Per Andersen: One of the things I’m going to do now is learn

Five years as vice-dean has not reduced Per Andersen’s interest in education. Looking ahead to his position as professor MSO at the Department of Law, the items on his agenda include teaching, pedagogical development and his own opportunity to learn. He starts by finishing yet another degree.

2021.02.16 | Ida Marie Wøhlk Vilbæk

Per Andersen

Photo: Aarhus BSS Communication and External Relations

After five years as vice-dean for education, Per Andersen returned to the Department of Law 1 February 2021 and took up a position as professor MSO. In this interview, he talks about himself and his plans for the future.

“Over time, it has become clear to me that the main force propelling me forwards is the opportunity to learn new things. But preferably in combination with the chance to make a difference - and have fun! This is why I am profoundly interested in the way other people perceive and conceptualise the world as well as the effect it has on their way of organising themselves and their environment. You can learn a lot from these things.

“Personally, I really like the type of learning you derive from study programmes. And it is not as if I march through life collecting diplomas. But education represents something special to me, and among other things I look forward to finishing the FMOL degree programme this spring.”

From vice-dean to professor MSO

“My fascination with learning and education as well as the opportunity for personal development were at the heart of the matter when I applied for the position as vice-dean for education five years ago. They are also part of the reason I choose a change of job now. You could say that I have extracted all the knowledge and learning I could from the job as vice-dean, and now the time has come for me to return to and develop further within my own subject.

“Though I must admit that the spring semester was looking a little simpler when I first discussed the matter with Thomas Pallesen back in December. At the time, I actually thought it would be a rather good time to pass on the baton seeing as we had established the necessary framework...”

The coronavirus rescue operation

“2020 called for a lot of joint solutions. The year with coronavirus has been one massive rescue operation, right from the first lockdown. I have seen both the teaching staff and administration carry a heavy load in order to make things work. It never ceases to amaze me that we have made it through as a faculty, but I wish we could have had more time to thoroughly consider different issues in the process.

“It is also a shame that all projects were put on hold, for example the project surrounding our graduates’ ability to intervene in a technological reality and digitally transform private and public companies. On the other hand, Edu IT has completely blown up!"

Teaching and educational radio silence

“When I stepped into the role as a lecturer in the autumn - having not taught for a couple of years - I felt positively enthusiastic. For this reason, it is definitely an active choice for me to return to my own subject area, where I can teach again as well as work on the use of Edu IT in my teaching.

“I strongly believe that digital tools can help students learn. If you provide 20 hours of instruction in a subject as a teacher, there is a lot to be gained by utilising the educational radio silence between weekly lectures and digitally activate the students.

"These past years, I have not had much time for publishing research either. I will have more time for that going forward.”

Roman law, legal history and the law in our world view

“I am not a great jurist, because I am not an expert in dogmatic issues, in rules. With the possible exception of educational law. But I am a great legal historian! What interests me is law as a social construct. By this, I am referring to the terms and ideas that have shaped our understanding of the law through history, but also how the ways of thinking and the conceptual framework surrounding the law have been utilised to influence our view of the world. Or misused.

“A colleague and I have discussed the possibility of offering a course in Roman law at some point. Roman law make up a large part of the foundation of modern property law. Just think about how lawyers are notorious for using Latin terms. This would provide law students with a good basis for further knowledge.”

A debt measured in house projects

“In addition to my academic interests, I really look forward to spending more time with my family. It is no secret that I have put in a lot of hours in my job as a vice-dean. I think I am indebted in relation to some house projects...

“I look forward to something as simple as sitting down and reading a textbook from cover to cover. This spring, I will also finish my degree in public management (FMOL) by writing my master’s thesis.”

"What will I miss the most about being a vice-dean?"

“I will miss all the great people I have worked with. It is a natural consequence of my change of job that my network of daily relations will become more restricted. I will probably have to adjust to this, and I think I will miss it even when I have settled in and look back."


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