The purpose of describing the guidelines for receiving and giving gifts is to ensure that employees at Aarhus University are familiar with the guidelines, in order to avoid doubts being raised regarding the unbiased work performance of individual employees/the university as a whole.


Acceptance of gifts and other benefits

As general rule, employees at Aarhus University must not accept gifts or other benefits from external parties.

This principle applies to both tangible (e.g. chocolates, books, wine) and intangible items, e.g. discounts, travel, courses and food/drink.

The deciding factor is whether gifts and benefits – regardless of their value and the giver’s motive – are offered to employees by virtue of their job at the university.

In the following situations, however, employees may accept small gifts:

  • low-value marks of attention from “regular business connections”, e.g. at Christmas and New Year
  • modest host gifts, e.g. in connection with work visits from/in other countries
  • small gratuities (e.g. a couple of bottles of wine) that can be regarded as a token of appreciation for a presentation or lecture
  • customary occasional gifts marking events of a personal nature, e.g. anniversaries and retirement

Cases of doubt should be submitted to AU HR.


Gifts from Aarhus University to external parties

Gifts given by the university to external parties are regulated by the central government according to the rules on funding allocation. These rules can be found in the Danish Ministry of Finance's Budget Guidelines (Budgetvejledning). Generally speaking, special appropriation-related authority must be obtained if the university wishes to donate items or funds to external parties.

The university or university employees may give modest host gifts, for example during visits abroad, when invited to an external partner’s anniversary or inaugural reception or in connection with other similar, work-related events, for example. The recipient’s name, address and company must be specified on the accounting voucher along with the occasion.


Gifts to colleagues and other internal parties

The university and university employees have no authority to spend university funds on occasional gifts for employees/colleagues to mark personal occasions such as birthdays, weddings or a new baby. The university does not give employees Christmas presents.



Employees who give a presentation or take part in a panel in a different academic area/administrative division than their own may be given a small token of appreciation, e.g. a bottle of wine, a book or a bouquet of flowers.

The university gives a gift to mark state-employment anniversaries.

A local manager or head can decide that the university should send a bouquet of flowers in the event of an employee’s serious illness or the like. The employee’s name and address must be specified on the accounting voucher along with the occasion.

In the event of an employee’s death, a bouquet of flowers is sent to the funeral.


Employee birthdays, including milestone birthdays, are private occasions and the university has no authority to spend money on marking birthdays. This applies to both gifts and receptions.