When the Danish University of IT (ITU) was founded in 1999 it was originally a branch of Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Four years later, ITU became an independent university.
In 2004 the university moved into a modern campus in Ørestad designed by Henning Larsen, and in 2007 the first bachelor's degree program started.
Throughout its 20 year existence, ITU has experienced sizable growth. Today approximately 900 students are enrolled annually in its undergraduate and master's programs. As a result, the university claims to be one of Denmark's largest suppliers of highly sought-after IT specialists.
An essential role
ITU plays an essential role in the Danish educational landscape, according to the current Rector of ITU Martin Zachariasen.
“The IT University has been given a special mission in society, namely to support the digitisation of Danish society. Our graduates and researchers are an important driver in creating good digital solutions for the benefit of both Danish companies and ordinary citizens,” Zachariasen says.
He went on to explain how the need for IT qualified people in Denmark is on an upward curve;
“[…] businesses and organisations are experiencing a significant shortage of IT qualified people, and demand will only increase in the future, where people and computers will work even closer together. The main task for ITU in the coming years will be to educate even more talented IT graduates so that we [ITU] are able to meet the demand of society,” says Zachariasen.
Focusing on the right skills?
Inside Scandinavian Business interviewed a number of students from ITU, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), and the University of Copenhagen (KU), and the overall consensus was that the ITU graduates are the least equipped to work with programming and data infrastructure, and have inferior industry-based knowledge.
The graduates are simply lacking an in-depth technical understanding, and this is being said by the students themselves.
The Rector disputes this, stating that “our most important task [for ITU] is to make the future IT specialists aware of the great responsibility they have when developing IT solutions”, perhaps overlooking the fact that a programmer or IT specialist must have an in-depth technical understanding to enable them to create the most stable and secure IT solutions.
Facts about ITU
Today ITU has 2500 students and well over 300 employees.
36% of students at ITU are women, 64% are men.
ITU offers 9 undergraduate and graduate programs - including software development, computer science, games, digital design and business IT.
Today DKK 300 million is ITU's annual budget in contrast to the budget of 2000 at DKK 60 million.
7400 people have completed an education at ITU.
Over 100 startups was founded at ITU.
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