Denmark – DUN
DUN (Danish Network for Educational Development in Higher Education) is a national association aimed at developing the quality of university education and teaching through the establishment of networks and activities for its members. The target group of the association includes everybody involved in higher education, in particular teaching staff at universities. For further information see the website: http://www.dun-net.dk/about-dun
DUN has existed for 17 years. Over the years, DUN has developed from an informal grass-roots movement to a formal association with regulations, rules for procedures, a quarter-million kroner budget, and more than 1,000 members representing all Danish universities and a number of other institutions of higher education.
The core activities of DUN are hosting an annual conference, financing a journal, and organizing various activities such as newsletters and special interest groups.
Once a year, DUN hosts a national conference on university education. The conference features international and national keynote speakers. In addition, it includes parallel sessions based on research papers and best-practice workshops presented by university teachers and academic developers. This year the conference took place on June 30th-31th 2011. The main theme was Teaching Development – frames, barriers and possibilities:
http://www.ind.ku.dk/dunk2011/. Our main international speaker was James Wisdom, president of ICED, who talked about International trends and strategies in educational development at universities:
http://www.ind.ku.dk/dunk2011/materialer/JamesWisdom-Handout-for-presentation.pdf/. More than 100 participants from Denmark and the Nordic countries attended the conference. The many contributions from participants and speakers at the conference resulted in a published white book with arguments and strategies on how to develop university teaching on individual, institutional, and national levels:
http://www.ind.ku.dk/publikationer/inds_skriftserie/2011-22-Udvikling-af-universitetsundervisning/. The book was sent to all Danish directors of studies and relevant politicians and decision-makers.
Journal of Danish Higher Education
Besides hosting an annual conference, the association issues a journal on learning, teaching and academic development in higher education called “The Journal of Danish Higher Education”. The journal was “born” five years ago and already has a total of ten issues. It encompasses peer-reviewed research-based articles and papers based on university teachers’ experiences and reflections on educational practice. The journal is published twice a year and printed in 1200 copies. Also, the journal is available online on DUNs website: http://www.dun-net.dk/tidsskrift.aspx. At present, publishing the journal in hardcopy format represents a major budget item. However, from 2012 the journal will only be published on-line, which will free significant resources for initiating other activities. Consequently, DUN is considering organizing a series of events on a smaller scale. These events could be seminars addressing specific topics or discipline-specific themes relevant to the association members. The intention is to for DUN to co-organize the events and advertise them on DUN’s website.
Mail-lists, Newsletters, and Special Interest Groups
DUN administers a mail list for its members which is – at present – the most important source of information for them. It also organizes newsletters and special interest groups, the latter being funded by DUN as well as advertised on DUN’s website. Furthermore, DUN is involved in various activities, such as a three-day Nordic Seminar for Educational Developers hosted by DUN on June 14th-16th.. This was the first seminar of its kind and was conducted successfully in close collaboration with colleagues from SwedNet (Sweden), UHPed (Norway) and PEDA-Forum (Finland).