It is no longer just European and American scientists who are handling petri dishes and microscopes in the Danish research laboratories. Chinese scientists, it seems, have developed a soft spot for the Danish universities. At the University of Aarhus and at the Technical University of Denmark, one out of ten foreign scientists is Chinese. At the Technical University of Denmark, 151 of the 1500 scientists and Ph.D. students are Chinese.
”They come here because we are often cited in international scientific articles. After some time many open their eyes to the advantages of the democratic Danish management structure and the work environment,” said Dean of the Technical University of Denmark, Martin Bendsøe.
“At the University of Copenhagen the 91 Chinese are the third largest group of foreign Scientists, only surpassed by Germans and Americans.
”The Chinese scientists are very skilled in their field and in some areas the Chinese are outrunning Europe at the moment. Our experience is that despite the cultural differences, the Chinese adjust well here,” said Chief Consultant, Vivian Tos Lindgaard from the University of Copenhagen’s special International Staff Mobility Center.
China is currently increasing their research budgets significantly and according to Vivian Tos Lind-gaard that could mean that the Danish universities will have better options of applying for research funds.
Among the scientific personal at the University of Aarhus 98 of the 783 foreign employees are Chinese. Flemming Besenbacher who is a professor in nanosciences at the university and chairman of the Carlsberg Fund emphasizes that Denmark in this way has access to some of the brightest minds of science. He believes that the Danes and Chinese have a lot to learn from each other.
”Danes are better to combine different fields, like nano technology, which combines physics, chemistry and biology, while the Chinese work more isolated. For a typical Chinese student it is the chance of a lifetime to be accepted into a university. The Danes could learn from that attitude. Our experience is that when the Danish students are put together with the Chinese, they are inspired by the discipline and try harder to deliver.”