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Former Events

Open seminar on building responsible research cultures in universities and university colleges

Date: March 3, 2022, 10.15 - 15.00

Venue: Aarhus University Conference Center, Frederik Nielsens Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus C

The Sector Network for Responsible Conduct of Research (SAF) and the DUN Special Interest Group on Higher Education Policy and Practice would like to invite you to a one-day seminar to discuss current practices and challenges in relation to creating a culture of research integrity and responsible research practices.

The aim of the seminar is to bring together researchers and practitioners from across the higher education sector to be inspired and learn from each other. Issues to be discussed are e.g., how the individual institutions work to make sense of abstract guidelines on research integrity, specific challenges of University Colleges and Universities, respectively; or how to construct a workable infrastructure to deal with issues of integrity.

The seminar was originally planned for fall 2021, but was postponed.

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Panel debate: (Un)willing academic work - Between complicity and critique

Date: March 2, 2022, 15.00 - 16.30 Central European Time (CET) (UTC+1)

Venue: Online

This panel debate addresses the complexities and contradictions present in universities today, where academics often work (un)willingly to implement agendas they do not whole-heartedly support - or which they only partially support, and perhaps not as explicitly as they could do, due to various cultural-critical conventions.

Within universities, there is widespread international criticism of what is often broadly referred to as neoliberal agendas. In the case of Denmark, the governing structure implemented in 2003 emphasizing a string of command, clarity, accountability, and production is criticized for having turned the university into a business instead of a collegium of students and scholars. Often, aspects of such criticism are shared by scholars, students, and organizational leaders alike. The people in and of the university.

However, most students, scholars, and leaders at the samte time agree that students should get jobs, that universities should strive to be of relevance to society, and that scholars should publish regularly. But most also agree that short-sighted external audits and oversight by politicians, foundations, or businesses to assure productivity are not ideal ways of leading universities and the higher education curriculum.

In our daily work, many academics engage in and even implement models of education, design formats for research projects, and partake in administrative tasks and agenda setting, which implicitly and explicitly help realise the “neoliberal” university’s vision of producing useful outcomes, i.e., jobs, results, and problem-solving. In effect, students, scholars, and leaders are “in the same boat”, participating in upholding neoliberal agendas through a variety of motivations e.g., excelling, publishing, designing great courses and programs, making the university climb the ranking tables, or simply pragmatically “surviving” within the current socio-economic climate of institutions today.

The aim of the panel debate is to engage in an open and critical conversation between students, scholars, and leaders about the complexities and contradictions of working within the Danish universities today, departing from the recognition that we are in this together and need to collaborate towards sustainable university and higher education futures.


  • Hans Fink, Docent Emeritus, Aarhus University
  • Asger Sørensen, Associate Professor, Aarhus University
  • Hanne Leth Andersen, Rector, Roskilde University
  • Rie Troelsen, Centre Director, University of Southern Denmark
  • Matej Zitnansky, MA, former representative of the European Students’ Union (ESU)

Event organisers

  • Jakob E. Feldt, Professor, Roskilde University
  • Serge Pascal Johannes M. Horbach, Postdoc, Aarhus University
  • Laura Louse Sarauw, Associate Professor, Roskilde University
  • Søren S.E. Bengtsen, Associate Professor, Aarhus University 

Open meeting in HEPP: Research Integrity in Danish University Colleges and Universities

Date: November 5, 2021, 10.15 - 15.00

Venue: Fredrik Nielsens Vej 4, 8000 Aarhus

The Sector Network for Responsible Conduct of Research (SAF) and the DUN Special Interest Group on Higher Education Policy and Practice (/sigs-special-interest-groups/hepp-higher-education-policy-and-practice/) would like to invite you to a one-day seminar to discuss current practices and challenges in relation to creating a culture of research integrity and responsible research practices.
The aim of the seminar is to bring together researchers and practitioners from across the higher education sector to be inspired and learn from each other. Issues to be discussed are e.g., how the individual institutions work to make sense of abstract guidelines on research integrity, specific challenges of University Colleges and Universities, respectively; or how to construct a workable infrastructure to deal with issues of integrity. 

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Open TLIC-HEPP webinar: Keeping international classrooms alive through virtual mobility

November 3, 2021, 13.00-15.00

Venue: Online via Zoom

Fee: Free and open to all

In times of the pandemic, physical international mobility at universities has been restricted. National political decisions (e.g. in Denmark) are putting further limitations on the international classroom. In this interactive online workshop, the participants will share strategies and tools for enabling students and staff to be involved in the international classroom whether or not they can physically cross national borders. Two PhD researchers will share recent research findings on the conception and practice of virtual exchange. There will also be a discussion on how strategies of international presence via digital means (virtual mobility) can be integrated into the curriculum and classroom practices.

The workshop will include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Keynote: Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and Virtual Exchange by Anna Prisca Lohse, Hertie School, Berlin, Germany and Mark Dawson, Coventry University, UK
  3. Examples of current curricular and classroom practices of virtual internationalisation
  4. Sharing and discussing practices in groups
  5. Collecting and disseminating practices
  6. Take-aways and next steps

The workshop is organised by two special interest groups within the Danish Network for Educational Development in Higher Education: Link Arrow TLIC - Teaching and Learning in the International Classroom and Link Arrow HEPP - Higher Education Policy and Practice.

Webinar: 'Atmospheres of university education: courses and forces'

October 27, 2021, 14.00-16.00

Venue: Online

Registration deadline: October 21, 2021

: The HEPP Webinar falls into two parts. Part 1 is open and free to all, while Part 2 is a closed SIG-meeting only for members of the Special Interest Group ‘Higher Education Policy and Practice - HEPP’. 

For the conversation about academic citizenship, the “common infrastructure”, the spaces and forms of the university and the attitudes, moods, they create, are of crucial importance for how to think the transactions between the university and society at large. In his talk, professor Jan Masschelein will discuss how the university as gatherings of people, structures, and things can create, sometimes, a way a being with/in the world which we might think of as “publics” of various scales.


14.00 - 15.00 Part 1: Lecture by Professor Jan Masschelein (with Professor Maarten Simons), KU Leuven, Belgium.
The lectured will be followed by a facilitated Q&A session.

15.00 - 16.00

Part 2: SIG meeting in HEPP with follow-up discussions related to the themed SIG strand around academic citizenship.

Speaker: Jan Masschelein (with Maarten Simons), Laboratory for Education and Society, KU Leuven 


… we need to win the argument for education rather than support the idea of the university as a therapeutic safe space for vulnerable students. (Dennis Hayes, University World News, 6.02.2021) 

Relying on a mapping exercise with students during the pandemic,  support is provided for students’ call for ‘on campus’ education, for its re-discovery and re-inventing.  The support concerns not the need for a social life and social contacts, but refers to the educational forces that a university can embody in its ‘common infrastructure’ i.e. in its architecture and pedagogical forms, in the gatherings and moods it engenders, in the displacements to which it induces, in the kind of life it stages, in the kind of (always fragile and temporary) collections and collectives it performs and that enable particular encounters with worlds. This ‘infrastructure’ can make a particular kind of study happen. It involves made set-ups that enable to taste the world and sustain the becoming of a (collective) studying body. The digital, for sure, can add greatly to the world of university study, but it cannot simply replace it’s differentiated pedagogical infrastructure. 


  • Professor Jakob Egholm Feldt, Roskilde University
  • Dr Serge Pascal Johannes M. Horbach, Postdoc researcher, Aarhus University
  • Dr Søren S.E. Bengtsen, Associate Professor, Aarhus University

Webinar: What would a society without universities look like – and how could the university and its societal responsibilities be reimagined?

: May 3, 2021, 14.00-17.00

Venue: Online. A Zoom-link for the webinar will be shared closer to the event

Fee: Free

Registration deadline: April 28, 2021

Over the last fifty years or so, the size of universities and enrollment numbers have grown rapidly, and their institutional power and societal entanglements have increased as well. In the wake of this rapid growth, questions about the societal responsibility of universities and the higher education curriculum emerge. Ideally, we would hope to see universities provide a ‘buffer zone’ (Nixon, 2008) or a ‘safe zone’ (Rider, 2018) between the political interests of the state and the self-interest of individuals and the market economy. But are universities contributing to offering such a safe space? And if so, do they do it equally to all, or are they, perhaps unintentionally, only granding it to certain privileged groups? 

Part 1, 14.00-16.00

Only for HEPP members 

This HEPP-meeting begins with three short scene-setting perspectives from the three organisers, followed by a facilitated workshop in which participants engage in a collective thought-experiment through answering the questions: ‘What would a society without universities look like – and how would we envision their reinvention?

Part 2, 16.00-17.00

Open for all interested 

The HEPP-meeting concludes with a keynote talk by Professor and Associate Vice-President David J. Hornsby, Carleton University, Canada – followed by Q&A and an open plenary discussion with the audience.

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Online Seminar: More cuts to English-medium education? What is the future of international higher education in Denmark?

Recording of the seminar

: December 4, 2020, 10.00 - 12.00

Venue: Online. A Zoom-link will be shared with the participants upon registration. 

Fee: Free

RegistrationLink Arrow Here 

The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science recently announced that ‘interventions are necessary to limit spending on SU (student grants) for EU students’. In 2018, such an intervention resulted in cuts to study programmes with ‘English-speaking’ students. Does this herald further cuts to English-medium higher education? The Higher Education Policy and Practice, HEPP section of DUN is convening this discussion with the aim of understanding the situation from various perspectives and to see if we can find common ground.

The reason for the Minister’s concern is a projected rise in the number of European students receiving financial student support (SU). The political parties have agreed a ceiling of DKK 449 million (2019 prices) for SU expenditure on Non-Danish students from the European Union. Currently, the expenditure is DKK 619 million and the ministry forecasts that the amount may increase to DKK 650 million by 2023. This would be DKK 201 million above the politically agreed maximum. However, it seems that this would still only be 3% of the total Danish SU expenditure (which was DKK 21,059 million in 2019).

The questions we will address include:

  • What would further cuts to English-language courses mean for the higher education landscape and the economy in Denmark and for the opportunities available to Danish, let alone international, students?
  • How do courses differ in terms of their understanding and practice of ‘internationalisation’? How to engage policy-makers in the discussions of the ‘what, why and how‘ of internationalization, rather than blanket numbers?
  • Is there a threat of hastily closing more well-established international programmes? What can we do to ensure least damage?

Members of the panel include Jesper Langergaard, the director of Danske Universiteter, Sandi Rizvić an international officer of Danske Studerendes Fællesråd and Hanne Tange, a researcher of international and intercultural education. We welcome participation from people with experience from the first round of cuts to English-speaking student places. 

The session will be hosted by members of the Higher Education Policy and Practice, HEPP section of Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Netværk, DUN, Professor Susan Wright and Matej Zitnansky.

Invitation and final program 

Conference: Research integrity and research freedom – what is the difference, and why does it matter?

OBS! The conference will be online

: November 13, 2020, 10.00-16.00

Venue: Online via Zoom

Fee: Free

RegistrationLink Arrow Here

The team behind the Link Arrow Practicing Integrity project and the DUN Special Interest Group on Link Arrow Higher Education Policy and Practice would like to invite you to a one-day conference on the theme of academic freedom and academic integrity. 

For the past decade, much focus has been put on research integrity or the responsible conduct of research – both nationally, e.g. through the development of the National Code of Conduct, and internationally, e.g. by the EU. The public debate on research integrity in Denmark, however, has for a while become increasingly intertwined with – or perhaps even absorbed by – the debate on research freedom. Scandals that originated as integrity scandals are increasingly discussed as really being about academic freedom, and the work to implement policies on research integrity seem to have been slowed down by this renewed focus on freedom. But what is the difference between integrity and freedom of research? And do we strengthen one, by protecting the other? 

The conference aims to bring together scholars, practitioners, policymakers and other stakeholders that are concerned with issues of research integrity and research freedom to discuss both how the concepts have developed and overlap, but also importantly what they mean for our everyday lives and practices in academia and beyond.

The conference is organised by Sue Wright, Lise Degn and Matej ZItnansky.

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Open SIG webinar in HEPP: Academic citizenship – challenges and possibilities in our time

Date: November 3, 2020, 14.00-16.00

Venue: Online

Fee: Free 

Registration: Write an email to Søren Bengtsen at Link Arrow ssbe@tdm.au.dk 

The first part (at 14.00-15.00) is open and free to all and the second part (at 15.00-16.00) is a closed HEPP meeting. 

The SIG 'Higher Education Policy and Practice, HEPP' invites to a webinar on academic activism, with guest-speaker Professor Bruce Macfarlane, University of Bristol, who’s written on academic citizenship and freedom over the last two decades. 

The event falls into two parts:

  • The first part at 14.00-15.00 is open and free to all DUN members and beyond. Here Bruce will present and a HEPP panel will ask questions and open for a wider debate.
  • The second part at 15.00-16.00 is a closed meeting for HEPP members only, where the members will relate Bruce’s talk to our own national and institutional contexts and discuss how to move forward from here. 

Read flyer 

Online SIG-meeting

The meeting is only for members of the SIG

Date: August 25, 2020, 10.00-12.00

Venue: Online. A Zoom-link will be shared later on.

Registration: Info will follow

A preliminary agenda follows here below, and more information will be shared before the meeting, where we shall send out a summary of our last meeting with a description of the four HEPP themes as they emerged more fully through our joint discussion. 

As you’ll see in the agenda, we aim to divide the participants into four groups (just for that meeting, and only as a part of the meeting) discussing each of the four themes and outlining a plan for the coming semester/year with suggested activities and events. Therefore, our assistant HEPP organizer Matej Patrik Zitnansky will be in touch prior to the meeting and ask you to sign up for one of the four groups. 

Meeting agenda:

  1. Introductions
  2. Summary of the launch meeting – the identification of four topics
  3. Group work on each topic to discuss
    • The background and current debates about the topic – have we missed any aspects?
    • What we want to do about it – what activities – who will help organise them – when – how (Face to face or Zoom)
  4. Plenary – feedback from each group and put their ideas together to make an overall programme of work for first year.

Launch event

May 20, 2020, 10.00-12.00

Venue: Online.

Read summary of the event below.

These days, and perhaps more than ever, it’s absolutely crucial to sustain our academic communities across institutional, disciplinary, and curricular boundaries. Also, it’s essential that we come together to discuss how academics may inform and critically discuss policy-making – but also assume greater societal and cultural responsibilities for the time we live in (and to come) and how we build our higher education futures.

Therefore, we hope you’ll all meet up to discuss and plan our joint collaboration towards imaging and building these futures and achieving these goals. 

The programme will include:

  • Introduction to the SIG (origin, goals, and aims)
  • Introduction to the three separate strands
  • Suggested activities and events for the autumn 2020 and spring 2021
  • Envisioned outcomes of the SIG (conferences, writing collaboration, engagement with internal and external stakeholders, and the wider society).

Summary of the launch event

‘Higher Education Policy and Practice’, HEPP, was launched as a special interest group of DUN with a Zoom meeting held on 20 May 2020. Twenty-two people attended from RUC, SDU, AU, AAU and VIA. Søren Bengtsen, DPU, AU introduced the interim steering group (himself, Lise Degn and Sue Wright) and presented the ideas behind the formation of HEPP. Lise Degn, Center for Forsknings Aanalyse CFA, AU presented the work arising from the ‘Practicing Integrity’ project that had been the spur behind forming HEPP. The participants then worked in small groups to identify issues and activities on which HEPP should work over the first 1-2 years. In the final plenary, four key issues emerged:

  1. Research Integrity
  2. Academic Freedom
  3. De-internationalisation of Danish Higher Education
  4. Academic Citizenship

The Ministry of Research and Higher Education, through the project Practicing Integrity is funding a student assistant. Matej Patrik Žitňanský Link Arrow mpz@edu.au.dk was appointed to this position from July 2020 to March 2021.

Powerpoint slides from the meeting:
Link Arrow HEPP Launch 
Link Arrow HEPP - Research integrity