News from the senior management tema no. 38/2018

Interesting initiatives in flexibility agreement

The political agreement on more flexible degree programmes came in the wake of a finance act containing nothing new for universities. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen welcomes some of the new educational initiatives but generally demands greater visions for the university sector.

Read Rector Brian Bech Nielsen’s comments(in Danish) 

Conference on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals at Aarhus University

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are providing an increasingly common academic and strategic reference framework for public enterprises, business and industry and educational institutions. Aarhus University will therefore be hosting a conference on the Sustainable Development Goals in February.

The UN is giving Danish universities the opportunity to play a key part in the development of solutions to major global challenges. There is no shortage of ambition among stakeholders; but if this ambition is to be realised, there is a need for interdisciplinary research activities of outstanding quality, and we have to succeed in encouraging commitment among young people, training the next generation of talented researchers and employees for Danish companies.

Aarhus University is already helping to resolve the societal challenges described in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and it is capable of supporting and developing even more opportunities on the basis of the extensive knowledge available at the university. 

This is why Aarhus University is extending an invitation to a conference to be held on 4 February, which plans to look at the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and focus on the development of sustainable solutions in partnership between the university, public stakeholders and companies.

Kick-off for interdisciplinary business network at AU

Thursday, 6 December heralded the start of an interdisciplinary business network at the university. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen opened the meeting by providing a background on the university’s business efforts to the more than 80 attendees and describing the current status. The network got off to a good start, giving both academic and administrative staff members the opportunity to share their experiences of existing business partnerships as well as providing input to the business committee made up of the senior management team. 

There are already lots of good initiatives in hand across faculties, departments and schools. A number of municipal agreements and agreements with major corporations have also been concluded at university level. The aim of the business network is to familiarise people throughout the university with the various initiatives so that the good ideas can benefit other academic environments. The network is also aiming to increase partnership and generally reinforce partnerships with business and industry in general.

The next meeting of the network is scheduled for 22 March. If you would be interested in getting involved, you are very welcome to send an email to

Rector to become board member at Central Jutland Business Development Centre

Rector Brian Bech Nielsen will be representing the region’s knowledge institutions as part of the new board for the Central Jutland Business Development Centre, which will play a key part in the new regional business support system that will take effect from the end of the year. The Central Jutland Business Development Centre will be replacing the Central Denmark Region’s growth forum.

The recent changes have simplified and centralised the business support system. The knowledge institutions have only one representative on the board at the Central Jutland Business Development Centre. This is why Brian Bech Nielsen is also representing VIA University College and the business academies. He will therefore maintain regular contact with the other institutions on matters relating to the cooperation between business and industry and the knowledge institutions.

AU fired into space

At 7.16pm last Wednesday, Aarhus University’s first satellite “Delphini-1” was successfully launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The satellite, which was built and tested by students from the university, aims to provide the Aarhus space programme AUSAT with new knowledge and experience of satellite construction, operation and communication.

Seven AU researchers receive prestigious grants

Seven AU research directors have just been awarded a Sapere Aude grant by Independent Research Fund Denmark.  The fund’s investment is providing these talented young research directors with the opportunity to establish their own research team and carry out research at a high international level.

Six out of seven Danish ERC Consolidator Grants go to AU researchers

The European Research Council (ERC) recently awarded their seven Danish Consolidator Grants, and of these no fewer than six went to researchers at AU. These grants are awarded to promising young research talents and research directors, and the recipients are now able to continue their research into their field with grants of up to EUR 2 million.

Professor and VILLUM Investigator Jens-Christian Svenning from the Department of Bioscience and the Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE) also received a European research grant. He was awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks grant of EUR 3.9 million in order to investigate the natural development of the European landscape, along with how this knowledge can be used in future. 

Applications open for AIAS fellowships

AIAS is currently advertising positions aimed at both international and internal AU researchers. AIAS-COFUND Fellow, deadline 23 January 2019, is open to international candidates. Jens Christian Skou Fellowships, deadline 1 February 2019, are open to talented junior and senior researchers at Aarhus University.

University director’s blog: New project method contributed to implementation of e-recruitment system  

In this month’s blog post, Arnold Boon focuses on the process that preceded the implementation of a new e-recruitment system at Aarhus University that was launched on 4 December. In his blog, he mentions that what is known as an agile project method was used as part of the process. In short, this method involves dividing the project into smaller parts and developing the parts as elements of smaller projects so that the process can be adapted as work progresses. Arnold Boon calls for managers and employees to examine whether the method could be of relevance to them. Finally, he mentions that the new e-recruitment system - which is an external standard system - is the first step towards an ambition to make use of multiple external suppliers and what are known as cloud solutions. 



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