News from the senior management team no. 19/2015

Internal management debate on quality

On 9 June, the entire Aarhus University management team gathered at the Sandbjerg Estate for its annual management seminar. The theme of the seminar was ‘the highest quality in education and research’. As far as education is concerned, the discussions centred in particular on improving the quality of education, increasing the amount of time and energy that students put into their studies, and achieving a better match – both when starting and leaving university.

Concrete research initiatives and measures were discussed for the purpose of maintaining and strengthening the university's research position – including any barriers and specific measures aimed at attracting more external research funding.

In autumn 2015, the faculties and the two committees  – the Committee on Education and the Committee for Research and External Cooperation – must adopt action plans for the academic priorities for 2016. 

Intense campaign to promote AU degree programmes vis-à-vis prospective students

At the moment, Aarhus University is promoting its degree programmes with a highly visible open-air campaign aimed at young people who are about to apply for a place at university. The senior management team has been involved from start to finish in organising the new campaign. 

In the days leading up to the deadline for quota 1 applications on 5 July, Aarhus University put up posters at train stations, on buses in Aarhus and on regional buses and in large towns with upper secondary schools. The poster campaign promotes eight specific degree programmes which have been selected in collaboration with the faculties. The eight Bachelor's degree programmes are:

  • Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Public Health
  • Economics and Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Education Science
  • History

In addition to the poster campaign, a cinema commercial has also been produced. In developing the campaign material, the keywords were ‘faglighed, fællesskab og fremtid’ (academic excellence, strong sense of community and future prospects), and the material was tested during the spring on the target group. 

The campaign directs potential students to, where they can read more about the degree programmes on offer at AU.

The campaign also includes a cinema commercial based on AU students' own video clips.

Basic research centre inaugurated 

Professor and bassist Peter Vuust heads the basic research centre, which was officially inaugurated on Friday 5 June. Music in the Brain (MIB) is based on a research trajectory which dates back to 2002, when Vuust raised the question of how music is processed in the brain and turned it into a  research area, while also using this knowledge to improve our understanding of the brain.

According to Vuust, this work will provide new knowledge about the functions of the brain and pave the way for doctors being able to use this knowledge when treating diseases in future. The research will, for example, be relevant for rehabilitation after strokes, pain management, improving sleep quality and in connection with autism or ADHD.

The new centre brings together a highly interdisciplinary research team of musicians, psychologists, medical doctors and natural scientists from the Royal Academy of Music and Aarhus University. The basic research centre has received a DKK 52 million grant from the Danish National Research Foundation. 

Aarhus University has 15 basic research centres.

Erik Østergaard Jensen to continue as department head

Erik Østergaard Jensen is staying on as head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, which he has headed since its establishment in 2011. Prior to that, Erik Østergaard Jensen headed the Department of Molecular Biology for seven years.

AU celebrates Denmark's diplomatic relations with China 

In collaboration with Central Denmark Region, the City of Aarhus and the Ministry of Education, on 8 June Aarhus University celebrated the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Denmark. 

Danish universities enjoy strong research relations with Chinese universities, both at departmental level and between individual researchers. In addition, formal collaboration has been established under the Sino-Danish Center, which Aarhus University has set up in Beijing in collaboration with other Danish universities and the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (GUCAS).


  • 17 June: University Board meeting
  • 18 June: General election in Denmark
  • 19 June: Summer events at AU
  • 22 June: Meeting of the Main Liaison Committee/Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee
  • 24 June: Inaugural reception for Johnny Laursen at the Faculty of Arts at 15:00 in Stakladen


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