The last issue of News from the senior management team before the summer holidays will be published on 6 July. Normal service will resume on 10 August.
Søren Pind, former Minister for Higher Education and Science, set up an inspiration group earlier this year to explore the needs and options for introducing a new course on academic culture and competences at Danish universities.
The group submitted its report to the current minister, Tommy Ahlers, last week and proposes to establish a new subject called ‘Akademia’, which would at the same time incorporate and rethink the current existing philosophy of science subject. The Akademia subject would include both interdisciplinary content relevant to all students and local degree-programme-specific elements. The inspiration group has initially recommended that 15 ECTS credits be awarded for the subject, and that it should be accommodated in the second or third year of the Bachelor’s degree programme.
The main aim of the Akademia subject is to develop students as specialists in their fields, people and citizens by promoting their curiosity, judgement and critical thinking. Understanding of technology, ethics, scientific and scholarly traditions and basic academic skills and tools are just some of the elements that would be included in the course.
Besides the proposed new subject, the inspiration group has proposed an amendment of the University Act to the minister, so as better to reflect the university programmes’ human and social objectives.
Pro-rector Berit Eika chairs the inspiration group.
Rector Astrid Söderbergh Widding from Stockholm University has joined the Aarhus University Board as of 1 July.
Astrid Söderbergh Widding is a professor of film studies and is the chair of the Principals’ Council in the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, which awards DKK 1.8 billion a year to research in the fields of medicine, technology and science.
Connie Hedegaard emphasises that Astrid Söderbergh Widding has both management and research experience, and that she can contribute an external perspective on the Danish university sector.
Astrid Söderbergh Widding was also a member of the assessment panel that handled the institutional accreditation of Aarhus University in 2016-2017.
She joined the AU Board on 1 July, when Margareta Wallin Peterson left the board after eight years, as per the rules.
The appointment of the new board member was based on an open, public call for applications. Find out more about the appointment process
As required by the public procurement rules for the Danish public sector, Aarhus University will soon invite tenders for the university’s learning management system (LMS), currently Blackboard. The Education Committee has agreed on the overall framework for the process, which will be headed by AU Student Administration and Services. The first step is to prepare the tender documents, and this must be completed by October this year.
In addition to a working group, a steering committee and a reference group have been appointed, with representatives from the university’s teaching development centres, the EDU IT hub, AU IT and AU Student Administration and Services. Academic staff and students will be involved through focus groups, with an emphasis on user-friendliness and the need for functionality.
Blackboard is expected to submit a tender, and the LMS system supplier will be selected in mid-June 2019.
Professor Ulrik Uggerhøj became head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy on 1 July.
Anne Bækby Johansen will be taking over as the administrative centre manager at Aarhus BSS on 1 August. She has been acting in the position since April this year.
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