Ana Valdmann is the new director of the UT Youth Academy
Today, 26 February, the Senate of the University of Tartu elected Ana Valdmann, Research Fellow of Science Education of the Centre of Natural Science Education of the Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, as the new director of the University of Tartu Youth Academy.
Ana Valdmann has extensive experience in preparing talented students for subject Olympiads and competitions. She has taught in basic school, upper secondary school and higher education and can therefore see the activities of the Youth Academy with the eyes of a teacher. Thanks to her experience as a teacher and educationalist, Valdmann has a good overview of the Estonian education system. She has cooperated with the Youth Academy at various levels and her vision of the development paths of the Youth Academy is comprehensive and versatile.
“The main task of the Youth Academy is to offer science and technology-based extracurricular education to students of general education schools and to support talented young people by providing them with opportunities for advanced studies and personal fulfilment,” said Valdmann. “I also consider it very important for the Youth Academy to help teachers to diversify their teaching and identify and support talented students. Having worked as a teacher myself for a long time, I have seen how complicated it is. This is where the Youth Academy can offer valuable assistance,” she added. Valdmann also attaches great importance to the role of the Youth Academy in popularising research and the researcher’s profession and in shaping the career awareness of young people. She also emphasises the importance of international cooperation.
Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu Aune Valk, who chaired the candidate assessment committee and is a member of the council of the Youth Academy, highlighted Valdmann’s long-term experience as a teacher. “I believe that Ana Valdmann fully understands the difficulties of teachers in recognising and supporting talented young people. Thanks to this experience, the Youth Academy can provide better assistance to schools and involve teachers in its work, which in turn helps the Youth Academy fulfil its mission in a much broader way,” added Valk.
Ana Valdmann graduated from the University of Tartu in 1987 with a diploma in biology, received her master’s degree in school leadership in 2005 and a doctoral degree in natural science education in 2018.
Valdmann is a founding member of the Estonian Biology Teachers Association and the Network of Estonian Teachers' Associations and has been a board member of both organisations. She has organised summer seminars, winter conferences and in-service training for biology teachers. She has been awarded the title of Teacher of the Year and received the letter of appreciation from the Youth Academy.
In February, Riin Tamm, the previous director of the Youth Academy, started as the Head of Department of Youth and Talent Policy of the Ministry of Education and Research. The Director of the University of Tartu Youth Academy is elected by the senate in a public recruitment procedure for a term of five years
Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu, member of the council of the Youth Academy and chair of the assessment committee, 526 7930, aune.valk [ät] ut.ee
Ana Valdmann, Research Fellow of Science Education of the Centre of Natural Science Education of the University of Tartu Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, the new director of the Youth Academy, ana.valdmann [ät] ut.ee