Technical University of Denmark: A tried and tested introductory programme

Even before the first day of teaching at DTU, new BEng students are introduced to their study program, their fellow students and lecturers on Welcome Day 25 January 2022. The Welcome Day is followed by a three-day-long introductory programme, where joint activities and social gatherings are paramount. According to all concerned, this ensures the best possible start for new students.

Andreas Oest-Jacobsen is admitted to the study programme Manufacturing and Management and attends his first lecture on 31 January.

“I have received a fantastic welcome from both the Programme Director, the vectors (tutors) and KABS (Coordinators of the Bachelor Study start). There is a good mix of academic introduction and joint activities. It is easier to connect with one another on a personal level, when you are doing something together. We get to play and we start to laugh. It is a good icebreaker “, says Andreas Oest-Jacobsen about Welcome Day.

Wearing light purple hoodies, students from the student association Polyteknisk Forening – in DTU’s terminology vectors and KABS – receive the new BEng students at DTU Ballerup and Lyngby Campus. They arrive sporadically, since the new students are divided into smaller groups and gathered in separate rooms in line with the recommended corona restrictions.

At the bottom of the 600-meter-long corridor that characterizes DTU Ballerup Campus, 26 new students at Production have been invited to an introductory day, but only eight have turned up.

“We believe that many choose to stay away because of the extraordinary situation right now with high level of corona infection in society. In addition, the Welcome Day is only an offer, not a requirement, so it may also make someone downgrade it, ”says Mike Linde, who will commence on his second year of studying Manufacturing and Management. He is concerned with giving new students the best start, because he has experienced first-hand, the difference that Welcome Day makes for the individual student.


“Welcome Day provides a great opportunity for new students, because of it’s focus on helping them to establish relationships with each other and with us older students, in a relaxed and fun way,” he says and continues:

“OK, we are adults who play games, and for some people that may seem a bit silly, but there is a purpose to it. The purpose is to form new friendships and teams that you can draw upon for the rest of your study time, which includes a lot of project work and team work, ”says Mike Linde, who started as a vector last year and now is a KABS.

On Welcome Day, the new students have the opportunity to meet the vectors, who are older students from the same field of study, which offer support and social gatherings on a regular basis primarily during the first semester.


During the lunch break, we talk to 46-year-old Ivan Karlsson. For 20 years he worked as a carpenter, right up until a work injury one day caused him to stop and change tracks. That was when, he chose to apply to DTU Admission Course to meet the requirements. Today is his first day as a BEng student in Civil Engineering.

“Some of the people, who are here today, I already know from the admission course, so I am not starting from scratch, yet the first day is still very exciting and a little nerve-wracking. We have been welcomed in a good and cordial way, so I have no complaints,” says Ivan Karlsson.


20-year-old Isabella Ipsen is also new student in Civil Engineering after a two-year sabbatical. She describes Welcome Day as a soft start to student life:

“I am happy for opportunity to know the faces of my fellow students. Both the brand new ones and those who have been studying for some time. It’s much better than showing up Monday morning and starting head on with the academic programme,” she says.

Inside the tall, round library tower, Dean of Undergraduate Studies Lars D. Christoffersen’s voice resounds with authority and joviality. He stands in front of a camera and talks to the approx. 210 new students via an online live transmission. After a short welcome speech, he gives the floor firstly to President Anders Bjarklev, and next to President of DTU’s student association, Polyteknisk Forening, Andreas Ipsen.


Three days later, we meet new student Isabella Ipsen again. This time on Lyngby Campus on the second day of the introductory programme, also called rustur. It runs from 27 January to 29 January from kl. 10 am to 10 pm. The rustur on campus was first introduced in the summer of 2020 as an alternative to the more traditional rustur with accommodation in a cabin. This year, all rustur takes place on campus without accommodation due to the corona restrictions.

About 30 students dressed in costumes are gathered in Building 358’s canteen. Equipped with a loudspeaker, the group heads out into the courtyard, where they line up, put on music and start dancing synchronously and in line with the techno beat.

“It is so cozy. We have both planned activities, but there is also time for more free play and light conversations. In my group, we come from different study lines, so we are mixed well together,” says Isabella Ipsen.


During the lunch break, President Anders Bjarklev visits the students. They look up from their sandwichs, put the Faxe Kondi cans down and listen attentively to the man in the suit. The President has an overriding message to them:


“Some of my best friends today I met on a rustur (introductory programme, red.) many years ago. Take the opportunity to get to know lots of other talented people. Discover what they are better at, and ponder at how you can use each other’s strengths as a team. Also, help each other, and make your time at DTU the best time,” says DTU’s President to the young people who are on the threshold of their engineering education.

Comments are closed.