News from the Senior Management group no. 13/2012

Aarhus University's expenses related to external consultants 2007-2011

Recently, questions have been raised both within AU and externally regarding the university's use of external consultants since the mergers of 2007. The university has just completed an analysis of all expenses related to the purchase of external services in the period 2007-2011 covering approximately 10,000 suppliers. Expenses related to hiring external consultants in the period analysed fall into three categories:

  • 1. Consultancy expenses related to the academic development process, specifically preparation, implementation, recruitment of managers, outplacement, manager development, team building, etc. Total expenses for 2007-2011: DKK 13.8m.
  • 2. Consultancy expenses related to the merger process including the administrative restructuring process, specifically in relation to advisory services, system development, etc. , primarily in connection with the reorganisation and purchase of systems necessitated by the mergers. Total expenses for 2007-2011: DKK 93.2m.
  • 3. Consultancy expenses related to other development and operations projects. Total expenses for 2007-2011: DKK 90.5m.

Aarhus University's total budget for the same period was DKK 26b. The figures on consultancy expenses are derived from the university's current accounting system as well as the accounting systems of the formerly independent institutions which now form part of the university.

All of this information is now available on the AU homepage, where all appendices, reports and articles related to the mergers and the academic development process have been published.


Administrative support for external research funding must be strengthened

Administrative support for researchers before, during and after the grant application process must be improved. Two user surveys which asked 224 researchers to evaluate the quality of support for grant applications and administration have made this clear.

While eight-seven per cent of respondents were satisified or very satistified with the current level of support, they expressed a need for a greater level of support for the processes involved in administering grants once they have been awarded.  

The results of the surveys, in connection with an increasing demand for the services the Research Support Unit provides, have led to a proposal to divide administrative support for external research grants into three categories. The three categories will be tailored to the size and complexity of the individual research projects: the idea phase, the application phase, and post award administration.


AU behind new energy-efficient student residence hall at Port of Aarhus

This month, the waiting list for the new 13-storey Grundfos residence hall in the new development around  the Port of Aarhus will be opened.

The residence hall has been designed to involve students in contributing to the building's energy efficiency and trying out solutions that will enhance its green profile. With the assistance of Grundfos, Aarhus University School of Engineering and the Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering are installing what will become one of Denmark's most comprehensive systems for measuring energy consumption in the new residence hall.  Residents' consumption of electricity, water and heat will be registered every sixth second. The data will be used for research and technological development.


New EUA elections

At the 2012 annual conference of the European University Association at the University of Warwick, EUA's new president, Dr Helena Nazaré of Portugal, took office. It was also announced that Rector Holm-Nielsen and the rector of the University of Hull, Dr David Drewney, will serve as vice-presidents of EUA.


AU to host international award ceremony

Aarhus University has been selected to host this year's World Cultural Council Award ceremony next week. This is the first time the ceremony will be held in Denmark.

The ceremony has been held at locations all over the world since 1981, including universities such as Oxford and Princeton.



  • 2-3 April: Visit from University of Helsinki
  • 18 April: World Cultural Council Prize ceremony
  • 18-20 April: EU 2012: Excellence conference
  • 20 April: Festival of Research
  • 25 April: Meeting of the University Board
  • 3 May: The annual "boat" race


Kind regards

The Senior Management Team

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