News from the Senior Management Team no. 4/2018

Note: Don't forget to register your car!

Information on the new parking rules at Aarhus University was issued late to some staff. We want to give all staff a better chance to register with our parking system, so no fines will be issued at AU Staff Parking sites for an initial period of 14 days.

It is important to remember to register your car at if you want to use AU Staff Parking in future.

AU launches new major case competition for all faculties

Last week saw the start of recruitment for Aarhus University's new interdisciplinary case competition – the AU Challenge. Students from all faculties can enter. They will be put into interdisciplinary teams and participants from different fields –  from medical and legal to linguistic and technological  – will have to work together to solve a real-life case.

Students will be receiving preparatory training in skills such as case-based problem solving methods, presentation technique and business understanding and will solve a test case in the field of CSR and sustainability set by Arla. The panel includes Arla, Boston Consulting Group and Thomas Pallesen, Aarhus BSS dean, and the winning team will be named on 4 April. When training is complete, entrants will go on to participate in Aspire Case Camp, part of the Aarhus BSS-based Aarhus Case Competition Week.

If you think the competition might be relevant for your students, you can encourage them to find out more and sign up at The deadline for entries is 20 February, and there is room for a maximum of 40 students. 

The new concept is part of Aarhus University's business initiative, which aims to make it easier for students to enter the labour market. The AU Challenge will allow students to expand their networks, increase their insight into their own professional and academic strengths and the strengths of others, and develop skills that could make all the difference to their future careers.

Aarhus University to investigate political pressure on researchers

According to a survey carried out by Danish newspaper Politiken, just over seven per cent of the country's researchers have encountered political pressure in connection with scientific advice to government agencies. According to the rector, this is completely unacceptable, and he now wishes to map the extent of the problem at Aarhus University. After that, the rector wishes to initiate discussion that may lead to specific initiatives on the best course of action for researchers in such situations and how to raise the alarm.

Three part-time Master’s degree programmes for working professionals approved at AU

Aarhus University's first part-time Master’s degree programme for working professionals was launched just after the summer break, which gives students the opportunity to study on a part-time basis while also holding down jobs on the side.

The Master's degree in business economics and auditing (cand.merc.aud.), has been approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science for inclusion in the new pilot scheme. Thus applicants who hold a Bachelor's degree in business economics and auditing are eligible to apply for a four-year Master’s degree programme. The deadline for applications is 1 March.

All three applications submitted by Aarhus University have been approved. This means that the Master's degree programmes in law (cand.jur.) and nursing (cand.cur.) will be able to admit working professionals as students to four-year Master’s degree programmes, although not until 2019.

On a national level, thirteen different degree programmes available as  23 separate offerings at educational institutions in Denmark have been approved by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

The academic content of the Master’s degree programmes for working professionals is the same as for the standard full-time Master's degree programmes. Students enrolled in Master’s degree programmes for working professionals are expected to be have at least 25 hours of relevant paid work each week and are ineligible for the Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU).

Herning Campus hosts launch of government's digital growth strategy

Aarhus University in Herning was the venue when Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Minister of Economic and Business Affairs Brian Mikkelsen and Minister of Education Merete Riisager presented the government's ‘Strategy for digital growth in Denmark’ on Tuesday, 30 January.

On this occasion, the ministers were given a guided tour and an insight into some of the technologies BTECH Herning is working with. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and head of department Anders Frederiksen gave them a warm welcome. View a brief report with photos on Facebook

AU professor receives the 2018 Novo Nordisk Prize

Jørgen Kjems, professor at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center, is the winner of the 2018 Novo Nordisk Prize for his pioneering interdisciplinary studies into how RNA plays a key part in cell regulation and offers major potential for the future treatment of diseases. The award is worth DKK 3 million and is presented by the Novo Nordisk Foundation in recognition of unique medical research or other research that may benefit medical science. AU professor Poul Nissen won this award last year.

DPU manager joins minister's debate panel on parenting

Mai Mercado, Minister for Children and Social Affairs, launched the new 'Parenting debate' initiative on 31 January. This aims to promote respectful, knowledge-based debate on parenting and family life. Claus Holm, head of DPU, Aarhus University, has been appointed by the Minister for Children and Social Affairs to participate in a panel of experts and opinion formers that will be bringing expert knowledge to a popular debate on various topics relating to matters such as social media.

Faculty of Health dean: We have to maintain trust between the university and the people

In a report posted on on 29 January, Lars Bo Nielsen, dean at Health, emphasises the importance of responsible research dissemination in an age when researchers do not enjoy the same authority and credibility as they used to.


  • 21 February: Celebration of 2018 Novo Nordisk Award
  • 22 February: Aarhus University board meeting 1 March: Presentation of Elite Research Prizes at the Opera House
  • 1 March: Supplementary self-evaluation report to be submitted to the Accreditation Institution
  • 8-23 March: Rector to visit the administrative centres and deputy director areas
  • 12 March: International panel evaluates AIAS
  • 13 March: Launch of the Educational IT initiative
  • 14 March: Framework contract – second negotiation meeting
  • 20 March: Ground-breaking ceremony for the new Department of Food Science building in Aarhus
  • 22 March: Meeting between Danish and British university rectors at the British Embassy in Copenhagen