News from the senior management team no. 25/2015

Student admissions in line with forecasts

Even though the final figures for admissions of new undergraduate student will not be available until October, preliminary figures for AU suggest that, as expected, admissions will be on a par with 2014 (7,166 students).

“This year, Aarhus University has seen a general increase in the number of first-priority applicants, and specifically more applicants for the engineering and natural science programmes. This is a positive development for the university, and also from the point of view of being able to meet the demand for highly educated labour within the technical and natural science fields,” says Pro-Rector for Education Berit Eika.

Of the 7,322 applicants who were offered a place on 30 July, 4 per cent declined the offer – the same percentage as in 2013 and 2014. The vacant places have been offered, and the second round of admissions is in progress. In fact, an additional eight degree programmes have reported that they are fully enrolled. Thus, at the time of writing, 23 degree programmes are left with vacancies, of which six start in the winter.

Up until the start of the new semester, applications for the 23 programmes will be processed as and when they are received.

Aarhus University no. 73 in new Shanghai Ranking

The new Shanghai Ranking of the world’s best universities has just been published. Aarhus University has moved up one place to 73.

The Shanghai Ranking – or Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) – is based on criteria such as the number of Nobel Prizes awarded to alumni and staff at the universities, as well as a range of indicators for the number of research articles and citations, including also a list of the most cited researchers in the world within 21 subject fields.

In addition to the general ranking, rankings are also published within a number of subject fields. Aarhus University is ranked no. 51-75 in Social Science and Chemistry.

AU counting on more funding from private foundations

Aarhus University’s research funding from private foundations increased 45 per cent from 2007 to 2013. This is impressive, and the university has the potential to attract even more funding from foundations. This is the conclusion of the Committee for Research and External Cooperation, and the issue was also considered at the last meeting of the senior management team.

In 2013, private foundations contributed DKK 1.7 billion of funding for research in Denmark, corresponding to a 200 per cent increase in six years. The trend is for foundations to fund larger and more long-term initiatives rather than single projects.

The Committee for Research and External Cooperation will continue to look at ways in which Aarhus University’s researchers may be able to attract even more funding from private foundations.

Rector and university director doing the rounds

This week, Brian Bech Nielsen is starting his annual round of visits and meetings with employees to discuss the university’s development, exchange visions and talk about possible problems. Plenty of time has been allocated at the meetings to address comments and questions from the employees.

University Director Jane Kraglund held her first meetings with employees last week. She will be visiting the central administration’s five administrative divisions and the four faculties’ administrative centres to discuss challenges and development with the employees.

Seminar on better incorporation of digital platforms

On 8 October, the Committee on Education at Aarhus University is inviting all AU teaching staff to a seminar on educational IT. The purpose of the day is to inspire teachers to incorporate digital platforms in their teaching.

The keynote speaker at the event, Professor Jeff Haywood from the University of Edinburgh, will give a presentation on the topic, and a number of lecturers from AU will talk about their experiences of involving digital platforms in their teaching. Topics such as e-books, collaborative teaching and 3D modelling will be addressed. There will also be an opportunity to visit a variety of stands where presenters and staff from the university’s teaching development centres will be available to discuss their experiences.

The event is part of the work being done to rethink and develop new and innovative elements of teaching by means of technology. One of the goals in AU’s development contract is to ensure the development of teaching programmes and practices which are in keeping with the times. Study environment surveys have also shown that there is scope for improving the use of technology to activate the students.

The event is free and open to all teaching staff at AU who may be interested. The registration deadline is 21 September 2015.

Free registration for Danish University Extension opens on 18 August

Aarhus University is giving its alumni as well as current and retired employees the chance to attend one series of lectures at the Danish University Extension free of charge.

Registration opens on Tuesday 18 August at 10:00. There are a limited number of places which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register:

  1. Go to the Danish University Extension website at
  2. At the bottom of the page, select the menu item “Specialaftaler”
  3. Enter the access code “AU15”
  4. Select a class, and complete the registration procedure

Research communication at Aarhus Festival

A number of researchers from Aarhus University are involved in this year’s festival programme in Aarhus. Both Navitas and the research vessel Aurora are opening their doors to provide an insight into various research activities. Aurora is also hosting a special event, at which Aarhus Festival and the local TV station TV2 Østjylland in cooperation with Aarhus University will hold a question-and-answer session where the university’s researchers will be ready to field questions from the public.

To tie in with the theme for this year’s Aarhus Festival – “Light – more light” –Christoffer Karoff, postdoc in astronomy and geoscience, will give a talk on sunspots, solar flares, the aurora borealis etc. – all phenomena which have influenced the Earth’s climate through the ages, and which give an indication of what to expect in future.

Ambulatory arches need rebuilding

The area in front of the Ambulatory is currently a construction site, and many people have probably noticed that the brick arches have been demolished. However, the arches will be rebuilt in the coming months, once new and stronger foundations have been laid. This will resolve the problems which arose due to the subsidence over the years of the brick pillars which supported the arches, causing several cracks to appear in the brickwork.

The distinctive arches are an integral part of Aarhus University’s canonised architecture.

The building work is expected to be completed in week 40.



The Senior Management Team publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Team, please go to The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at