Winner of teaching award: Our students can do more than they think

Associate Professor Just Kjærgård Pedersen was nominated by both colleagues and students and will now compete with the winners from the seven other business academies for the national title for Undervisningsprisen 2022

27 January 2022

Just Kjærgård Pedersen(center) was surprised during a meeting with Head of Departement Susanne Rievers(left) and Program Director Sven-Eric Bertelsen(right). Photo: Line Louise Hansen.

- I am honoured, because there are other good candidates for the award than me. I am privileged to have a good team and some good students, which makes it easy for me and them to perform well, says associate professor Just Kjærgård Pedersen.

Since December 2021, students and staff at Cphbusiness have been able to nominate lecturers for the award, which is backed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. A local jury at Cphbusiness has now nominated a winner from among the nominees, and in the spring a national jury will choose one of the local winners from the Danish business academies to receive the national award.

Our students can do more than they think

The teaching award has been established to focus on the importance of good teaching, and precisely the quality of Just Kjærgård Pedersen's teaching is one of the reasons that he has received nominations from colleagues and students.

- My attitude is that our students can do more than they think. It's about setting them free, says the associate professor.

He highlights structure, facilitation and academic fellowship as some of the things that support a good learning experience and that students get by going to Cphbusiness rather than just acquiring knowledge through self-studying. To chart a course, but at the same time make room for the student to find his or her path. This process is especially successful when the students experience that they can provide useful feedback to each other.

- I focus on ensuring that the students are given tasks with a suitable degree of difficulty. Because if you do not pick up weights that are a little heavier than the ones you picked up last time, you will not get bigger muscles. This also applies to the brain muscle, says Just Kjærgård Pedersen, who is also not afraid of picking up intellectual weights.

Close ties to the industry

He is in the process of his fourth research project at Cphbusiness, has been elected Chairman of the external examiners for business and logistics at the national level and has become part of the jury for the Danish Chamber of Commerce's E-commerce award. He also helped launch the professional bachelor degree programme in e-commerce - a very rewarding task, he says.

- In this case, we've encountered a business organisation that has been very supportive of the study programme, says Just Kjærgård Pedersen regarding the e-commerce branch of the Danish Chamber of Commerce, which among other things has invited students from the professional bachelor program in e-commerce at Cphbusiness to the Børsen building to receive direct feedback from the organisation's experts and members on webshops that the students had built.

- It is definitely an encouragement when Niels Ralund (Director of the e-commerce branch of the Danish Chamber of Commerce) starts mentioning us saying that we do tireless work to provide good employees to the industry, he says.

Undervisningsprisen 2022 is awarded to a total of seven lecturers from the higher education sector, including one from the Danish business academies. The recipients will be announced in June 2022.

All quotes are translated from Danish.