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Danish society – and North Jutland – has been rapidly changing in recent years.

This means that the requests, demands, and expectations imposed on institutions such as University College of Northern Denmark may seem quite overwhelming. Knowledge, learning, and innovation are becoming increasingly important to societal development, and we anticipate that UCN will have to hold its own in these fields of expertise to be able to show the way out of the dilemmas and challenges that we face as a society. It may seem ambitious to devise an institutional strategy that extends 10 years into the future. One might ask whether it makes sense to do so with the pace of change seeming continuously rising, and changes happening from one week to another, from one day to the next.

As UCN's Board of Governors and Board of Executives, we have intentionally chosen this path.

We believe that we can contribute to the development of our society by setting ambitious goals for our study programmes, our students, and the professions we collaborate with; ambitions that will equate the development of study programmes in Denmark with those of other European countries. Countries where a university of applied sciences, or UAS, is the designation of the very thing that UCN is aspiring to become: a practice-based knowledge institution providing higher education on an international level and conducting application-oriented research.

We want to enhance our study programmes, students, and professions through a strong knowledge basis that translates into specific skills and competencies. It is our goal to create study programmes that are based on reflective practice and underpinned by new knowledge and innovation.

By 'we', we refer not only to UCN's board of governors, executives, managers, and staff who are duty-bound to pursue this strategy, but also to all of our students in full-degree higher education programmes and continuing professional education programmes, as well as stakeholders and partners without whom UCN could never succeed. It is due to our active cooperation with workplaces, institutions, knowledge environments and especially with our students that UCN is able to create the practice-related, application-oriented knowledge that is the very trademark of UCN.

So, please read this strategy as an open invitation for us to create the desired changes together.

Kristina Østergaard Kristoffersen, rector
Mads Duedahl, chair of the Board of Governors