News from the senior management team no. 28/2017

Rector: Competitive bidding can destroy research environments

In an interview with the news website, Rector Brian Bech Nielsen warns about the consequences of the introduction by the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries’ of competitive funding of public sector consultancy, because the so-called basic research funding will be included in the competitive bidding. Together with DTU President Anders Bjarklev, he makes the point that it might well destroy the specialist research environments and the huge flow of knowledge which public sector consultancy supplies to the Danish food industry and environmental initiatives in Denmark.

“It usually takes at least 10 years to build up a strong research environment – but you can destroy it in a split second,” says Brian Bech Nielsen in the article.

At the same time, both men express their concern that the expertise will move abroad. The Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Esben Lund Larsen rejects the criticism.

Timetable for re-accreditation now in place

The Accreditation Council has just approved the time schedule for the process up until 28 November 2018, when the Accreditation Council meets to decide on Aarhus University’s reapplication for institutional accreditation. The first big deadline is 1 March 2018, when AU must submit a new self-evaluation report – however, reporting only on the few points of criticism that the panel has raised. 

Rector to visit departments/schools in the autumn

Last Wednesday, 20 September, marked the start of Brian Bech Nielsen’s annual round of visits to the university’s departments/schools. On Friday, he paid his fourth visit of the week – to the Danish School of Education (DPU) in Emdrup.

The aim of the visits is primarily to gather input from the academic environments and to strengthen direct and open dialogue. Also, it is an opportunity for Brian Bech Nielsen to gauge the political landscape and review the university’s strategic initiatives.

All departments/schools can expect to receive a visit by mid-November.

PhDs compete on research communication 

On 3 October, Aarhus University is hosting the national Falling Walls Lab competition, where PhDs and PhD students from all the universities in Denmark will present their breakthrough research using three slides in three minutes in front of a large audience and a jury. The winner gets a place in the finals and a trip to the Falling Walls Lab in Berlin.

For the audience, the registration deadline is 29 September.

The Committee for Research and External Relations has granted funding for the event, which last year attracted a 150-strong audience and 13 PhD presentations. This is the third consecutive year that AU is hosting the event.

Free admission to constructive journalism conference

On 26–27 October, the newly opened Constructive Institute (CI) opens its doors to leading journalists and researchers from around the world who will be attending a large conference on constructive journalism in a society where fact-based knowledge dissemination faces considerable challenges. The event is taking place in the Main Hall at Aarhus University, and admission is free for staff and students. Seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Berit Eika joins new advisory panel for upper secondary schools

Pro-rector Berit Eika has been appointed a member of a new advisory panel which has been set up by Minister of Education Merete Riisager and Minister for Higher Education and Science Søren Pind. The employer panel is composed of rectors, professors and heads of studies administration, who together will follow the implementation of the new upper secondary school reform, which came into force on 1 August this year. The aim is to find out whether the reform prepares young people better for completing a post-secondary education programme.




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