programme, Søren Pind, Minister for Higher Education and Science, says: ”We need committed and enthusiastic science teachers who can stimulate students in primary and lower-secondary schools to take an interest in science and technology. The new talent programme is a positive contribution that provides an opportunity for people studying to be science teachers to focus in depth on this field and to participate in research and development projects. I am sure that primary and lower-secondary students will benefit from getting dedicated and competent science teachers and that the talent programme will help to boost science learning in Denmark’s schools in the long term.”

Last year, the Novo Nordisk Foundation awarded a grant of DKK 1 million for a pilot project at University College Copenhagen. The project confirmed that teachers, students and schools need and are interested in a talent programme. In addition, the pilot project resulted in a plan for designing the talent programme.

Dagnia Looms, Head of Strategic Awards, Novo Nordisk Foundation says: “In awarding this grant, the Foundation wants to assist in creating a world-class education system and, through ambitious and inspiring teachers, to stimulate creativity and knowledge about science and technology among children and adolescents. The Foundation also wants to contribute to creating new knowledge on talent development in Denmark and in other countries.”

Research will be conducted on the talent programme to develop knowledge about the experience obtained. The grant therefore includes two subprojects, with one examining how the science culture at the participating schools can develop in interaction with Copenhagen Honours College.


On 1 March 1018, University College Capital (UCC) and Metropolitan University College merged into University College Copenhagen. It has about 20,000 students, 3500 of whom are studying to be teachers.


Stefan Hermann, Vice-Chancellor, University College Copenhagen, phone +45 2613 7397[email protected]

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer, Novo Nordisk Foundation, phone: +45 3067 4805, [email protected]