Project on course and exam planning this autumn

This autumn, the faculty management team will initiate a project on the planning of courses and exams at the Faculty of Arts. The results are expected to be implemented in autumn 2022. Read Vice-dean Niels Lehmann’s description of the project and how committees and bodies will be involved.


Clear framework, priorities and processes to improve timetables and promote good collaboration
In recent years, there has been a great need to ensure a clear framework for the planning of courses and exams at the Faculty of Arts. Therefore, the faculty management team has initiated a project with the aim of creating timetables that support the teaching in the best possible way and thereby provide the best conditions for the students to learn. 

At the same time, the planning should be flexible and based on a framework and prioritisation principles that are clear and support the heads of department’s work to find teaching staff for the many courses, while also contributing to creating a good working relationship.

Finally, the project is to ensure the best possible utilisation of the rooms available at the faculty.


Project background
The planning of courses and exams is one of the most complex and important administrative tasks at the faculty. It affects the daily lives of the faculty’s approx. 9,500 students and 900 teachers directly, and involves around 1,600 courses on 100 very different degree programmes.

In recent years, the complexity of the task has become greater due to, for example, the relocation of DPU’s degree programmes from Trøjborg to the Nobel Park, the transfer of language programmes from Aarhus BSS to the Faculty of Arts, increased co-teaching of the faculty’s degree programmes and the senior management team’s decision regarding more long-term planning. Several working groups at the faculty have tried to find solutions to reduce the complexity, but there is still work to be done.

Therefore, the faculty management team hired a consultancy firm to conduct a preliminary analysis of the issue, and is now launching this major project which includes developing proposals for the improvement of frameworks, prioritisation principles and procedures. The preliminary analysis showed that we have a good starting point, but that there is potential for improvement. In particular, it was pointed out that there is a need for clear common goals and success criteria to be able to match expectations, clarify various roles and thereby promote collaboration.

As you know, in March, the faculty management team started discussions about the organisation of the faculty. The discussions resulted in reactions and comments regarding the faculty’s course planning. All comments will naturally be included in the project.


Process and involvement
The project will be carried out this autumn, and a project group has been tasked with identifying challenges and opportunities and, based on this work, proposing solutions in relation to the future planning of courses and exams at the Faculty of Arts.

The project group consists of directors of studies and heads of department from each school, as well as the section manager and the head of Arts Studies Administration responsible for course and exam planning. The project is supported by an internal project manager from the Dean’s Office and an external project manager from the consultancy firm Implement Consulting, which has extensive experience with timetabling in the university sector.

The proposed solutions will be assessed regularly by an advisory group consisting of heads of department, teaching staff, department consultants and administrative staff. A questionnaire survey aimed at heads of department and a number of focus group interviews with academic staff, technical and administrative staff and students will also be conducted.

Both during the project and at the end of the project, the project group’s proposals will be assessed by school management teams, boards of studies, degree programme boards, occupational health and safety committees and liaison committees.


Effect from autumn 2022
The project’s steering committee, composed of the faculty management team and the head of Arts Studies Administration, is expected to make a decision at the end of the autumn semester on how the planning of courses and exams is to be handled in future. The faculty management team hopes to implement the improvements from autumn 2022.


Would you like to know more, or do you want to contribute to the project?
It has been important for the faculty management team to take a thorough approach in the planning of the project and to ensure broad and strong involvement. Therefore, all relevant bodies and committees will be consulted about the proposed solutions. While the project is being carried out, everyone is welcome to provide input by contacting our internal project coordinator, Julie Zederkof (


Niels Lehmann
Vice-dean for education and member of the steering committee for the course and exam planning project.