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New Education

Psychology – West Jutland style: SDU and Education Esbjerg in groundbreaking collaboration on new psychology programme in Esbjerg

SDU wants to open a new bachelor's and master's degree in psychology at SDU Esbjerg. The aim is to create 75 new student places from 2025. There will be a total of 350 students when the program is at full swing.

The winds of change are blowing in West Jutland in the field of education – and the latest addition is psychology, which will be developed in close collaboration with both public and private companies as well as Education Esbjerg and the new education concept E.1.

In Esbjerg, a completely new approach will ensure a better match between education programmes and the needs of the business community. SDU, Education Esbjerg and local foundations have together procured the funding to develop and establish a new psychology study programme in Esbjerg. It is an example of how to rethink education programmes and how to create optimal conditions for improving the quality of education in a collaboration between educational institutions and the business community.

Together, their ambition is to offer a study programme that focuses on academic knowledge, well-being, technology and, not least, the connection with the needs of public and private companies in South Jutland for recruiting psychologists. The programme will thus be based on some of the same principles as the master’s degree programme in medicine and supplemented with elements from Education Esbjerg’s E.1 concept, which focuses on the well-being of the students, incorporates the learning and use of new technology as well as offering the possibility of practice-oriented teaching during the study programme.

Close collaboration with local actors

‘At SDU, we strive every day to create the highest quality in research and education programmes. We do this because it creates value for and with society – and because it is the University’s core task. We are very much looking forward to the collaboration with the whole of Esbjerg on a future psychology programme, which will mark the start of a new and important chapter for the University and emphasises SDU’s regional anchoring in the Region of Southern Denmark,’ says the Rector of SDU, Jens Ringsmose.

Ole Skøtt, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at SDU, adds:

‘At the Faculty of Health Sciences, we are very much looking forward to broadening the palette of programmes we offer at SDU in Esbjerg by establishing a programme in psychology. Crucial for the programme’s success is the great local interest and support we have encountered in Esbjerg, from the city, the private business community and public institutions. We look forward to starting work on getting the new programme approved.’

‘I’m delighted that with the strong joint initiative with SDU, with great support from local foundations, Esbjerg Municipality and the local business community, we have succeeded in landing a collaboration on the new study places in psychology in Esbjerg – and that it will be both a bachelor and master’s programme. It’s fantastic to be able to see how, and how quickly, we’ve pulled together to make it happen,’ adds Henrik Uhd Christensen, Chair of Education Esbjerg.

Esbjerg is building a diverse educational environment

‘Together with the highly anticipated intake on the law programme and the very popular master’s degree in medicine, we are showing that we in Esbjerg have found a model for how we can collaborate with the educational institutions to attract new study programmes to the area. We seem to have found the golden formula for an innovative educational concept that, to dispense with West Jutland modesty for just a moment, combines well-being, quality, technology and the business community in an educational package for the future – and we are very much looking forward to getting down to business,’ says Lone Saaby, Director of Education Esbjerg.

The Mayor of Esbjerg Municipality, Jesper Frost Rasmussen, is also very pleased with the new programme and the work that has been done to build an attractive educational environment in the city.

‘With persistent and targeted efforts, we have already managed to attract new master’s programmes in medicine and law. Psychology is another of the higher education programmes that we would very much like to see established in Esbjerg, so that we can ensure a well-rounded educational environment with relevant educational programmes that meet the demand for skills here in our area,’ says Jesper Frost Rasmussen, Mayor of Esbjerg Municipality.

Facts about the psychology programme:

The psychology programme is a university-based 5-year programme built on a 3-year bachelor programme followed by a 2-year master’s programme. Upon completion of the programme, the new master’s graduate will be a qualified psychologist. Before a university programme can be implemented, a lengthy process must be completed and an application must be submitted to the Advisory Committee for the Assessment of Higher Education Programme (in Danish: Det Rådgivende Udvalg for Vurdering af Udbud af Videregående Uddannelser, RUVU). Once the programme is approved, lecturers will be recruited and a wide range of detailed planning will be carried out. The plan is to submit the application on 1 February 2024, which will allow for the first admission intake of students to the programme in the first half of 2025, with studies starting on 1 September 2025.

Facts about E.1:

E.1 is a new educational concept that rethinks the role and format of education programmes, with a global outlook, high ambitions and a focus on the whole person. E.1 is built around three core elements: well-being, business collaboration and a digital learning platform. Student well-being is at the centre of the E.1 concept, by which we seek to create the best conditions for learning and a good student life through building strong communities. E.1 also facilitates the transition from study to work by creating a framework for students to forge close links with local businesses through student jobs, internships and mentoring schemes. All E.1 initiatives will be linked together on a new digital platform where students, lecturers and businesses will work together to support learning and create a meaningful student life across geographies, using hybrid solutions.

Local foundations that have supported the creation of a new psychology study programme in Esbjerg:

  • Claus Sørensens Fond
  • Esbjerg Fonden
  • Lida and Oskar Nielsen Fond
  • Johan Hoffmann Fonden
Editing was completed: 29.03.2023