News from the senior management team no. 28/2018

The university turned 90 on Tuesday – and will be celebrated in style

Congratulations to Aarhus University, which celebrated its 90th anniversary on Tuesday. Over the years, thousands of students and employees have left their mark on Aarhus University. Our university is stronger and more vital than every before, so there are plenty of good reasons to be proud of it.  

In honour of the 90th anniversary, a series of videos has been produced to celebrate the many personalities and events which have contributed to shaping the university’s identity, both internally and externally. A photo montage covering the university’s 90 years in 90 seconds has also been produced

Aarhus University’s 90th anniversary will be celebrated a bit more than usual, and this year the birthday party will last for two Fridays. 

This Friday, the traditional annual celebration will take place, first in the Main Hall and later in Concert Hall Aarhus. Interest in participating in both events has been overwhelming – and unfortunately, this means there is not room for everyone. Everyone who signed up for the annual celebration ticket lottery for the celebrations in the Main Hall and the Concert Hall Aarhus has received an email on the results of the ticket lottery. 150 employees got seats in the Main Hall, while 967 got seats at Concert Hall Aarhus – including accompanying guests in both cases. The seats have been allocated in proportion to the number of employees at the four faculties and in the administration. 

To ensure that as many people as possible get a chance to enjoy the ceremony in the Main Hall and the evening concert, we encourage you to return your ticket if you are unable to attend. To do so, please contact KongresKompagniet at meda@kongreskompagniet.dkor tel. 8629 6960. Kindly indicate the location of your seat in Store Sal (entrance, row, seat). The same applies to tickets to the ceremony in the Main Hall.

The second birthday celebration will take place on Friday 21 September, this time in the University Park, where students and employees can enjoy a variety of activities together, from running events to concerts.  

Demand for STEM grads: There’s no quick fix 

On Friday, the Confederation of Danish Industry, VIA Erhverv and Aarhus University debated the increasing demand for STEM grads at the annual Political Festival for Education in Nr. Nissum. There was particular focus on attracting more women to STEM subjects, a theme which not only filled the lecture hall but which engaged the public and the panel in lively discussion. And the conclusion was clear: the problem is obvious, but solutions are not.

 A targeted effort in primary and lower secondary school, more student guidance, combatting preconceived ideas, expanding upper secondary schools’ collaboration with companies and a halt to cutbacks to the educational sector were just some of the varied proposals put to the panel by the audience. The panel was composed of representatives of post-secondary degree programmes, business and industry, the Danish parliament and the national upper secondary school system.

In her presentation, Pro-rector Berit Eika emphasised that the Danish universities have a major task before them in relation to ensuring that both the degree programmes and the research programmes offer environments which attract both men and women. At the same time, she insisted that attracting more women to STEM will be a long, hard haul that demands an effort from the entire educational system. 

Aarhus University recommended for a positive accreditation

Aarhus University has been recommended for a positive institutional accreditation. All along, the accreditation panel has expressed fundamental approval for the university’s quality assurance system – and not least the efforts of employees and students to comply with it. However, in the first accreditation process, the panel found shortcomings in the system in relation to monitoring the research basis of the degree programmes, as well in the rules for appointing external members to degree programme evaluation committees. 

In the draft ruling which the university has received for review, the accreditation panel states that AU has “initiated measure to address these challenges”.

The 2018 Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize goes to Professor Poul Nissen  

On Sunday 2 September, Professor Poul Nissen was awarded the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize for his ground-breaking work within structural biology. Poul Nissen is the driving force behind DANDRITE, the Danish node of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine. He is also group leader at the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center of Excellence, PROMEMO - Center for Proteins in Memory, as well as a principle investigator with the Lundbeck Foundation centre BRAINSTRUC. 

The recipients of the Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize are nominated by the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. The prize includes a grant of DKK 1 million, of which DK 250,000 is a personal award and DKK 750,000 is research funding.  The prize was presented to Nissen by HRH Crown Prince Frederik, Minister for Higher Education and Science Tommy Ahlers and Fleming Besenbacher, chair of the Carlsberg Foundation Board, at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek.

The other recipient of the 2018 Carlsberg Foundation Research Prize is AU alum Tim Bollerslev. The prize was awarded in recognition of his work within financial econometrics. Bollerslev, who is a professor at Duke University in the United States, became affiliated with the research centre CREATES at Aarhus University in 2007, and received the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research in 2008.

VILLUM Experiment grants to eight AU researchers

Eight researchers at Aarhus University have received VILLUM Experiment grants. This year, VILLUM FONDEN has awarded a total of DKK 100 million in grants to 53 bold research projects within the technical and natural sciences. The programme awards grants on an annual basis. 


  • 14 September: Annual celebration at the Main Hall and Concert Hall Aarhus
  • 21 September: AU’s 90th birthday party in the University Park
  • 1 October: University Board meeting
  • 8 October: Inauguration of the Skou Building and opening of an exhibition about Jens Christian Skou on the occasion of his 100th birthday
  • 8 October: 2018 East Jutland Summit with Business Region Aarhus
  • 2 November: Aarhus Symposium
  • 5 November: Network event for senior managers in the upper secondary sector
  • 22 November: Joint meeting of the Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee and the Main Liaison Committee
  • 30 November: Conference on gender balance

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