University description (as per official university website)
About the University
The most important task of Roskilde University is to contribute to experimental, innovative forms of learning and knowledge creation.
The university is research-driven and provides education for future generations of managers, teachers and experts based on advanced knowledge.
RU is characterised by:
merging knowledge through interdisciplinary research and teaching
pushing boundaries for knowledge through a problem-oriented approach
focusing research and education on fields where the university has international or national status
bringing university and society together.
The basic educational principles at the university are problem-oriented project work, participant direction and joint responsibility. From enrolment to graduation, students are trained to assess the importance of academic problems and the relevance of selected theories and methods on a scientific basis. Project work is participant-directed and builds on the importance of student commitment and own and joint responsibility.
The phased choice of specialisation is based on the students’ experience with the problem areas of the individual subjects and the scientific approaches. Students gain their first experience at the basic studies, which point them in the direction of advanced-level courses, where many different specialised course studies may be combined within and across disciplines and main subject areas, both during the bachelor studies and the master’s studies.
At RU, students are responsible for and control their education themselves. Based on their own critical sense and active participation, students are guided through their study programmes at RU which offers an international, interdisciplinary and educationally challenging environment providing the perfect framework for their studies.
RU’s Seal: The Coral
RU’s seal shows a coral with the following text in Latin:
In tranquillo mors - in fluctu vita.
In stillness death, in movement life.
In this quote, reference is made to the following characteristics of life and death of the coral: Corals can only live in very pure and salty water in constant movement. Therefore, corals on the lee-side of reefs die, whereas corals on the windward side where waves and currents are strongest grow and develop into large, beautiful colonies. It is, however, the older parts of the reef that provide the strength and power to resist the beating of the waves throughout centuries.
Roskilde University - a Unique University
In 1972 Roskilde University was eshablished and soon RU was setting new standards in educational principles by breaking with traditional university practice and embracing student involvement.
In its short history, Roskilde University has in many ways broken with traditional educational thinking and practice in Denmark. The basic teaching principles at Roskilde University are:
Inter-disciplinarity and problem-orientation
The traditional division of study into narrow academic disciplines has been replaced by an inter-disciplinary approach to the identification and solving of problems. As in the university's research, students are encouraged to demonstrate the relevance of different theoretical perspectives to their chosen subject.
Students are trained to organise and write major project reports based on the results they have obtained during research and analysis.
Group work is the basic form of study throughout the whole programme. Through group work, students learn the meaning of cooperation and responsibility.
Close connection between research and teaching
Research staff are assigned as tutors to the project groups. The teacher interacts with the group as advisor and discussion partner.
RU's Values and Educational Principles
The aim of RU’s academic research, teaching and knowledge dissemination is to promote an active interaction between an ambitious commitment to international research and a local and practical commitment to knowledge and competence building. The most important task of Roskilde University is to contribute to experimental, innovative forms of learning and knowledge creation.
The world faces many challenges in the twenty-first century: a steadily increasing turnover of knowledge, human mobility, goods transport, cultural encounters and climate change. Roskilde University aims to play a role in this world by helping educate the world’s next generation of leaders, educators and experts on the basis of the most advanced knowledge.
For this reason, Roskilde University will be a research-based university characterised by:
• integrating knowledge through interdisciplinary research and teaching;
• pushing the frontiers of knowledge using a problem-oriented approach;
• focusing research and education in the areas where the university has national or international standing;
• bringing university and society together.
Problem-oriented Project Work – Participant Direction and Joint Responsibility
The basic educational principles at Roskilde University are interdisciplinarity, problem-oriented project work and a close link between research and teaching. Students learn how to identify and solve problems from the beginning of their studies. They are trained to assess the importance of academic problems and the relevance of selected theories and methods on a scientific basis. Through group-based project work, the students become familiar with the many types of and the responsibility associated with team work. The project work is participant-directed and builds on the importance of student commitment and joint responsibility.
Interdisciplinarity – A Phased and Qualified Choice of Courses – A Multitude of Combinations
All bachelor studies commence with interdisciplinary basic studies in the natural sciences, social sciences or humanities. The phased choice of specialisation is based on the students’ experience with the problem areas and scientific approaches of the individual subjects.
The many different specialised course studies may be combined within and across disciplines and main subject area boundaries, both during the bachelor studies and the master’s studies.
Independence and Learning – Innovative Thinking and Critical Reflection
An essential element of teaching and educational guidance is to teach students to see new problems and new solutions, how to produce a finished product and how to critically assess its perspectives and limitations. The studies are based on active participation in the academic environment. Generally, however, the responsibility for structuring their studies lies exclusively with the students. Class attendance is generally not compulsory, but students may be required to participate actively in seminars and workshops.
Liaison With the Outside World
Placements and project work in cooperation with businesses and organisations outside RU serve as a challenge and inspiration for research and academic standards.
High Academic Standards and Competence Building
A high priority is given to enabling students to independently choose subjects to be studied in depth and to reflect on the application and perspectives of the academic contents. The main objective is a general development of competence and a more reflective approach to the academic contents while at the same time allowing for considerable variation with regard to the specific academic contents of the studies.
Working in an international context and taking an active approach in relation to the international environment in a given research or academic area is a fundamental dimension of RU’s study programmes.