New Talent Programme Aims to Strengthen Science in Danish SchoolsNew Talent Programme Aims to Strengthen Science in Danish Schools

The new talent programme "Copenhagen Honours College" aims to strengthen science in Danish schools and provide more extraordinarily talented science teachers for primary and secondary education in Denmark. The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a substantial grant to support the new talent programme.

11 April 2018 | Translated 20 April 2018

Press Release

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded almost DKK 28 million over a 5-year period to University College Copenhagen. Every year, the talent programme “Copenhagen Honours College” will enrol 15 extraordinarily talented and motivated students studying to become science teachers. The talent programme will start autumn 2018. 

Copenhagen Honours College is a supplementary educational programme for the most ambitious science teacher students. The supplementary programme is a 2-year course equivalent to 6 months of full-time study (30 ECTS points) and is taken simultaneously with the standard educational programme. The talent programme assists the students in raising their professional science and teacher related skills and self-confidence. The students receive training in developing science-related curriculum and teaching methods for the classroom. Additionally, the students will have the opportunity to participate in relevant research and development projects to encourage a deeper understanding of disciplinary and interdisciplinary challenges.

”We need to elevate the standard of science-related subjects in the primary and secondary schools. That is why the brightest and most determined science teacher students need more challenges. I am very pleased with the grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation as it reinforces our ability to further develop gifted future science teachers and thereby raise the level of motivation for science-related subjects amongst the pupils in primary and secondary school,” said Stefan Hermann, Vice-Chancellor of University of Copenhagen.

Nyt talentprogram

Danish Minister of Higher Education and Science, Søren Pind, warmly welcomed the new talent programme: “We need committed and enthusiastic science teachers who can encourage pupils of primary and secondary education to take an interest in technology and science-related subjects. That is why it is encouraging that the new talent programme provides an opportunity for people studying to become science teachers to participate in research and development projects and to deepen their understanding of the science field. I am confident the initiative will benefit the pupils by having dedicated and competent science teachers and that the programme will help elevate the standard of science-related subjects in the long term,” said Søren Pind.

Last year, the Novo Nordisk Foundation awarded a grant of DKK 1 million to University College Copenhagen to support the pilot project that laid the foundation for Copenhagen Honours College. The pilot project along with teachers, students, and schools confirmed the interest and need for a talent programme. The pilot project resulted in a blueprint for the talent programme.

Dagnia Looms, Head of Strategic Awards at the Novo Nordisk Foundation, commented: “In awarding this grant, the Foundation wants to contribute in creating a world-class education system and, through ambitious and inspiring teachers, to stimulate creativity and knowledge about science and technology among children and adolescents. The Foundation also wants to contribute in creating new knowledge on talent development in Denmark and in other countries,” said Dagnia Looms.

The knowledge and experience accumulated from Copenhagen Honours College will be researched to further increase the understanding of the talent programme and its implications. The grant will therefore aid two sub-projects including one researching how science-related culture at the participating schools may develop in interaction with Copenhagen Honours College. 

You can read the Danish version here.

Contact information

Stefan Hermann, Vice-Chancellor of University College Copenhagen.
Phone: +45 26 13 73 97 ; E-mail:

Christian Mostrup Scheel, Senior Press Officer of Novo Nordisk Foundation.
Phone: +45 30 67 48 05 ; E-mail: