11 November 2016

Experienced researcher and leader to be the new Rector

New Rector

The Board of the University of Copenhagen has found the person to succeed Ralf Hemmingsen as leader of the university for the next five years. On 1 March 2017, the current Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, Henrik C. Wegener, will become Rector of the university. A total of 26 persons applied for the position.

Henrik C. Wegener

Henrik Wegener is an internationally recognised researcher within food safety, antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases. Photo: Mikal Schlosser.

The University of Copenhagen's new Rector knows about bacteria, infectious diseases - and about running a university.

Henrik Wegener has a PhD in microbiology from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, which merged with the University of Copenhagen in 2007. After his PhD degree he has, among other things, been Head of Research, Professor, Centre Director, Institute Director and, since 2011, Provost at the Technical University of Denmark in charge of research, research centres, collaboration agreements, international relations, etc. Henrik Wegener holds a Master of Public Administration and serves as one of the EU Commission’s top research advisers.

18 years of leadership experience

"We’ve had a strong and broad field of applicants. The Board has chosen Henrik Wegener because he has both the professional and personal competences required, and because he has created excellent results throughout his career, both as a researcher and in leadership roles. Altogether, he has 18 years of leadership experience at all levels. He has been in charge of large-scale change processes, and is recognised for working through dialogue and involvement of the entire organisation, and for achieving the goals of the initiatives he launches. The University of Copenhagen will get a leader who has good knowledge of the university, but who also has an outsider’s new and refreshing view of the tasks ahead. And then he understands how a university can impact framework conditions for research as well as the importance of protecting the integrity of the university," Nils Strandberg Pedersen says.

Henrik Wegener is an internationally recognised researcher within food safety, antibiotic resistance and bacterial zoonoses, i.e. bacteria transferred from animals to humans. As a researcher he has been working with applied research at four sector research institutions: The Danish Veterinary Serum Institute, the Danish Zoonosis Centre, Denmark’s National Veterinary Institute and the Danish Institute for Food and Veterinary Research, all of which are now merged with the Technical University of Denmark. For a number of years he served as national expert to the World Health Organisation, WHO.

As Provost at the Technical University of Denmark, he has had the overall responsibility for the university’s research activities.  In addition, he has extensive experience of collaboration with public and private sector players, nationally and internationally.

"The University of Copenhagen is the most important university in Denmark. The university must continue to address society's need for new knowledge and talented graduates. Quality of education and basic research at the highest international level should therefore still be top of the agenda. The university must be developed through a determined focus on high-level research, keen priorities, global recruitment of researchers as well as inspiring and demanding research-based teaching of an international standard. The same goes for the efforts to develop a professional and coherent administration in collaboration with staff and students. And then, of course, we will continue to focus on safeguarding the university's external interests, and not least maintain our independence," Henrik Wegener says.


Jasper Steen Winkel
Director of Communication
Phone: +45 28 75 42 62
Email: jsw@adm.ku.dk