Technical University of Denmark: DTU: Digital University will provide more engineers

DTU will establish a digital university, Digital Twin University, to ensure the training of more engineers throughout the country for sustainable development. The digital university is part of a proposal with a total of six initiatives from DTU. Another significant initiative is a new teacher’s education in the STEM subjects science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, increasing applications for science and technical education.

“DTU wants to strengthen its efforts to train engineers and IT specialists that are in demand in large parts of the business community throughout Denmark. Engineers play a vital role in the green transition, and we must train the labour force needed in this decade. As an elite technical university, DTU can provide the educations and competencies that are needed. With Digital Twin University, residential colleges and relocations, we can do it throughout the country,” says DTU President Anders Bjarklev.

“Engineers play a vital role in the green transition, and we must train the labour force needed in this decade. As an elite technical university, DTU can provide the educations and competencies that are needed. With Digital Twin University, residential colleges and relocations, we can do it throughout the country.”
Anders Bjarklev, President DTU
The digital university and a new teacher’s education in collaboration with vocational colleges are significant initiatives in DTU’s ambition to secure the future of teaching in science and the education of engineers and science graduates. According to the latest forecast from the interest group IDA, the problem will grow to a lack of 10,000 engineers and science graduates by 2025, of whom 6,500 will be engineers.

As mentioned, DTU’s plan also includes establishing residential colleges – a platform for new activities and collaboration between universities and companies – in several places around the country. In addition, DTU will move more than 200 study places within sustainable energy to DTU Risø Campus. Today, Risø is the base for one of DTU’s robust research environments within this field. Two new programs will be established in Kalundborg, while an existing program will be moved to Hirtshals. The six initiatives are part of DTU’s response to the political agreement on relocation and new student places in outlying areas. The Government and a majority in the Danish Parliament agreed on this in June.

Digitization provides more education
Digital Twin University is an offer for a different segment than the students who typically apply to DTU. Digital education gives the students great flexibility during their studies and the opportunity to stay in their local area for most of their education. At the same time, it entails new opportunities for collaboration with companies in the local communities where students live.
It may provide an opportunity for an electrician to further their education while picking up the children and being close to family. It may be an offer for those wishing to maintain networks and connections to a workplace in the local community or those who prefer to live outside big cities.

With the new educational concept in Digital Twin University – including a high academic level and digital interface – DTU will expand the annual admission with up to 500 new students in 2030. Students are offered teaching and laboratory experiments online and access world-class experimental facilities on DTU campuses in selected periods with housing available.

Upskilling and new teacher’s education
DTU’s second long-term initiative – DTU STEM teacher education, i.a., discussed with vocational colleges, will raise the academic level in science subjects and mathematics in primary school. DTU has a strong desire to strengthen the supply chain for STEM subjects. In this context, DTU sees a need to offer professional and pedagogical upskilling to teachers who teach STEM subjects, improving teaching and increasing the students’ interest.

The latest figures for enrollment in STEM educations show stagnation in 2019 and a decrease from 2020. Application for teacher’s educations has fallen by almost 6 per cent since 2017, and line subjects within the STEM area are in need. A STEM teacher’s education will significantly strengthen science subjects and mathematics in primary and secondary schools and thus support more young people applying for engineering studies.

Strong local presence
DTU’s initiative also includes a strengthened presence throughout Denmark through expanded collaboration with municipalities, companies, and universities. In addition to new programs and continuing education, DTU and other universities will establish several residential colleges. Specifically in Skive, in Rødby in connection with the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel and on Bornholm. Companies, local communities, and students can join in projects and specific issues requiring engineering solutions.

Residential colleges can provide a platform for new activities and collaboration between universities and companies, e.g., student projects, internships, master and PhD projects. The individual residential colleges can also form the framework for the education and continuing activities that DTU initiates and function as a local anchor for DTU Digital Twin University.

In addition to the 200 green study places within wind energy and integrated energy systems moving to Risø Campus, DTU plans to build two master’s programs in biomanufacturing and industrial design in Kalundborg. The latter will be in collaboration with the Royal Academy. DTU will also move the existing master’s program Aquatic Science and Technology to Hirtshals and strengthen research into the significance of climate change for the sea. It will provide new knowledge about how society ensures sustainable development in aquaculture and fisheries as essential protein sources in future food production.

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