Blog entries

Getting ready for an exciting autumn semester

Now that the summer holiday is over, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get started on the work that we need to complete in the coming months.

The deputy directors, administrative centre managers and I have gotten a start on a new academic year by taking stock of what we achieved in the first half of 2016 and making a plan for what we want to be able to check off our lists at the end of the year. And we have a lot to look back on and forward to – fortunately.

In the administrations’ senior management group, we have put together a list of some of the major administrative projects for this year. Here are some examples of the projects which the administration is particularly focused on:

  • Institutional accreditation – In April, AU submitted a self-evaluation report to the accreditation institution, and the accreditation panel’s first visit to the university took place in June. The panel will visit us again in November to evaluate the university’s quality assurance system. Read more
  • A digitisation strategy – Over the course of this autumn, the needs assessment survey performed in the spring will be used to develop a university-wide plan for how digitisation can be used to support the university’s core activities and make the daily lives of students and employees easier. Read more
  • A system for teaching and exam administration – development of a project description and initiation of tender.
  • The psychological WPA – the survey performed in the spring will be followed up by action plans this autumn. Read more
  • Digital exams – implementation of a shared platform for digital exams.
  • Time to degree completion – new rules were developed in the spring which will come into force this autumn.
  • New staff policy – approved in the spring after two years of work with extensive employee involvement through committees and consultations. Implementation will continue this autumn. Read more
  • Financial management – the university developed a financial plan in the spring which will now be implemented at the local level. At the same time, we will also work to improve our financial management.
  • Process optimisation – the results of the pilot projects of the spring will be consolidated and extended to other units this autumn. Read more

However, keeping daily operations running smoothly is just as important as these development projects. This is what ensures that bills are paid on time, classrooms are ready for the new semester, students know the deadline for exam registration, new employees get their contracts before their first day on the job, IT problems are solved quickly – all this and much more is what makes the daily lives of the university’s employees and students run smoothly.

In the administration’s senior management team, we are also preparing to take a closer look at the focus area I  have previously referred to in terms of improving employee competencies. We’re going to take a more systematic approach to evaluating what competencies we will need in five years, and how we can use targeted competency development and recruitment to ensure a good match between administrative tasks and competencies in future. We will begin this process in earnest in September.