The majority of students at Cphbusiness Lyngby find it difficult to see themselves spending more of their time in Lyngby. According to the director of education at the business academy, a new ‘innovation district’ could keep these talented graduates around and create a framework for cooperation across local companies and the educational institution
At Nørgaardsvej in the centre of Lyngby, around 1,500 students dream of starting their own business or finding a job where they can work within technology or innovation. This means that Cphbusiness Lyngby is equipping students with many of the competencies the society demands for the future – both in the labour market and as human beings.
Since 2012, students have spent their time at Cphbusiness Lyngby, one of the departments at the country’s largest business academy, Copenhagen Business Academy (Cphbusiness). However, it is far from all of the companies and citizens of Lyngby- Taarbæk who have heard of the business academy. And it’s a shame. In addition to providing the companies with experts when students have completed their studies, all students spend three to six months as interns at a company during their studies.
“The educational paths we offer correlate nicely with the business landscape in Lyngby-Taarbæk, which is characterised by knowledge-based businesses and healthy trading life. So, the competencies our students have are in great demand among those companies. It will, therefore, be a big win for all parties if we can forge a closer bond because our students are a gift to the local companies,” says Michael Huss Svejstrup, the director of education at Cphbusiness Lyngby. Cphbusiness’s evaluations show that over 90 per cent of the companies that have students in an internship are very satisfied with the students and the internship program. Svejstrup explains:
“Our students want to use their knowledge in the real world. They are ambitious, and they want to get out and test their skills. Our evaluations clearly show that the host companies are delighted with the way our students take on new assignments and find solutions. So, I think we can vouch for our slogan; “Education you can put to use”.
Does not connect with Lyngby
Lyngby-Taarbæk is a municipality in rapid development. Moreover, it has been for several years. However, something is missing. According to Michael Huss Svejstrup, there is still a ways to go if it is to be a true ‘student city’. In particular, there is a lack of an urban social space where students want to stay. And it is a great challenge if we’d like to continue to attract talented students. According to Svejstrup the vast majority of the students in Lyngby-Taarbæk does not identify with the city.
“They view the city as a place to study and not much more. There is a need for more spaces for communal activities both outdoors and indoors, and there is a have to connect Firskovvej to the rest of the city. There are some physical barriers to moving around. You don’t need to travel far from Lyngby Hovedgade before it feels like an unnatural place for a student.” If Cphbusiness Lyngby wants to be able to attract new students, the local community must also reflect this desire. According to Svejstrup, it should give young people a good idea of what they can do in Lyngby in their free time and after graduation. According to him, this is not the case today.
Collaboration is key
“But it’s not just ‘other people’s responsibility,” Svejstrup says. The business academy also strives to take responsibility for making Lyngby an attractive city to study. The principal of the business academy Cphbusiness Ole Gram-Olesen has joined the board of Lyngby-Taarbæk City of Knowledge, which is actively engaged in the development of Lyngby-Taarbæk. An important area of action for Lyngby- Taarbæk City of Knowledge, is to develop an innovation district that relies on the idea behind a so-called ‘Triple helix ‘-collaboration. In other words, it means uniting the strong forces that are already in Lyngby across companies, the public sector, and educational institutions.
“I want to work to ensure that together in the City of Knowledge we relate to each other and can share physical locations across companies and institutions so that we do not have to invest in it all separately. For example, we could use a centre for entrepreneurs where companies and educational institutions can work together on creating a framework for creative collaboration. You could create new products, services, and solutions – even for the public sector – that never see the light of day when we geek out in separate spaces,” Svejstrup says and continues:
“It will create new networks and give our students the desire to hang out a little longer, and it will also have a side effect on trade and café-life because Lyngby will suddenly become a place that a young student will associate with beyond just their classes.”