”It creates a sense of educational community”

Two days of Circle U. exchange at Charité in Berlin provided nine members of the teaching staff from the Department of Biomedicine with both a new educational network, inspiration, a renewed joy in teaching, and a burgeoning foundation for further Circle U. collaborations within the Bachelor of Medicine programme.

Nine educators from the Department of Biomedicine had the opportunity to exchange inspiration, gain new knowledge, and build networks when they visited Charité in Berlin at the end of April. The visit was part of the Circle U alliance. Photo: Hanne Bjerregaard Møller

The mission was to be inspired to create "the best education in the medical bachelor's program" when Hanne Bjerregaard Møller, Vice Head of Education at the Department of Biomedicine, along with eight colleagues, boarded the train headed for Charité University Hospital in Berlin. The two days were dedicated to knowledge sharing and inspiration with German colleagues, as part of the European university alliance Circle U., where nine universities collaborate on research, innovation, and education. From the very beginning, the trip held great value, as Hanne Bjerregaard Møller explains:

"Those of us who went on the trip work on different  parts of the campus and may not necessarily interact with each other every day. The trip made it very clear how privileged we are to be in a workplace where people are so talented and dedicated. It also allowed us to discover the many exciting things our colleagues can do beyond research and teaching."

They visited Charité

  • Rikke Nielsen, course coordinator for Cell Biology (1st semester) and instructor for Functional Anatomy and Histology (2nd semester).
  • Sebastian Frische, instructor for Cell Biology (1st semester) and Functional Anatomy and Histology (2nd semester). 
  • Annemarie Brüel, instructor for Functional Anatomy and Histology (2nd semester).
  • Janne Lebeck, instructor for Functional Anatomy and Histology (2nd semester).
  • Hanne B. Møller, instructor for Functional Anatomy and Histology (2nd semester) and Deputy Head of Education at the Department of Biomedicine.
  • Christian B. Vægter, team leader and course coordinator for Molecular Principles of Cell and Organ Function (3rd semester).
  • Donna Briggs Bødtkjer, course coordinator for Integration of Cell and Organ Function (4th semester).
  • Thomas Vorup-Jensen, instructor for Immunology and Microbiology (5th semester).
  • Agnete Larsen, team leader and instructor for Pharmacology (6th semester).

Last year, The Faculty management Team also went for a Circle U. visit in Berlin. Read their takeaways from the trip here

At the Department of Biomedicine, there is a focus on promoting the mobility of teaching staff to establish networks and connections across borders. Therefore, the opportunity to visit Charité was in line with both the faculty's and the department's desire for more internationalization.

"We were a small delegation representing significant elements of the medical bachelor's program. It allowed us to come together around the medical bachelor's program and see what aspects other institutions prioritize within their individual courses," says Hanne Bjerregaard Møller.

A new perspective on the bachelor

Upon arriving in Berlin, the Danish delegation was warmly received by several educators from Charité, led by Dr. Pascal Grosse, Chairman of the Circle U. Global Health Knowledge Hub, as Hanne Bjerregaard Møller recounts:

"It was evident that they were well-prepared and also excited about the opportunity to inspire and learn from each other. We have, for example, two different curriculum structures, so it was interesting to compare our systems with those of the Charité educators. It inspired both us and the teaching staff from Charité."

About Circle U.

Circle U. is an alliance of nine European universities. The alliance collaborates to promote research, education, and innovation across the universities. The alliance was established in 2019 and currently consists of nine member universities.

  1. Aarhus Universitet
  2. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, including Charité
  3. King’s College London
  4. University of Belgrade
  5. UCLouvain
  6. University of Oslo
  7. Université Paris Cité
  8. University of Pisa
  9. University of Vienna

Read more about Aarhus University and Circle U. here
Read more about the Circle U. alliance here

In addition to being a university hospital, Charité, which was founded in 1710, also serves as a medical faculty and a medical education institution. he Danish delegation also got a taste of its historical significance.

"We had a whole-day meeting in a beautiful historical room at the Anatomical Institute, surrounded by old books, skeletons, and skulls. We also received an intriguing introduction to medical history and the medical campus."

When asked to pinpoint the most rewarding aspect of the trip, Hanne Bjerregaard Møller has no doubts.

"It has been extremely enjoyable to discuss teaching with colleagues, both as a group and when dividing ourselves into professional fields. We were all inspired and captivated by the enthusiasm surrounding teaching and the conversations about how we can excel in it."

MatchPoints paved the way for reciprocal visits

The recently concluded MatchPoints conference on global health provided an excellent opportunity to host some of the German colleagues from Charité.

The day before the conference commenced, Pascal Grosse and two Vice Deans for Education from Health paid a visit, which was spent on further knowledge sharing and shared inspiration. "Hopefully, this is just the first of many visits," says Hanne Bjerregaard Møller, concluding:

"There is a clear desire from both parties to maintain contact. We don't have any concrete plans yet, but we are working, among other things, within smaller professional groups on how we can continue the collaboration. It could involve student exchanges at the bachelor's level or guest lectures at each other's institutions


Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of Education Hanne Bjerregaard Møller
Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine 
Phone: +45 51 22 82 44
Mail: hbmo@biomed.au.dk