News from the senior management team no. 41/2013

Plans to postpone study progress reform for current students

Everything suggests that the government has decided to listen to the consultation responses from the universities and the student protests, at least to some degree.

Higher education minister Morten Østergaard has thus proposed that the study progress reform be postponed for existing students from 1 September 2014 to 1 September 2015. The reform will still apply to new students who commence their studies in September 2014.

Last Tuesday, Aarhus University had an interview with the Danish Parliament’s Research, Innovation and Further Education Committee. Here, Dean Mette Thunø and Vice-Dean Peder Østergaard explained why living up to the study progress reform will pose challenges for the universities and students as early as 2014.

The amendment which lies behind the study progress reform was passed with a clear majority back in June.

Big week for Aarhus University Hospital

Last week, Aarhus University Hospital (AUH) received considerable recognition for its day-to-day operating activities as well as for its development capacity.

Last Thursday, it was announced that AUH has, for the seventh year running, been named Denmark’s best hospital in the highly specialised hospitals category. The weekly healthcare newspaper Dagens Medicin is behind the award.

Earlier in the week, the Moller foundation announced that it will grant DKK 250 million to the new Danish National Centre for Particle Therapy at AUH in Skejby.

Once open, the centre will be able to treat up to 1,200 patients a year with the most advanced form of radiotherapy. In particular, the centre will treat children with cancer who today often have to go abroad for treatment, but many adult cancer patients will also benefit from the more precise form of radiotherapy the centre will offer.

With the grant from the Moller Foundation, financing for the centre is almost in place. Now all that is needed is to purchase the most modern equipment that can deliver the very best quality and which can be upgraded as and when new solutions become available.

New student representatives elected

In the university elections 2013 at the end of November, 20% of the students cast their vote. This represents a 40% increase in voter turnout.

There were elections to the local boards of studies, academic councils, PhD committees as well as the AU Board. The Aarhus University Student Council won both students seats on the AU Board again. Heidi Klokker from the Student Council was re-elected, and the Student Council’s second top candidate, Andreas Olsen, joins as a newly elected member.

Research ministers approve Horizon 2020

Last week, the EU’s research and innovation ministers approved the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest European research programme ever.

A budget of approx DKK 525 billion has been allocated for three different columns:

  • Excellent Science; approx. DKK 168 billion (including e.g. ERC Grants, Marie Curie Fellowships and infrastructure)
  • Competitive Industries; approx. DKK 117 billion (e.g. research, development and demonstration of technology close to the market as well as support for SMEs)
  • Tackling Societal Challenges; approx. DKK 204 billion (focuses on seven challenges, including health and demographic change, climate and clean energy)

With a budget exceeding that of the former FP7 framework programme by 30%, the Horizon programme has been approved by the EU Parliament and, after being given the go-ahead by the research and innovation ministers, it is expected that the first concrete proposals will soon be ready. The new EU programme brings together all funding for research and innovation in one and the same framework agreement, and efforts have been made to streamline the application process.

In November, plans for the EU’s Erasmus+ educational programme were also approved. The programme brings together a number of previous initiatives, and has a total budget of EUR 15 billion up until 2020. Erasmus+ funding aims at boosting skills and employability as well as establishing strategic partnerships. In the near future, the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education will be holding several information meetings about Erasmus+ in Aarhus and Copenhagen.

New website coordinates teacher training and education research

A new website provides an overview of Aarhus University’s research and education activities within teacher training and education and makes it easier for the university’s researchers and potential partners to find inspiration for joint projects.

The forthcoming reform of Folkeskolen, the Danish primary and lower secondary schools, and not least the donation by the Moller Foundation, have created new opportunities. This includes further and continuing education for teachers and headmasters, educational research as well as the development of new teaching material. Aarhus University would like to play its part in this development, ideally in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as municipalities and university colleges.

The new website will function as a focal point for developing existing projects and establishing new projects. From 10 January 2014, the website will also be regularly updated with relevant notices about and opportunities for administrative support for project applications.

Deputy Director for AU Finance and Planning leaves AU

Aarhus University is saying goodbye to its deputy director for finance and planning, Søren Trangbæk, who has a new job as Financial Director of the Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation as of 1 January 2014.

University Director Jørgen Jørgensen will report on how AU Finance and Planning will be managed after 1 January once a solution has been found. The solution will be temporary until a new deputy director has been appointed.

Apply for seed money for rethinkIMPACTS 2017

Aarhus University’s researchers can now apply for seed money for research projects that explore the importance of Aarhus as European Capital of Culture in 2017 within the framework of rethinkIMPACTS 2017. The research projects can focus on:

  • Regional development, entrepreneurship and cultural industries,
  • Participatory culture, technology and urban life,
  • Cultural ecologies and sustainability,
  • Image and identity,
  • Governance and process or
  • Evaluating cultural processes

The deadline for applications is 10 January 2014.


  • 11 December: Senior management team meets with the Department of Biomedicine
  • 13 December: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 18 December: AU Board meeting
  • 9 January: Unscheduled Main Liaison Committee meeting


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