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"Companies are aware they need a high competence level to stay competitive in the global economy"

Interview to Anders Vestergaard, member of the University College of Denmark and member of the FIT4FoF project.

Anders Vestergaard works as Program Manager for the cross institutional R&D program "Sustainable Growth" at the University College of Denmark (UCN) and he is also partner of the FIT4FoF.

What does University College of Northern Denmark offer?

UCN offers shorter higher education within a lot of areas spanning four main areas from health, pedagogics, business to technology. We have more than 9000 students in these areas. Many of these will graduate with a professional bachelor’s degree. Furthermore UCN offers life long learning activities and consultancy services for local industry via a separate business unit “act2learn”. In the FIT4FoF project our R&D unit at the Technology campus are involved together with act2learn.

What is the educational context in Denmark today?

There is a very strong focus on digitalization of industry these years and the companies are expecting educational institutions like UCN to develop their educations and training programs accordingly. Especially the SME segment is lacking behind, so they have our special focus at UCN. Companies are very willing to work with us in the process of designing and testing new educational activities and we feel a strong support from industry and the political system to push even more on the industrial educational agenda. 

How is education, in particular technology, valued in Denmark?

Denmark is a very high wage country and companies are aware that they need a high competence level to stay competitive in the global economy. Lots of new technologies are being implemented in companies these years. But the competence level in all companies are not always high enough to utilize these technologies to their full potential. 

What is the reason for participating as a partner in the FIT4FoF project?

There is a strong focus in the political agenda for institutions like UCN to engage in industrial education and training and this is very much driving our motivation in the FIT4FoF project. In the FIT4FoF project we get the chance to work with these topics in a research-based perspective with a lot of interesting partners from all over Europe. What not to like ;o)

What do you think is the most interesting aspect of the FIT4FoF project?

The mix of partners are really good. We have partners from all over Europe and from different sectors and educational levels. The goals we have put out for ourselves in the project is ambitions and the project are quite complicated to be honest. But I feel that we have the chance to do something different from what we are doing today and I think the mix of partners is an important factor to make this happened.

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