Deakin-Nordic relations soar to new heights

A Deakin delegation to the University of Copenhagen and other European institutions has seen relationships strengthened and initiatives established.

The development of strong institutional relationships across Europe is set to advance Deakin’s research agenda and provide significant opportunities for students and staff.

A recent visit by members of the Deakin Executive and senior researchers, led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Peter Hodgson, Deputy Vice-President (Global Engagement) and CEO South Asia Office Ms Ravneet Pawha, and Executive Dean (Health) Professor Brendan Crotty, has seen the strengthening of Deakin’s ties with universities such as the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), and Aarhus and Lund Universities.

Deakin and UCPH have a well-established partnership in a number of areas important to both universities, including student and staff exchange, a joint PhD program, digital teaching, and research. Shared programs of research include infectious disease, mental health, nutrition and physical activity, health literacy, and chronic diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

A joint research symposium, centred on digital health, was held on May 22 in Copenhagen. The symposium was opened by Professor Henrik Wegener, Rector of UCPH, Prof Ulla Wewer, Dean of the UCPH Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and Professor den Hollander.

In her opening address, Professor den Hollander noted that the world is in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, which combines the physical, digital and biological worlds, and brings together areas previously unconnected, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, 3D printing, nanotechnology, genetics and biology.

“As a front runner in digital innovation and health research, Deakin is partnering with government, industry and the community, and collaborating across disciplines and organisational boundaries, to address the critical health issues of today and the future,” said Professor den Hollander.

The Australian Ambassador to Denmark, Ms MaryEllen Miller, also spoke at the symposium, outlining Australia’s role as a global leader in health innovation and the value of combining Australian and Nordic expertise in innovations that address global health challenges.

The visit by 17 senior staff also included an innovation health technology workshop, a masterclass in Health Economics and multiple meetings with UCPH researchers to broaden the scope of research collaborations between the two universities.

Deakin-Nordic relations soar to new heightsProf Jane den Hollander, Deakin Vice-Chancellor; Ms Ursula Lorentzen, Director, Deakin Europe; and Ms MaryEllen Miller, Australian Ambassador to Denmark.

Women and leadership

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor den Hollander was also a guest speaker at the University of Copenhagen’s “Women and Leadership” forum.  She shared the stage with the UCPH Prorector for Education and former Minister of Equality in the previous Danish government, Lykke Friis, as well as Australian Ambassador Ms Miller.

Each speaker summarised the way their respective organisations were addressing gender equality and shared stories and advice on ways to encourage more women into senior roles.

While in Denmark, Northern Europe, Professor den Hollander also met with Aarhus University’s Faculty of Arts to discuss research in education and the arts and sign a new cotutelle PhD agreement that will allow Danish and Australian students to be supervised by both Aarhus and Deakin academic staff, to spend time in each country, and to receive a PhD from both institutions. This new agreement builds on a successful, long-standing active relationship and student exchange program between the Centre for Higher Education Futures (CHEF) at Aarhus and Deakin’s Research for Educational Impact (REDI) Strategic Research Centre.

The Vice-Chancellor also travelled to Sweden’s Lund University where she met with Lund Vice-Chancellor, Prof Torbjörn von Schantz and representatives from the School of Economics and Management (LUSEM), where discussions centred on student exchange and research and ended with the signing of a new double Master degree between LUSEM and Deakin Business School (DBS). DBS has an active research relationship with LUSEM, particularly in the discipline of Econometrics. The double degree enables Deakin and Lund students to have an integrated international study period at each institution, to experience a different academic environment, hone their intercultural competencies and receive a degree from two reputable institutions.

Deakin will continue to strengthen its focus on Europe with the support of its Europe Office in Copenhagen.

Further enquiries relating to European engagement can be directed to Deakin Europe Director, Ursula Lorentzen. Email:

Main Photograph: Ms MaryEllen Miller, Australian Ambassador to Denmark; Prof Ulla Wewer, Dean, UCPH Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences; Lykke Friis, Prorector for Education, UCPH; and Professor Jane den Hollander, Deakin Vice-Chancellor.

Published by Deakin Research 25 June 2018

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