Åbning af Internationalt Center

Offentliggjort tirsdag d. 1. februar 2011

It is a great pleasure for me to be present for the official inauguration of Aarhus University’s Dale T. Mortensen Building.

Internationalization and intercultural understanding is very important in a globalized world. Our ability to understand different cultures is often a prerequisite for success both in terms of doing business, advancing science, finding solutions to global challenges and for maintaining peaceful relations in a challenging world. Knowledge and insight significantly increases understanding and tolerance.

Insight into other cultures not only helps us understand the world around us. It is also an important frame of reference for understanding our own culture and history. Therefore, it is highly important to give Danish students the opportunity to experience the world both by encouraging them to take parts of their degree abroad and by bringing international students and research talent into Danish higher education institutions.

During my time as a student at Aarhus University I had the privilege of being an international student myself. My studies brought me both to Harvard University and to New York. These stays offered comprehension of academic and educational traditions other than our own, and increased my appreciation of the diversity of the world.

Thus international experiences and intercultural understanding provide us with valuable reference points in our personal and professional lives and open our horizon towards new opportunities. Each international experience contributes to shaping who we are.

I am particularly happy to participate today and oversee the official inauguration of the Dale T. Mortensen Building as the opening of this building clearly underlines this message.

The Dale T. Mortensen Building – housing the International Centre, PhD House and IC Dormitory – will further consolidate Aarhus University as an innovative and progressive international university. Attributing these completely refurbished premises to internationalization and talent development is visionary and a logical consequence of the strong focus on talent development and internationalization that Aarhus University is known for.

The very fact that the university is able to name the building after 2010 Nobel Laureate Dale T. Mortensen is testimony to the benefits of a strong focus on internationalization. The honor bestowed on Aarhus University and Northwestern University in the United States is a tangible result of international mobility and research collaboration across several time zones.

Dale’s Café, which we are in right now, will serve as a meeting place for talented, young researchers and students from all over the world. Here they can get together and interchange in the beautiful surroundings of the Erik A. Frandsen mosaic “Street View Group”, donated to Aarhus University by the Salling Memorial Fund.

Erik A. Frandsen is one of the very best contemporary Danish artists. He is fascinating, versatile and has achieved recognition in Denmark as well as abroad. The mosaic, which I am very honoured to unveil today, shows a scene from a US city, where a multiethnic group of people wait in the street for the 4th of July parade to pass by. The multicultural theme of this mosaic makes it an obvious choice for Dale’s Café.

With the unveiling of this Erik A. Frandsen mosaic “Street View Group”, I officially declare the Dale T. Mortensen Building open.

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