News from the Senior Management Team no. 41/2011

Minister of Higher Education Morten Østergaard visits AU

In the course of a round of visits to the institutions under the Ministry for Higher Education, newly appointed Minister of Higher Education Morten Østergaard (Danish Social Liberal Party) visited AU on 21 November.

To emphasise the importance of internationalisation and talent development, the meeting was held at Dale's Café in the Dale T. Mortensen Building at the southern edge of the University Park campus in Aarhus. The building houses the International Centre, a residence hall for foreign PhD students, lecture halls, and other facilities. The minister was also introduced to brain research at AU, including an interdisciplinary research collaboration which links research on music and the brain.

Representatives from the senior management team and researchers participated in the meeting, along with two international PhD students who shared their impressions of Denmark and AU with the minister.

Minister of Higher Education Morten Østergaard received his Master's degree from Aarhus University in 2006.

International recognition of AU

In collaboration with the magazine European CEO, several thousand prominent European businesspeople have named the School of Business and Social Sciences Northern Europe's most innovative business school.

The panel of judges singled out the school's broad academic profile, which includes the social sciences in addition to more traditional business school subjects, as a primary motivation for their choice. Along with Business and Social Science's ambition to encourage interdisciplinarity based on a deep understanding of individual fields of inquiry at the highest international level.

Faculty of Health first in AU Board's round of visits to main academic areas

At its latest meeting, the Board started a round of visits to the university's four main academic areas. Their visit at Health introduced the members of the Board to the faculty's research. Among other activities, they observed one of the many operations on pigs which are performed in the surgical research laboratories in connection with research and teaching. Dean Allan Flyvbjerg also briefed the Board members on the plans for the new university hospital ,which will entail a significant increase in the university's activities in Skejby, the site of the new hospital.

The AU Board will visit each of the remaining main academic areas in turn. On their visit to Health, the Board members were accompanied by the rector, the pro-rector and the university director, who also gained a deeper understanding of the range of research activities performed at Health.

Senior administrators to exchange experiences at Sandbjerg Manor seminar

This week, the university's twenty-six department heads will participate in a seminar at Sandbjerg Manor together with the senior management team, the vice-deans, selected centre directors, chief advisers, administrative managers and deputy directors. Participants will work on developing strategies for AU's new departments.

Participants will exchange ideas across the organisation, which will help ensure that all relevant partners are involved in the departments' planning - such as the new university-wide forums and committees for research, talent development, knowledge exchange and education.  Participants will also work in groups in their respective main academic areas to discuss goals and challenges. In addition, participants will discuss the future development of AU Administration and the services it provides.

The seminar will begin on Wednesday 30 November and conclude on 1 December in the afternoon.

AU supports university-building in developing countries

The senior management team has decided to allocate DKK 5 million from the university's strategic fund to AU's engagement in the Building Stronger Universities initiative (BSU) under Universities Denmark. BSU works to support the development of higher education in developing countries.

AU chairs two of the four BSU platforms, and some of the funding has been earmarked for this role.  The remaining funds will be divided among the four platforms:  Environment and Climate; Stability, Democracy and Rights; Growth and Employment; and Human Health, in proportion to AU's involvement in their activities.

The private sector values collaboration with universities

Universities are valuable partners for Danish businesses, and ninety-nine per cent of businesses which have a working relationship with a university intend to continue their collaboration in future. This is one of the conclusions  of a survey investigating the experiences of Danish universities' partners in the private sector which was recently performed by Oxford Research for Universities Denmark for the second year in a row.

DKK 10 million to AU researcher

Associate Professor Jan Arlt, a talented young physicist at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been awarded a DKK 10 million Lundbeck Foundation grant to establish his own research group at AU.

The  Lundbeck Foundation Junior Group Leader Fellowship awarded to Dr Arlt will support the establishment of a research group including two new postdoc positions and two PhD stipends. The research group will be established under the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Aarhus University.

Dr Arlt's research focus is ultracold gas clouds. Precisely what he and his staff of researchers are looking for is patterns in the small clouds.   If they can find them, they expect to gain a deeper understanding of one of nature’s most fascinating phenomena – magnetism.


  • 25 November: 75th anniversary, Department of Law
  • 28 November: Inauguration of "IT Corner" (IT-hjørnet)  in IT City Katrinebjerg
  • 30 November - 1 December: University management seminar at Sandbjerg Manor
  • 6 December: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 15 December: Meeting of University Board
  • 15 December: the rector's Christmas Speech in the Main Hall, 15.00

Kind regards

The Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

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