Latest announcements to students

Information to all students 23 September 2020

Dear students,

The COVID-19 infections rate is going up in Aarhus, and this is also true at Aarhus University. Unfortunately, it has been necessary to send a number of classes home due to COVID-19 infection among students.

When students come to campus to participate in classes, we’ve seen that in general, you behave responsibly and adhere to the guidelines. You’re doing a good job of maintaining social distancing and using hand sanitiser. This is crucial, and it’s the right thing to do. And we appreciate it.

But at the same time, it’s unfortunately the case that several of the current COVID-19 cases can be traced back to private parties and other private social events. We are writing to you now to remind you that whether or not you can continue to come to class on campus also depends on what you do when you go home from class.

So we’re appealing to all of you to behave just as responsibly in your free time as you do in the classroom. We know that you have all made quite a lot of sacrifices already – for example, we’ve had to forbid all social events on campus again through 4 October. But if we are to avoid cancelling all in-person teaching activities on campus, we have to get the infection rate under control. And we can only do this if everyone makes an effort.

Take good care of yourselves, each other and your loved ones.

 

Sincerely,

 

The Rector’s Office at Aarhus University,

Brian Bech Nielsen, Berit Eika and Arnold Boon

Information to all students and staff 18 September 2020

 

Dear students and employees,

The government has just introduced a number of new restrictions and recommendations that will also affect the universities. They will remain in force until 4 October.

New guidelines for students and employees outside the Copenhagen area

As a rule, in-person classes will continue as planned. In other words, the university will not shut down during this period. However, we must work from home to the extent that this is possible and reasonable given the nature of the work. Research activities and administrative support functions may still be performed on campus if physical attendance is important for the performance of the work in question. If you have doubts, we encourage you to discuss your situation with your immediate supervisor so that you can decide on the appropriate course of action together.

 New guidelines for students and employees in the Copenhagen area

The restrictions for the Copenhagen area announced on September 7 and 15 have been extended until 4 October. This means that on-site classes will proceed as planned. Employees must continue to work from home as far as possible. You are welcome to contact your immediate supervisor if you need to discuss your situation.

For all employees and students

Work-related meetings and events may be held in person if they are sufficiently important and can be held in accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines. If you have questions, please contact your immediate supervisor. If you decide to hold a meeting or event in person, you are still naturally required to be particularly careful to adhere to the current healthcare guidelines and recommendations. Please also note that the maximum size of gatherings has been reduced from 100 to 50 people.

On the other hand, all social events, both for employees and students at the entire university, must be cancelled, for the time being until 4 October.

We very much hope that by making a rapid, effective and joint effort, we will be able to avoid the need to introduce additional measures. However, we will be monitoring the situation closely, and will keep you informed of any developments.

We recommend that you check the university’s coronavirus site regularly for up-to-date information on the situation.

 

Kind regards,

 

Rector’s Office

Berit, Arnold and Brian

Information to all students, 20 August 2020

Dear students

Orientation week at Aarhus University starts on 24 August – and this applies to university’s locations in Aarhus as well. The scheduled on-site teaching activities and intro programmes will proceed as planned, in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Danish Patient Safety Authority, issued 19 August.

On all of Aarhus University’s campuses, all activities must take place in accordance with the guidelines from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The most important of these are:

  • Making sure that everyone adheres to the social distancing guidelines
  • Making sure that hand sanitiser, hand washing facilities, etc. are available.
  • Limiting the number of people present in the same room at the same time as much as possible (for example, by dividing up classes).
  • Thorough cleaning.

You will receive more information from your degree programme about how orientation week and your classes will take place. This will include when you are to come to classes on campus, what will take place online and whether there are any special circumstances you should be aware of when you arrive and spend time on campus.

A shared responsibility

When we come to campus, we all need to be very careful to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene, as well as contact surfaces like door handles. So far, the general tendency seems to be that we’re all really good at adhering to the guidelines in the classroom – but that it’s more difficult during breaks. Remember to practice social distancing. We all have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and each other – and we have to help each other do the right thing. This is a shared responsibility. 

We have asked for your patience and understanding a number of times already in connection with the pandemic. And we are doing so again. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis will not be over any time soon – and is lasting longer than most of us could have imagined. This is why it’s still important that we as a community all do our part to get through this challenging time as painlessly and sensibly as we can. To do this, we have to adhere to the guidelines the authorities have announced.

You can always find the latest guidelines on the au.dk/corona website. Both from the authorities and from AU. 

This may not be the last time we have to deal with a partial, local shutdown of activities in response to an increase in COVID-19 infections. Only time can tell. But for now, we need to focus on doing our best to stop the spread of infection wherever we are, so that you students can come to campus for as many of your classes as possible.

If you are a new student, you will be contacted by your degree programme with information about the orientation week programme. If you are a returning student, you’ll find up-to-date information on your study portal.

We would like to welcome you all to a new semester at AU, despite the circumstances.

Sincerely,

The senior management team

 

Information sent to students and staff 7 August 2020

Dear students and employees – in particular everyone in Aarhus

Effective immediately, the government has just strongly recommended that a variety of measures be implemented in the City of Aarhus to curb the spread of the coronavirus. These measures will remain in force for the next fourteen days. The current outbreak in Aarhus is the most severe since the coronavirus appeared in Denmark early this year. So it’s extremely important that all of us take the situation seriously.  

Unfortunately, these measures will have deeply regrettable consequences for Aarhus University – both for students and employees who study and work on campus in Aarhus.

Orientation week activities

As strongly recommended by the government, Aarhus University has decided not to hold orientation week activities of any kind for new students in Aarhus – for the time being, up to and including 23 August. In the coming period, we will be considering how orientation week activities can be held at a later time. The students affected will be notified directly. 

Exams

During this period, reading rooms and libraries may only be used by students who have exams in August. There will be increased focus on the heath authorities’ guidelines on distancing and hygiene for users of these facilities.

Work from home as much as possible

To the greatest possible extent, the university’s employees in Aarhus must work from home up to and including 23 August. Employees may come to campus to pick up equipment and materials if needed. Immediate supervisors are responsible for deciding the extent to which the employees are to work from home during this period. Employees will hear from their immediate supervisor as soon as possible. Once again, we must ask for your understanding and patience. Line managers need time to consider the situation. 

No events for the next fourteen days

As a general rule, no events that require physical presence at the university’s locations in the City of Aarhus can be held. At the present time, this applies up to and including 23 August. In certain circumstances, your immediate supervisor may grant permission for a planned event to be held. In such cases, the event must be held with increased attention to the heath authorities’ guidelines on distancing and hygiene. 

We deeply regret that it is once again necessary to impose limitations on our activities. But in light of the current rate of infection in Aarhus, we have a responsibility to follow the authorities’ recommendations.

We hope that a quick, effective intervention will contribute to curbing the spread of the infection, so that we can return to the university without limitations, and once again fill Campus Aarhus with life.

Check the university’s coronavirus site, which will be updated to reflect the latest developments, for up-to-date information on the situation.

Best wishes,

The senior management team

Information to all students, 19 June 2020

 

We have just received good news from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science: We can give students access to "study rooms, group rooms, libraries and similar facilities over the summer". For further information, see the Ministry of Higher Education and Science homepage (only in Danish).

We will now begin to determine how we can open in accordance with the authorities' guidelines. This will make it possible for you students to return to Aarhus University safely if you need to do so in the course of the summer.

Students will be notified by mail as soon as we know when we'll be ready to begin this phase in reopening the university.

Information to all students and staff, 21 May 2020

 

The new political agreement reached on 20 May on the next phase of the reopening of Danish society will have a big impact on working conditions for Aarhus University staff. Under this agreement, it will now be possible for many of the university’s researchers and technical/administrative employees to return to work in the university’s buildings.

Employees who work at the university’s locations in Jutland and on Funen will have access to their workplace at the university. For the Capital Region of Denmark and Region Zealand, the parties to the agreement have limited this additional reopening to public sector research that requires physical attendance. As a rule, this applies to all researchers and the technical personnel who are needed for research to be carried out.

To reopen in a responsible way, we must comply with the guidelines laid down by the authorities, which will involve a number of restrictions. For example, in relation to how many employees may be at work at the same time and physical distancing, just as it will be necessary to exercise particular caution in relation to contact points like meeting rooms, lunch rooms, coffee machines and restrooms. Compliance will require very detailed planning at the local level, building by building, and this process will begin as quickly as possible. When it has been concluded, details on this phase of the reopening will be organised will also be announced at the local level. In other words, you will be informed by your management about when your place of work will be ready for you to return, and under what conditions.

This additional reopening of the university is a major step towards resuming our normal daily lives, which is extremely positive. Naturally, the reopening must take place in a responsible way, in compliance with the healthcare authorities’ instructions, out of consideration for the individual employee and society.

If you have questions, you are always welcome to contact your immediate supervisor. However, we encourage you to wait a few days, because there is a lot of complex planning to be done, and this will take some time.

Access to campus for students is still limited    

But while daily life will return to something resembling normality for many employees under the agreement, on the other hand, advanced degree programmes will not fully reopen until phase 4 of the reopening in August. Unfortunately, what this means is that we can only give students access to AU’s campuses if they are involved in the selected exam and teaching activities that require physical attendance.

The agreement also states that “advanced degree programmes may conduct oral exams as well as teaching activities that require physical attendance”. This will only apply to a few selected exams. As part of phase 2, the university is already conducting exam and teaching activities on campus. This is taking place in full compliance with the healthcare guidance from the authorities.

We are well aware that many students have a keen desire to come back to campus. We share their desire to return to normal academic life, and we are very much looking forward to being reunited with our students on our campuses.

The Rector’s Office

Information to all students and staff from the senior management, 8 May 2020

Dear students and staff,

On 7 May, a political agreement was made regarding phase 2 of a controlled reopening of Danish society.

With effect from 18 May, it will be possible for universities to expand the partial reopening to include teaching and exams which require physical attendance. This will mean that an agreed number of students and academic staff can access the universities.

In the coming week, the ministry and Universities Denmark will clarify and determine the specific details, guidelines etc in relation to the partial reopening. The opening will take place in a controlled way in accordance with the health authorities’ guidelines.

In addition, the political agreement on the plan for reopening states that the following initiatives may be a possibility in phase 3 with effect from 8 June:

  • Full opening of public research activities that require physical attendance 
  • Increased level of physical attendance at public workplaces

From August, there are plans for a full opening of all degree programmes.

The reopening initiatives above require that the epidemic is kept at a controlled level.

At AU, we are working hard to clarify what phase 2 specifically means for us. We expect to be able to give you more detailed information at the end of next week. 

We are, of course, pleased to see that we as a society are moving in the right direction. However, there is still a long way to go before we are back to normal at the universities.

In the management team, we are fully aware of this and we ask for your patience.

Again, we would like to express our appreciation for your exemplary efforts and willingness to make things work in this extraordinary situation.

 

Kind regards,

The senior management team

Information sent to all students 7 April 2020

Dear students,

As the prime minister announced on Monday 6 April, the universities will not be part of the first wave of the reopening of Danish society. The physical shutdown of the university has been extended until 10 May.

This new date brings us even closer to the exam period. We would have liked to give as many of you as possible the opportunity to take the type of examination you have been preparing for. This was what we wrote to you on Friday. But this is not compatible with the prime minister’s most recent announcement.

For this reason, we have decided to convert this semester’s exams to digital exams wherever possible. You will receive more information from your degree programme about what this will mean in relation to your upcoming exams.

In other words, we will work hard to offer as many exams as possible digitally in order to ensure that you can complete the semester as planned. Unfortunately, there will be a very few exams which we will have to postpone because they require physical attendance. We are aware that this will have regrettable consequences for some of you. But we will do everything in our power to help you avoid problems in relation to the active enrolment requirement or maximum degree completion time due to COVID-19.

If it becomes possible to open the university physically later this semester, your boards of studies will have the option of administering your exams in the original form in cases in which there are strong arguments in favour of doing so. If this affects any of your exams, you will be notified at least three weeks in advance.

It is no easy task for your teachers and boards of studies to reorganise exams to this extent, but they will start planning immediately after Easter. You will be informed directly when the plan is ready.

Despite this situation, which can be challenging for all of us, I hope that you will have a relaxed and pleasant Easter holiday. 

On behalf of the senior management team,

Berit Eika

Information to all students from the Prorector 3 April 2020

Dear students,

Despite the difficult situation we are in, we know that you are all working hard at your studies remotely. I’d like to thank you for your great flexibility, understanding and perseverance in an unusual and unpredictable situation.

This week, the prime minister expressed cautious optimism about the possibility of beginning to gradually reopen the country after Easter. The Ministry of Higher Education and Science has also granted the universities permission to conduct the rest of the semester online. And many of you have started asking for answers about how the rest of the semester will be organised. This is very understandable.

At Aarhus University, we hope to be able to give you all the opportunity to take the exams you have prepared for. For this reason, we have decided to wait and see until 1 May.

At the same time, of course, we need to prepare for how we will tackle a partial resumption of normal activities. Conditions at the different degree programmes vary considerably, and so the university has asked the board of studies for each degree programme to make a plan for the following, as quickly as possible:

  • which exams the board of studies places the highest priority on administering as originally planned
  • which exams should be administered in an alternative form, either now or after 1 May
  • which exams the university will have to postpone.

Exams that are difficult to administer digitally will have high priority. For example, exams with a clinical, experimental or practical element, as well as oral exams with many examinees.

We understand that you may be feeling a need for certainty about how your exams will take place. And we are working hard throughout the organisation to inform you as well in advance as possible of any changes in how your exams will be administered. You will receive a direct mail from the studies administration office at your faculty about changes in your exams.

Although we will do everything we possibly can to help you through the semester without delays in your studies, we are in an extraordinary situation. And we all feel that. Right now, a lot of people are forced to live with a good deal of uncertainty and to make the best of Plan B. Much of society is running on emergency solutions. This also goes for the university.

Your teachers will continue to be your key points of contact in relation to the academic questions that come up. But your student counsellors are also making a huge contribution, and they are there to support and guide you in relation to your studies.

I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is for you to support and help each other – student and teachers, and student to student. If we look at the big picture, this difficult time will be brief, and hopefully we’ll be back on campus again soon, where meeting face-to-face is the backbone of a good academic environment – all good digital solutions aside.

I hope you have a great Easter break.

Sincerely,

Berit Eika

On behalf of the senior management team

Information to all students from the Prorector 24 March 2020

Dear students at Aarhus University,

I hope you are doing well. This is a difficult situation for all of us, and on behalf of the university senior management team I want you to know that we sincerely appreciate the way you are handling it.

Please remember to take care of yourselves, and look out for each other. Stay in touch with your fellow students via online platforms – in particular our international students who are separated from their families. Consider giving them a call or reach out on social media – as many of you are already doing - for example via #yourniversity on Instagram. For those of you living in dorms it is particularly important to support and respect each other. Living in close quarters can be challenging under these circumstances, so please be mindful and help each other keep the common areas clean.

Yesterday, Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, extended the current shutdown to be in effect through 13 April. Hence, Aarhus University will remain physically closed until further notice. Even though many days have gone by already, we have to remain patient and vigilant and act according to the advice of the Danish health authorities: Stay at home as much as possible, meet up with your classmates online instead of in person, keep distance, and refrain from attending large social gatherings. By following these guidelines, we are slowing the spread of the virus and helping our health system to cope with the pressure.

At AU, we are still working hard to deliver educational activities, including exams, online. We are also trying our best to address your questions and concerns about exams, internships, and all the other things that have been affected by the corona virus outbreak. Please check the FAQ, which we are updating on a regular basis – and keep in mind that our student counsellors are online every weekday from 8am to 4pm: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/corona/faq-and-chat-for-students/

If you need to talk to someone, remember that university chaplain is available via phone, and the lovely volunteers at AU Helpline are ready to chat as well.

Best wishes,

Prorector at Aarhus University, Berit Eika

Video greeting from the rector Brian Bech Nielsen, 18 March

Video greeting from the rector Brian Bech Nielsen, 13 March

Information to students from the university director 12 March, 5.30 pm

Dear students,

As you know, no classes or other activities are taking place in AU’s buildings for the time being. You can use your key card to access buildings on AU’s campuses until Friday at 2 pm/14:00 if you have a pressing need to pick up a laptop, books or other important materials. In other words, you are only allowed to enter AU’s buildings for the short amount of time it takes you to get your things.

The libraries at AU are closed. The staff have been sent home. If you have materials you need in lockers, study spaces and so on, contact the libraries via this link

This is an extraordinary situation, and we know that you have a lot of questions, but again, we ask you to be patient. We are in the process of setting up a hotline and a FAQ. And we are also working as fast as we can to set up distance learning. You’ll hear more about this as soon as everything is in place.

As you also may know, AU’s VPN network was overloaded today. We apologise if this caused you problems. We are doing everything we can to get the VPN network up and running for you students again.

Yours sincerely,

Arnold Boon, university director

Information from the senior management to students 11 March at 11:00 pm

Please stay at home tomorrow, Thursday March 12, 2020. We will identify adequate solutions as soon as possible

Dear Student at Aarhus University,

The Danish Government has just initiated new measures in order to limit the spread of the corona virus. Aarhus University closely follows the authority’s recommendations.

Consequently, Aarhus University temporarily discontinues all educational activities on the three campus in Herning, Emdrup and Aarhus from Thursday morning March 12, 2020. The university campuses will remain closed for students until March 27, 2020.

We are facing an extraordinary and difficult situation where we all need to demonstrate civility. The university is working determinedly to prepare digital solutions in order to offer distance learning online. We are in the process of testing the technology. We expect to be ready in the beginning of next week in order to ensure your learning. The university has not applied the technology before on such a large scale. Therefore, we ask for your patience.

Please keep yourself informed on your Aarhus University e-mail account. Information will also be available at the university webpage regarding the handling of the corona virus.

Best regards,

The Senior Management

Information from senior management to students, 11 March 12.30 pm

Dear Aarhus University student,

As I’m sure you’re aware, the coronavirus outbreak in Denmark right now is a serious situation. As an educational and state institution, we have a special responsibility to do our part to limit the spread of the virus, which is the government's very clear focus right now. 

To live up to our responsibility, we have decided to introduce a number of measures you can read about below.

If you have any symptoms that could mean you have the coronavirus,you must immediately contact your own doctor by phone and follow his or her instructions. If you have had or are in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, you must also contact your own doctor by telephone and follow his or her instructions.  

As a university, it is crucial that we carry on performing our core activities to the greatest extent possible in relation to society, education, research and public sector consultancy.

Until further notice, the university’s planned teaching activities will continue, with regard to both classes and exams. However, there is one exception: medical Master’s degree students must not participate in physical lectures and classroom instruction. For the time being, this will apply for the month of March. Read more here

We strongly encourage you to comply with the authorities’ advice on how to prevent infection – (read more on the government’s official coronavirus website – in English).

We will keep libraries, study spaces and cafeterias open for the time being. We are doing so to ensure that you have access to study spaces. However, here as well we strongly emphasise that you must show consideration for others when you use these facilities, for example by maintaining social distance and washing or disinfecting your hands when entering and leaving the room. This is how we can all do our part to limit the spread of the virus – read more on the government’s official coronavirus website in English.

Digital teaching platforms

We are preparing for the scenario that we may not be be able to continue conducting teaching as usual, and are in the process of setting up digital teaching solutions that will make remote teaching possible. We expect to be able to introduce remote teaching for the majority of teaching activities in a very short time in the event that this becomes necessary. Naturally, we will keep you informed about these developments.

Events, including Friday bars

Effective immediately and until further notice, Aarhus University will only hold events like conferences and seminars if they are critical to the core activities education, research and consultancy.

This means that it will not be possible to hold social gatherings such as Friday bars until further notice. This also applies to events with fewer than 100 guests. We are doing this to help limit the spread of the virus in society.

Study trips

Teaching staff and students should cancel any study trips for the time being.

Transportation to and from the university

Aarhus University advises employees and students to follow the government’s instructions regarding public transportation carefully.

Task force and monitoring of the situation

We have established a corona task force at the university which is monitoring the situation closely, and which is in regular contact with the other Danish universities. Get the latest advice and instructions from the university on the corona website. The site will be updated as the situation develops.  

On behalf of the senior management team  

Arnold Boon, Berit Eika and Brian Bech Nielsen