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Here is the finished vision for the IOOS degree programmes

Honing of core expertise, reflection and more interdisciplinary collaboration are some of the benchmarks in the finished vision for the degree programmes under the Department of Odontology and Oral Health.

The Department of Odontology and Oral Health (IOOS) has a total of 10 basic and further education and training programmes. All are focused on the four general professional areas: Dentist, dental hygienist, dental technician and dental surgery assistant. The degree programmes have now been given a collective vision and a strategic basis to ensure that the degree programmes within the areas of health and diseases of the teeth, mouth and jaws match the reality that the graduates meet – also many years into the future.

The finished vision for the degree programmes at IOOS can be seen here.

Focused professional profiles and broad collaboration

"Our degree programmes have a lot in common and there are many natural overlaps, but in the future we must focus the core expertise in the individual degree programmes. The programmes also need to be better profiled in relation to one another," says Department Head Siri Beier Jensen from the Department of Odontology and Oral Health.

However, the focus on the profile of individual degree programmes does not equate to total educational apartheid at IOOS. On the contrary, the vision opens up for more interdisciplinary collaboration and greater knowledge of each other's core expertise and fields of work – also after graduation. The degree programmes must thus support the students in creating synergies, knowledge sharing, teamwork and optimal use of each other's competences

"By strengthening the interdisciplinary collaboration within the oral field, which covers the teeth, mouth and jaws, we can qualify our overall efforts in the best possible way with regard to oral health in general. But we must also develop collaboration with other healthcare and scientific areas and bodies. It’s important that we make clear the importance of oral health and disease for overall human health and medical conditions and quality of life," says Siri Beier Jensen.

Not enough with here-and-now-competences

The department’s degree programmes are vocational, meaning that there are clinical skills, procedures and a professional language that must be learned before the graduates begin working in the dental clinics. But with the rapid development of knowledge and technology, the vision also points towards the importance of the students having an even better ability to reflect.

"The demography is changing and digital and technological developments are moving fast. It is therefore utopian to believe that we can teach our students specific systems and mechanisms and make do with giving them here-and-now-competences. Instead, we need to develop our students so they become reflexive and give them academic analytical competences. They must also have meta-competences, understood as the ability to reflect on the learning process and how the learning of the principles in the individual course elements can be transferred to the learning of other course elements," says Charlotte Ringsted, vice-dean of education before continuing:

"In this way, the degree programmes also help to support students in thinking out of the box and in helping to create innovation and development within the field of oral prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Graduates like this are future-proof and worth their weight in gold."

The final vision for the IOOS degree programmes was adopted by the dean’s office in April 2017. The two boards of studies at IOOS must now assess whether the degree programmes in their present form live up to the strategic basis.


Vice-dean for Education Charlotte Ringsted
Aarhus University, Health
Mobile: (+45) 9350 8222
Email: charlotte.ringsted@au.dk