News from the Senior Management Group no. 28/2011

Finance Act proposal will shift funds from research to teaching

Top priority is given to education and research in the Danish government’s proposal for the 2012 budget, which was announced this week prior to calling an election.

In spite of this top priority, 2012 nevertheless appears to be a year with cutbacks in research contributions from DKK 16.5 billion in 2011 to DKK 15.7 billion in 2012.

Just the basic funds alone will mean a reduction of about DKK 100 million for Aarhus University compared with 2011. On the other hand, the pool of funds that has not been allocated for 2012 could cushion this scenario, without actually preventing the drop.

The government is preparing to transfer research funds to the education area. The budget proposal is thus allocating DKK 150 million per annum to compensate for increased intakes at the universities. However, the big question is whether there are sufficient funds to finance and maintain the record intake in 2011 without reducing the education costs.

The senior management group gives its full backing to the statement from Universities Denmark (DU), which describes the government’s Finance Act 2012 proposal as being: modest promises and the prospect of cost cuts that the universities must try to deal with. And it is unclear as to how research and education will be prioritised in the coming years. Even though the current crisis situation is leading to cutbacks, the universities note with satisfaction that there is overall support to the public sector continuing to invest at least one per cent of the BNP in research.


New work environment organisation to be set up in autumn

In the coming months, a provisional main work environment committee will draw up a proposal in collaboration with AU HR for the work environment organisation at Aarhus University. The provisional committee will consist of management and staff representatives from all the main academic areas. Each individual main academic area will select its own representatives.

The work involved in preparing a model for the new structure for the work environment organisation will take place in close collaboration with the deans’ offices and the existing local work environment organisations at the main academic areas. Important decisions regarding the structure – such as the number of departmental work environment committees and work environment groups – will be made in the individual main academic areas so that they match the local conditions and needs.

By the end of the year, the provisional main work environment committee will have been superseded by a permanent Main Work Environment Committee. Members of this committee will first be appointed when the new work environment organisation has been described. New elections of work environment representatives will subsequently be held.

The new Main Work Environment Committee (HAU) will replace the Coordination Committee for the Work Environment (KOA). Earlier this year, the senior management group appointed Jørgen B. Jespersen, interim director of the National Centre for Food and Agriculture, as chair of the HAU.

DKK 56 million awarded to Aarhus University by Sapere Aude

Seven researchers at Aarhus University were on the list of grants published earlier this week by the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF). They are recipients of the coveted Sapere Aude (Dare to know) step 2 grants. The seven researchers have been awarded a total of DKK 56 million, which will enable them to establish and head their own research groups during the next four years.

The Sapere Aude research career programme was launched in 2010 and is divided into two pools: step 1 grants, which are awarded to talented researchers at postdoctoral level, and step 2 grants, which go to heads of research at associate professor level. This year’s step 1 grants have not yet been allocated. The latest result means that researchers at Aarhus University have received a total of 34 out of the 102 Sapere Aude grants awarded to date.


‘Aarhus. Danish for progress’

Along with the Municipality of Aarhus and the local business community, Aarhus University shares the task of branding Aarhus as an internationally oriented city with a good study and business environment. This has led to a new slogan, which will help market Aarhus both in Denmark and abroad.


Full steam ahead for staff in Odense and Aarhus

Almost 2,000 Aarhus University employees signed up for the running or walking teams at this year’s DHL Relay Race. The events were held last week in Aarhus and Odense, and the large number of light-blue AU running T-shirts were clearly visible on the day. The relay race in Copenhagen will be held on 1 September.




  • 29 August: Start-up meeting on strategy work for the senior management group, the vice-deans and the heads of departments
  • 9 September: Annual celebration
  • 13 September: September meeting at Arts
  • 14 September: September meeting at Science and Technology
  • 14 September: September meeting at School of Business and Social Sciences
  • 19–20 September: University Board seminar and meeting
  • 22 September: September meeting at Health
  • 29 September: Main Liaison Committee meeting

Kind regards

The Senior Management Group
29 August

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