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- We must have an eye for the demands of the outside world


The area of continuing and further education is on the forefront of the coming strategy at the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences. Here, the needs of the stakeholders are in focus.    

The Professional Master Secretariat is already in full swing when it comes to implementing initiatives that are in tune with the new strategy. The payment programmes are strongly sensitive to the state of the market, and in the wake of the financial crisis it has been necessary to contrive new concepts within competency development which can become supplements to the existing Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and Professional Master programmes.

The head of the unit, Søren Land, sees this proactivity as a major advantage because valuable experience, which can be used when the Faculty’s final strategy is implemented, has already been gained.

– Now, a strategic focus area, knowledge exchange, has been introduced. It lays down the framework for an ambitious development of activities within continuing and further education, revenue-funded projects and Research & Development.

Then, when the strategy is finalized later this month, the Secretariat for Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and the Professional Master Secretariat can determine which of the initiatives should be continued.

One of the initiatives, which is closely related to the key initiatives of the coming strategy, has been knowing how to   read the needs of society and to quickly be able to present a high-quality solution that meets the challenge at hand. Søren Land relates the example of how several units from across the Faculty acted quickly to the introduction of the new reform of the Danish state schools.

Together we are stronger
The reform turned the state schools upside down, and there was an acute need in the market for competency development programmes for school leaders, who were facing new and complex managerial tasks. At record speed, the Department of Political Science and Public Management developed a 15 ECTS Professional Master programme, anchored in the Professional Master of Public Governance.

– Subsequently, the Professional Master Secretariat began a dialogue with Nyborg Municipality, which wanted all its school leaders to take the same course, so that they would strengthen their competences and at the same time establish a “common language”. For Nyborg Municipality this is a major strategic undertaking, explains Søren Land.

The process was not straightforward as the municipality’s first application for funding was rejected. New ideas had to be brought in, and the Professional Master Secretariat contacted the Faculty’s unit for Research Support in order to discuss a solution which could help Nyborg Municipality. Research Support found that it was possible to connect a researcher to the project and in that way create a link between the knowledge gained in the Master programme and the further learning process back at the schools.

– The next application was successful, and the municipality received a grant for 3½ million DKK from the A.P. Møller Foundation. The project has been anchored at the Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management in Kolding. This example clearly shows what we can achieve when we work together across geography and units, says Søren Land.

In the future, Søren Land will focus on involving other relevant units from the Faculty in the early development process. This is an extraordinary opportunity to exploit even further the linkage among the academic environments with their high degree of scientific insight and strong networks with potential stakeholders, the Research Support unit with its expert overview and possibilities for bringing in external funding, and the Secretariat for Graduate Diploma in Business Administration and the Professional Master Secretariat – with their knowledge of models for competency development and of the demands and expectations of the target group.

– And what has this meant for Nyborg Municipality? They have a significantly better project, which delivers with respect to both quality and relevance, and the external funding is decisive for the full realization of the project. The project will be carefully documented, so that it can later be used as best practice in other municipalities. Therefore, we look forward to developing the collaboration among the units at the Faculty, says Søren Land.

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