Danish "happiness" inspires Romanian teachers

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VIA University College increasingly works with Romanian partners to educate teachers and develop institutions inspired by Danish pedagogical principles. On November 29th, Denmark’s largest university college opened a new office in Bucharest.

Danish children, in general, like going to school. According to Peter Nielsen Wellendorf this is one of the reasons Danes rank as the happiest people in the world. “Danish schools and pre-schools are safe, healthy and inspires creativity and play – which creates an ideal environment for children to learn,” says Peter Nielsen Wellendorf, director of the international department at the Faculty of Education and Social Studies, VIA University College. 

Increased strategic focus on Romania

On November 29th, he and other representatives from VIA was in Bucharest for the official opening of VIA’s new Romania office. One consultant, Carmen Rotaru, will work from the office, which represents VIA’s increased strategic focus on developing partnerships, projects and consultancy in Romania. 

“We believe that Danish know-how and pedagogical methologies can contribute to the development of the Romanian educational system. Our projects so far show that we can help increase Romanian pupils joy of learning and reduce drop-out rates,” says Peter Nielsen Wellendorf. 

He adds that a combination of Danish methods and Romanian discipline could create a competitive educational system on a global scale. On the day of the office opening, Peter Nielsen Wellendorf and Erik Hygum, who is dean of VIA’s Faculty of Education and Social Studies, attended a press conference at Bucharest University – one of VIA’s close partners. 

Institution for vulnerable children

Since 2008, VIA has developed partnerships with 15 Romanian universities and today offers a number of student- and faculty exchange programmes, as well as a double-degree in social pedagogy in cooperation with Bucharest University. Programmes aim to teach new teachers and social educators in Romania through innovative learning methods as well as practice-oriented learning. 

In addition to academic programmes, VIA has participated in a number of EU-funded projects. One project aimed at designing a social institution for children from difficult social backgrounds. “In partnership with the General Direction of Child Protection, district 1, Bucharest University and the NGO Pro Vocatie, we have launched a new type of social institution for small children age 0-4 years from socially vulnerable families. We hope this new public institution can serve as a role model for more Danish-inspired institutions in Romania,” says Erik Hygum. 

VIA values Romanian partners 

VIA is currently involved in three new EU projects in cooperation with Romanian partners. 

“One of the reasons, we have chosen to focus on Romania is that our Romanian partners offer a combination of strong professional and academic competences, motivation and openness for social development. They have a huge interest in exchanging ideas and inspiration with Denmark, which also helps VIA develop as an international university college,” says Peter Nielsen Wellendorf. 

VIA is Denmark’s largest educator of pedagogues, primary and lower-secondary school teachers and social workers. 

For further information

Please contact: 

Peter Nielsen Wellendorf, director of international department, Faculty of Education and Social Studies, VIA University College.
T: +45 87 55 39 70
E: pw@via.dk