News from the senior management team no. 24/2018

Minister visits Aarhus University

On Monday 13 August, Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen visited Aarhus University. The minister started his visit on the research vessel Aurora, before moving on to Agro Food Park and Foulum.  During his visit, the minister heard presentations on the effects of agriculture and climate on the aquatic environment, food research and business collaboration within the food sector, and circular bio-economy.

Study of freedom of research is now in progress

Aarhus University is conducting a survey to find out whether researchers at Aarhus University feel pressured to change, suppress or refrain from publishing their research results. All researchers at AU have been sent a questionnaire. The senior management team urges everyone to respond, in order to ensure that the survey provides the most accurate possible representation of the situation. 

The questionnaire will be supplemented by qualitative interviews with a number of researchers and academic staff with managerial responsibilities. The interviews will be conducted in the autumn. 

The chairs of the four academic councils and the joint union representative for the academic staff sit on the steering committee which is responsible for the survey, which Rector Brian Bech Nielsen launched earlier this year after a Politiken survey of Danish universities. It showed that 7.4 percent of the 1,200 researchers who participated in the survey had been pressured by political players. Brian Bech Nielsen thinks it is important to determine the extent of political pressure on academic freedom at AU, and emphasises that the researchers must retain their integrity and professionalism above all else. 

The results of the survey will be presented and discussed at the academic councils’ seminar in December 2018. They will then be published together with comments from the councils and the senior management team.  

The deadline for taking the questionnaire is 6 September.

Solid intake at Aarhus University 

On the evening of 28 July, 7,314 applicants were informed that they had been offered a place at Aarhus University. The intake is on a par with that of 2017. Once again this year, more places than ever on degree programmes were offered to applicants who had indicated them as their first choice. 

In relation to AU’s engineering and digitalisation initiatives, there was an increase in admissions to to the degree programmes in engineering and computer science. It is also worth noting that significantly more women were admission to engineering programmes than in 2017 – 32% of the total number of places in this area went to women.  

Some degree programmes are still accepting applications. Admissions to these programmes is on a running basis. Click the link below to see which study programmes still have vacant places.

An extra special birthday

It is almost time to celebrate the university’s anniversary, and this year Aarhus University will turn 90.
True to tradition, the occasion will be celebrated, and on Monday 6 August registration for the festivities was opened for staff, who all received an invitation by email. 

The annual celebration will be held on 14 September with a ceremony in the Main Hall, including presentations of prizes and grants, this year’s distinguished alumni, honorary doctorates, and speeches and music, followed by refreshments in the Ambulatory.

The evening programme includes a concert at Concert Hall Aarhus, where Steen Jørgensen, Kira Skov, Jesper Binzer, Nina Forsberg, Jimmy Jørgensen and Indra Rios-Moore are among the soloists. Once again the conductors will be Per Christian Frost and Peter Vuust, with Martin Brygmann as MC. After the concert, snacks and wine will be served to all guests in the foyer.

The deadline for registration is 21 August for both the ceremony and the concert, and it is possible to bring a companion. Seats in the Main Hall in the afternoon and for the evening concert will be allocated according to the number of staff in the four faculties and the administration, so everyone has an equal chance of getting a seat. The ballot will be run by KongresKompagniet, with tickets issued in week 36.

As in 2017, tickets will be sent out electronically. This means you have to print your own tickets and admission cards. They will be sent out with the results of the ticket lottery.

The university’s anniversary will also be marked with a big party in the University Park on 21 September, to which all students and staff members are invited. The hosts are the Student Council, AU Sport and Aarhus University. This is Denmark’s biggest Friday bar, and this special birthday edition will be bigger than ever. As well as performances by Danish artists there will be a jazz and blues lounge, and the senior management team will man the bar. 

New course at AU – don’t forget to register  

The closing date for AU’s new management course is approaching. The course covers basic leadership skills – aimed at the management at AU – and is intended for both new and more experienced self-taught managers.

The first class will start on 13 September and the second on 8 November. Registration closes 3 weeks before the first class.  


  • 16, 23 and 30 August: DHL relay race, Odense, Aarhus and Copenhagen
  • 17 August: Opening of the Centre for Law and Digitisation
  • 14 September: Annual celebration in the Main Hall and Concert Hall Aarhus
  • 21 September: Denmark’s biggest Friday bar with 90th anniversary party for students and staff
  • 1 October: Board meeting

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