SDU's definition of the concept of 'study environment' is taken from the Danish Centre for Educational Environment (DCUM), which is comparable to the concept of 'Educational Environment' as it is used in the Danish ’Act on pupils and students' educational environment’ - commonly referred to as the Danish Educational Environment Act. According to the Act, the educational environment/study environment is defined by physical, mental and aesthetic conditions. In addition, SDU has chosen to incorporate virtual conditions and add social frameworks as part of the definition of the mental environment.
- The physical study environment incorporates physical frameworks such as, e.g. the suitability of teaching rooms in relation to teaching methods, the experience of the conditions in classrooms and the conditions in common areas such as toilets, canteens etc.
- The mental and social study environment incorporates conditions that affect the mental well-being of students, e.g. social and academic events and communities, study activity, well-being, loneliness etc.
- The aesthetic study environment incorporates conditions relating to the learning environment, e.g. the experience of the physical frameworks' design and decoration as being inspiring and conducive to teaching and student life.
- The aesthetic study environment incorporates conditions that support learning and the sharing of knowledge, e.g. accessibility of information from academic and social activities, opportunities for counselling, use of Blackboard, self-service etc.
Information on the SES at SDU
The University of Southern Denmark works systematically to improve the study environment for students by carrying out an evaluation and satisfaction measurement of conditions every two years, which we at SDU refer to as a ‘Study Environment Survey’. The survey is conducted for all full-time students at the university (which is required by law). Students have the option to complete the questionnaire in either Danish or English. A similar Study Environment Survey may be carried out for part-time students upon request from the university’s faculties. The Study Environment Survey is anchored in the general occupational health and safety committee at SDU and is organised by HR Service in collaboration with Student Services. The faculties are responsible for the preparation of action plans for all programmes at the respective faculty and for involving relevant bodies in determining which initiatives/improvements to implement.