Identity and the University Community

Jacob Peter Ørum, Euprio Conference Poznan 2019 speaker

Jacob Peter Ørum - Denmark

Jacob Peter Ørum is CEO of Studenterhuset, the largest student organisation at the University of Copenhagen, and together with UCPH, coordinators of the UCPH Spring Festival. Jacob has almost 20 years of experience within strategy management in the volunteer sector and communication for nonprofits, among them the Red Cross and WeShelter, the largest Danish organisation for the homeless.

To create a brand, we need identity and community. How can we facilitate this process?

Full description
At the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), our internal brand encompasses a 539-year old university of 40,000 students and 9,000 staff, divided into five campuses and more than 150 subject areas. Throughout multiple campuses and hundreds of research and study areas, local identities are created and compete for the attention of staff and students. How can we sustain or reinvent a unified university identity?

We brand ourselves as an old university with honoured traditions, but we also realise that not many staff or students can point to a common identity, and that interaction between the four campuses is not optimal. Under the new "A Unified University" strategy initiative, we are now working to change this.

One activity is that students and staff now produce a yearly Spring Festival together. The festival is a day of celebration of the many activities and organisations that support a unified university, as well as being a semester-long process, bringing staff and students together in new ways while planning the event. With the festival process as one example, we will discuss how university identity is created and communicated.

The seminar will be a combination of presentation and group discussions, asking:

  • is the university population living the brand?
  • are local identities or brands competing with – or supplementing – a unified internal brand?
  • how can participation create great brand ambassadors?
  • how does this translate into the external branding of the university?