VIAs summer school offers students insights into cutting-edge welfare technologies

Two girls from VIA Summer School
Photo caption: Johanna Post, a German student of health promotion (left) and Ema, a Chinese student of nursing, were impressed with Denmarks use of welfare technology. They participated in the annual Health Summer School at VIA Faculty of Health Sciences in Aarhus.
This year, the annual health summer school at VIA University College, focuses on welfare technology. The subject attracts students from around the world – especially China.

Apart from the lack of scheduled naps in between lectures – a standard feature at Chinese universities - Ema says she enjoys her two-week stay at VIA University College in Aarhus. 

The 20-year-old nursing student from West China Medical School in Chengdu is one of 63 international students participating in the 2-week long annual Health Summer School at VIA in Aarhus. 

On the third day of classes, students visit Vikærgården, a rehabilitation center that has received international attention for its cutting-edge use of health technologies. 

Blinking robots and intelligent floors

Students at VIA's Health Summer School are introduced to technology for rehabilitation at the internationally recognized rehabilitation center, students get to try technologies used for rehabilitation of elderly citizens with physical and mental disabilities. This includes solving a computer-based picture puzzle in the presence of a blinking robot named “Silbot”. Also, students try their hands at electronic training aids, sensor floors and automatic douche toilets. 

Learning how to use welfare technology in healthcare is what made Johanna Post, a German student of health promotion, choose to spend two weeks of her Summer break in school. 

“I’m really interested in the topic. And since Denmark is known for its advanced use of health technology, it’s exciting for me to get a first-hand introduction and a stronger knowledge,” says Johanna Post. The 21-year-old student at the University of Applied Sciences in Fulda, Germany, says the visit to Vikærgården is one of the highlights of the summer school. 

Happy to work in groups

Ema from China agrees. In addition, she says she likes working in small groups with students from countries such as Norway, Ukraine, Japan and Germany. The summer school at VIA is the first time, she is exposed to this form of teaching. 

“Chinese students have a tendency to stay together – and only speak Chinese. When we’re split into groups, we learn a lot about healthcare in other countries – and we are forced to speak English,” she says. 

About half the students in this year’s summer school are from China, a result of VIAs increasing cooperation with and reputation at Chinese universities. 

Summer school builds partnerships 

In addition to students, Chinese faculty participate in the programme. According to international coordinator and senior lecturer in nursing at VIA, Kirsten Haugaard Christensen, the Chinese lecturers’ visit to VIA and Denmark is important for developing close ties to Chinese partners. 

“Our colleagues from China are very interested in our teaching methods, our applied approach to health science and our cutting-edge use of technology – particularly in eldercare. Seeing with their own eyes how we do things is valuable for our academic cooperation,” she says. 

The health summer school takes place in Aarhus from 11 August through 28 August.

For more information, please contact:

Kirsten Haugaard Christensen
T: +45 8755 2208
E: khc@via.dk

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