31 August 2022

Researchers and students are moving closer together


The link between research and education must be strengthened. This is among the top goals when the Department of Political Science opens its doors for the autumn semester.

Students at the University of Copenhagen - Photo: Sara Galbiati
Photo: Sara Galbiati

The 300 young people that start their education in political science these days will be able to get closer to the researchers work than previous cohorts.

"The connection between research and education is absolutely crucial so that we can continue to create the best possible learning environment for the benefit of society as a whole," says head of studies Lars Tønder and elaborates:

"We also know that both colleagues and students demand a closer integration of research and education - this is also expressed in the latest study environment survey. In recent years, there has probably been a bit too great a distance between the two, and we at the Department of Political Science want to change that."

Pilot projects in the pipeline

The Department of Political Science has applied for – and been granted – funding from the University of Copenhagen's research-education integration project to create two pilot projects. 

One on the bachelor's programme, where the students in the subject Danish and Comparative Politics 1 will be introduced to important parts of the research process. And one at master's level, where students on a number of core subjects will be more actively involved in research seminars, project development, article writing and other activities.

The hope is that the two pilot projects can provide new experiences which can subsequently be used elsewhere on the department’s political science and social studies programmes.

"The aim is not for all our students to become researchers - far from it! But if the students get even closer to the research process, they will surely also be better able to cope in the future labor market," says head of studies Lars Tønder and continues:

"Another important purpose of a project like this is strengthening the experience of being one institute with strong connections across researchers and students."

National election on the horizon

For the bachelor students, the link between research and education will be influenced by the upcoming general election. This is due to a so-called election lab, which is part of the institute management's strategic investment in 2022. All students who are interested in writing assignments about the general election are invited to join this lab.

“We meet to collaborate on data collection and give feedback on project ideas. In addition, we invite all students to researcher lunches, where the department's researchers present their latest research that is relevant for the election campaign. We also have plans for a voter meeting and other activities," says associate professor and head of the Board of Studies in Political Science, Karina Kosiara-Pedersen, who will be in charge of the election lab.