The education centre in Haderslev is the VU Syd flagship. Its open, digital educational environment has attracted significantly more students and reduced the drop-out rate. It has shifted young people who had tired of school from a life of social security into the education system, giving them the courage and ability to embark on a programme of further education.
In fact, an impressive 200 per cent more young people go on to study at university, technical college or the like. That is the annual equivalent of more than 1,000 young people, and if just every third of them are helped from social security to employment, that will generate an estimated DKK 62 million a year in the Treasury. That means that in the space of just three years the educational centre will have paid for itself.
All this was made possible by meeting the young people on their own terms. The result is a new and unusual education centre, which challenges the common notion of a school constructed around fixed classrooms. Here there are no traditional classrooms. Instead, there are varying teaching zones that are united by a light, open and a totally digital learning environment.
The innovative learning environment of this education centre has aroused huge interest. The former Prime Minister, Helle Thorning Schmidt visited the education centre, and it received both Danish and international media coverage: from the Danish Broadcasting Corporation to the BBC. In Denmark alone, since its inauguration in 2013, it has been featured more than 1,600 times in the media. That makes it one of Denmark’s most highly publicised educational institutions – and the most highly publicised of the country’s total of 30 adult education centres.
By reconsidering the learning environment, the education centre has generated better academic motivation, greater well being and more active, participatory teaching.The Alexandra Institute / Conclusion to social survey of VUC Syd