Multilingualism at Work: Language Interactions at the University

On Thursday 3 October 2013, CIP hosted its sixth annual symposium. Titled “Multilingualism at Work: Language Interactions at the University”, the Symposium focused on central issues related to the use of teaching and working languages at multilingual universities and other institutions of higher education. The Symposium was well-attended with more than 130 representatives from both Danish and international universities and organisations. 

In the following, you can read the programme and download abstracts and PPT presentations and video recordings from each of the presentations. 


09:00-09:30 Registration and coffee


Anne Holmen, Director of CIP


Memories of a Dinosaur: Language and Internationalization at a Danish University from 1974 to 2013

Hartmut Haberland, Roskilde University



New Times, Researcher Mobility and Multilingual Research Practice: Opportunities, Innovation and Constraints
Marylin Martin Jones, University of Birmingham




‘To learn, or not to learn Danish: that is the question’ – International Researchers’ Linguistic Practices and Dilemmas at the University of Copenhagen as a Workplace

Merike Jürna, CIP, University of Copenhagen (in Danish)


Management Policy and Employee Practice at the International University
Hanne Tange, Aalborg University


Market place outside the lecture hall (coffee and tea)

This year’s CIP Symposium introduced a new concept. During the marketplace session the participants had the chance to visit four different stands, each presenting a relevant theme on language and internationalisation related initiatives at the University of Copenhagen. 

  • Senior Consultant Vivian Tos Lindgaard from International Staff Mobility at the University of Copenhagen gave a presentation on initiatives aimed at international staff at UCPH. One of the latest initiatives is the establishment of the so called International House that serves both as a hotel for international researcher as well as a rallying ground for international staff at UCPH.
  • Carl Hagman from the Central Communication Unit gave a presentation on the use of English as an administrative language at UCPH. The language used for administrative tasks holds a challenges that is different from the challenges related to the language used for research and teaching. None the less it is a challenge that is not to be over looked.
  • Associate Professor Jacob Thøgersen from INSS represented the Nordic network ”Netværk for parallelsproglige mål på Nordens internationaliserede universiteter”. The initiative is supported by a number of Nordic universities as well as Nordplus. Over the course of the last two years, the network has been working towards defining common goals and challenges in relation to parallel language use at the Nordic universities.
  • Research Assitant at CIP Karen-Margrete Fredriksen told about the ”Intro-dansk” courses at UCPH that CIP have developed and run in 2013. Newly arrived international staff members at UCPH are entitled to an introductory Danish language course to give them a basic introduction to the Danish language as well as support their integration into the Danish job market. The ”Intro-dansk” program consists of 250 lessons distributed over 5 modules of 50 lessons each.

Multilingual Workplace: Implications and Recommendations

Panel discussion with guest speakers from different departments across the University of Copenhagen

  • Katja Thorseth
    Head of Administration at the Department of Mathematical Sciences
    Hent PPT-præsentation

  • Maja Horst
    Head of Department at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication
    Hent PPT-præsentation

  • Christina Holbøll
    Department Administrator at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the Department of Sociology
    Hent PPT-præsentation

Watch the video recording of the entire panel discussion 
(in English)

Based on their own practical experience the panel discussed some of the issues related to a multilingual workplace. This debate served as a great supplement to the presentations of the symposium as it provided a more practical angle on some of the issues that had already been brought up over the course of the day. As with the preceding presentations the there was a great level of interest and engagement from the symposium participants present in the lecture hall.


Closing remarks

Anne Holmen, Director of CIP