Newsletter from the Dean May 2024

Dear all,

On Friday, I had the great pleasure of watching the Regatta be kicked off. It was amazing to see the University Park covered in sunshine and filled with happy students. This is exactly what a university should be. A place where young people learn, and where they shape their future lives through unity, community and education.

However, our students are not only capable of organising and hosting incredibly fun student events. They are also good at addressing the challenges facing the world around them. A good example was when 50 cognitive science students gave Vestas advice on cyber awareness at the Fikumdik event venue in Aarhus – you can see more here:

This particular feeling that the university makes a huge difference for many young people, but that our students also make an important difference for society is something I try my best to hold onto. Especially now that the governing coalition, the Socialist People’s Party, the Denmark Democrats, Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People’s Party have reached an agreement to reduce admissions to Danish universities in the period 2025-2029. This is the previously announced sector-sizing initiative (dimensionering) which was part of the 2023 Master’s reform, and which will involve a 9.5% reduction in admissions to Bachelor’s degree programmes at Aarhus University compared to the 2018-2022 baseline.

The senior management team will now start discussing how this reduction should be implemented across the university. There’s no doubt that it will entail a change in our academic offerings, and that it’s not an easy task. As soon as the overall decision regarding the implementation has been made and we know a little more about what it will mean for us at Arts, I will send an update to all employees at the faculty.

For the faculty management team, April ended with an Advisory Board meeting at Moesgaard. We had a great couple of days and got useful advice from colleagues. It is particularly worth noting that several people praised the faculty for working so hard to develop our students’ digital competencies. It’s great that so many members of our teaching staff have participated in the digital literacy and digital curriculum courses. This dedication also means that we as a faculty are better equipped to discuss and use generative AI, so we can ensure that our students’ competencies are up to date.

As dean, I’m also looking forward to getting closer to both students and colleagues when the dean’s secretariat will move to the Nobel Park in early September. As a new dean, it’s been good to have offices close to the rector and pro-rector, but now I’m looking forward to seeing more of you on a daily basis. We’ll start in the Nobel Park, and who knows – maybe we’ll get the opportunity to move to other locations at Aarhus University.

And we hope that last week’s early summer was only a foretaste, and that spring is just around the corner with sunshine and warmth.

Remember to enjoy it.

Best wishes,

Maja Horst