New administrative professor from Sweden at HAWK
Starting in March, Dr. Jonas Christensen will teach and conduct research at HAWK, commuting regularly between Malmö and Hildesheim
In the coming months, Dr. Jonas Christensen will probably be spending many of his nights on the ferry between Trelleborg and Rostock. After all, he wants to experience as many of his lectures and seminars as possible face-to-face with his students. Starting in the summer semester, the Swedish educational scientist will work as an administrative professor for education, teaching and social work at the HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen. Up to now, he has been teaching at Malmö University in Sweden in the field of social work with a focus on organization. For the next two semesters, he will now be dividing his time between the two universities.
Hildesheim is not an unknown city for the university lecturer. He came to HAWK for the first time back in 2014 for a conference and already worked as a lecturer at the university after that. „I already know my way around Hildesheim and HAWK quite well and also feel very comfortable there,“ he explains.
Christensen is originally from the Småland region in southern Sweden. He first studied economics and political science at Linnaeus University and trained as a high school teacher in the 1990s. After a few years in management consulting and adult education, he earned his doctorate in education at Lund University. For his doctoral thesis, he used research in Germany and Lithuania to develop a theoretical framework for understanding developments in education systems and social work. „I am very interested in educational issues in the social field,“ Christensen explains. „The role of knowledge acquisition at the individual, organizational and societal levels has had a significant influence on the approaches I use in my research.“ In a current research project, for example, Christensen is looking at knowledge acquisition at the community level in relation to people dealing with dementia patients.
Looking beyond his own national borders is something that can be seen consistently throughout his work in teaching and research. “Internationalization and this connection between the local and global levels – that’s part of me,” Christensen continues. After earning his doctorate, the scientist worked at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and went on to serve as a visiting professor at the University of North Dakota and the KSH München University of Applied Sciences. He now brings this international experience to Hildesheim and would also like his students to join him in thinking outside the box. “I see comparative thinking as an important competence in its own right,” Christensen goes on. “Building partnerships – that also means understanding the differences.” He believes there are great opportunities for international exchange, particularly in the field of education. “And I have the impression that, in the past few years, Sweden has become very interesting for Germans, also as far as social and family policy is concerned.”
Dean Prof. Dr. Corinna Ehlers is delighted that Dr. Jonas Christensen will enrich the faculty in teaching and research with projects and ideas in the coming semesters. As Christensen has been teaching in the Master’s program in Social Work in an international and intercultural context for many years, he already knows some of the colleagues and is familiar with the conditions and processes. The faculty is looking forward to the new opportunities that will arise as a result of the international cooperation.
Dr. Jonas Christensen will offer various courses at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level at the HAWK faculty of Social Work and Health, for example, on such topics as culture and diversity or family and social policy in Sweden and Germany. To do so, the administrative professor hopes to be spending a lot of time on that ferry between Trelleborg and Rostock. After all, international exchange works best in person, thinks Christensen, who likes to spend his free time on his motorcycle or taking ice-cold baths after a relaxing sauna. “I’m very much looking forward to getting to know the students and my colleagues personally.”