News from the Senior Management Team no. 15/2019

Summer greetings from the rector and the pro-rector

The warm weather has arrived, and summer is upon us. Therefore, many of you are probably also in the process of cleaning up your office and setting your ‘out of office’ response, before going on a well-deserved holiday. 

The new Danish government has been announced and the universities have a new political leader. We welcome Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen as the new Minister for Higher Education and Science. Over the years we have had some experience in connecting with new ministers, and we’re looking forward to getting to know Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen and working with her. 

The new minister is highly thought of by everyone, and with the Government's pledges to abolish the reallocation contribution and the ceiling for English-language degree programmes, there is every indication that we can look forward to a positive collaboration.

Aarhus University makes a difference for society through research, education and collaboration. And we're looking forward to entering into dialogue with the minister on how we can adapt our framework conditions on an ongoing basis, so that we can use the university's knowledge to create value and welfare, both in Denmark and internationally. In addition, we will push to have the increase in the taximeter funding for humanities and social science degree programmes made permanent – something that is sorely needed if we are to maintain the improvements in contact hours and research coverage that the funds have made possible.

Holiday for some; work for others

Even though, in some areas, the university will be shifting down a gear for the next month, in other areas there’s still a lot going on. Student counsellors and other studies administration staff will be working hard up to the summer intake. Thousands of aspiring young people have made their choice of degree programme, and in a month's time they will know where they have been given a place. They’re approaching a unique time in their lives, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them on campus when the summer is over. 

And naturally, the departments and centres aren’t shutting down entirely for the summer holiday either. In addition to the many active research projects, teaching also continues without break. AU Summer University has grown and become more international year by year. Together with a globally diverse group of lecturers, more than 2,700 students – of whom approx. 650 are international students – will be able to learn more about their subjects and enjoy the lush green Aarhus Campus in the summer.

We would like to thank all of you for your excellent work in the past semester, and we wish you all a marvellous summer – both those of you who are working over the summer, and those of you who can enjoy a well-deserved holiday. 

Summer greetings from the university director to the administration

University Director Arnold Boon wishes everyone in the administration a wonderful summer, and outlines some of the central areas the administration will be working on in the autumn. One of the major tasks will be digitalisation of the university. And he wishes everyone a wonderful summer! 

Summer greetings from the deans

New director to enhance AU activities with the business community

Aarhus University is strengthening its work on business collaboration and entrepreneurship, and from 2020 the management team will be expanded with a business director, who will develop and coordinate the growing number of tasks within the university's collaboration with the business community and head a consolidated central office of business collaboration.

  • Read more (in Danish)

Active efforts from AU to influence EU framework programme

Through the international network, The Guild, Aarhus University can influence decisions on how the EU's new framework programme for research and innovation is to be put together. During the first six months of 2019, The Guild has been extremely active and has prepared a number of position papers:

Since 2016, Aarhus University has been a member of The Guild with 18 other European research-intensive universities.  

The purpose of participating in the network is to strengthen relations with other strong universities and to make visible the research conducted at Aarhus University. Furthermore, participation is about exerting political influence on European research policy. 

Common PhD principles introduced at AU

AU has adopted a number of basic principles for the university's four graduate schools. The principles will help facilitate PhD courses across the faculties and with external parties, and they clarify what is expected of a PhD graduate from Aarhus University. 

Successful language initiative

Graduates from the first group to complete the new Master’s programme in conference interpreting are much in demand in the EU. The Master's degree programme is one of a number of initiatives at Aarhus University to strengthen the language area. In 2017, Aarhus University consolidated all its language programmes in one faculty, and today the university has one of Europe’s largest research and teaching environments within language. Since then, the Danish National Centre for Foreign Languages (NCFF) has also been established.

AU Summer University continues to grow 

More and more students are choosing books instead of swimsuits during their summer holidays. AU Summer University has grown every year since it was inaugurated in 2011. And 2019 is no exception. A total of 2,700 students have chosen to spend a few weeks of their summer on an intensive university course. This is 20 per cent more than last year – and 140 per cent more than when the first Summer University was launched in 2011.

The increase also includes a nice rise in the number of international students. China, the UK and Australia send most summer students to Aarhus, but in recent years, Germany and Italy have also been climbing up the list. The growth is in the wake of specific efforts by AU to attract students from partner universities abroad.

Slight drop and status quo in new rankings

The two international rankings; QS World University Ranking (QS) and the National Taiwan University Ranking (NTU) have published their world rankings for 2019. This year, Aarhus University is ranked no. 145 on the QS world ranking. Aarhus University achieved a higher score, but the universities are very close. AU is ranked No. 3 in Denmark, 10 in the Nordic region and 57 in Europe.

In the latest edition of NTU's world ranking, Aarhus University is ranked no. 89 - the same as last year. AU ranked no. 2 in Denmark, 3 in the Nordic region and 27 in Europe.

Read more:

Aarhus University Press now in prestigious company

The Aarhus University Press has increasing focus on publishing research for the international market and, as part of this strategy, the University Press has now been admitted to the Association of University Presses. This international association is for publishers which meet the highest quality standards.

  • Read more (in Danish)

Free registration for the Danish University Extension opens on 1 July

Next autumn, it will once again be possible for staff from Aarhus University to enrol free of charge for a course at the Danish University Extension. The lectures and lecture series offered at the Danish University Extension in Aarhus, Emdrup and Herning cover a very broad academic span, so there's something for everyone.

There is a limited number of places and they are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration opens on Monday 1 July at 12:00 noon. You can only register for one course.

Follow these steps: 

  • Go to the Danish University Extension website and select “Specialaftaler – Tilmelding” (Special agreements – Registrationat the bottom of the page. 
  • Enter the “AU” agreement code in the empty, grey field
  • Select a course and complete the registration procedure
  • You will not be registered until you have received your admission card by email

The Research Foundation celebrates 75 years with celebrations for everyone in the new University City

It’s going to be wild on 31 August when the Aarhus University Research Foundation invites Aarhus residents to an anniversary party on the site of the former municipal hospital, which is soon to be transformed into the University City. The Foundation has supported research at Aarhus University for 75 years, and this will be celebrated with lectures, walks in the old hospital and live concerts, including a concert by the rising Danish star: Hjalmer.

"Research and innovation are two of the most important elements in solving the challenges facing society. So we want to include the public at large and celebrate our anniversary together with them," says Jørgen Lang, managing director of the Aarhus University Research Foundation.

Read more about the Foundation's celebrations:

New AU Key Statistics now available 

AU Key Statistics provides an overview of the most important key figures for the university for 2018 and the five preceding years. For example, you can find the average age of graduates, the number of female professors at AU, and statistics about how many inventions were reported in 2018. 

AU Key Statistics is available in both Danish and English, and can be downloaded as single tables in Excel or as a combined PDF file.

Have a nice summer! 

The senior management team publishes a weekly newsletter This includes details of decisions and initiatives from the Senior Management Team, plus current activities and discussions.