News from the Senior Management Team no. 17/2012

Psychological WPA consultation by main academic areas soon

Towards the end of the year, employees at Aarhus University will be invited to take part in the psychological workplace assessment (WPA) which is being conducted to map the psychological work environment at the various units.

Efforts are already going into planning the process and tailoring the WPA questionnaire to capturing the employees' perception of the work environment at Aarhus University in the best possible way.
In the time ahead, the process and the questionnaire will therefore be discussed by the newly formed liaison bodies and the occupational health and safety organisations within the four main academic areas and in the administration.

This year's psychological WPA will, among other things, be designed on the basis of the experience from the most recent survey conducted at Aarhus University in 2009. All workplaces must conduct both physical and psychological workplace assessments every three years.

The results of the physical WPA conducted recently will be published in May.


Concerted efforts to strengthen foreign languages

Danes must must improve their foreign language skills, and this must be achieved through the combined efforts of the entire Danish educational system.

That was the topic of a conference organised by Aarhus University and VIA UC last week. The conference was attended by the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard and 120 other representatives from institutions of further education, upper secondary schools, elementary schools and various foreign language interest groups.

The conference looked, among other things, at the recommendations made in a report submitted in 2011 by a task force appointed by the minister and headed by the former dean Bodil Due.

Input from the groups formed at the conference will now be collated in a report before being handed over to the minister to serve as a source of inspiration for future government initiatives within the teaching of foreign languages.


Minister visits Student Incubator for inspiration

The Student Incubator in Aarhus also received a visit from the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education, Morten Østergaard, last week. He talked to students of entrepreneurship and heard about the Student Incubator activities as inspiration for the government's new innovation strategy.


Collective memories – shaped by war, conflicts and transitions

This year's MatchPoints Seminar at Aarhus University, which will be held this week, will be addressing a topic which since the 1980s has become a major field of research worldwide. The world wars, the cold war period, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Balkan war and the Arab spring are all historical events which have left the affected nations in a kind of identity vacuum. What are "we" now - what were "we" before? – how can we recreate ourselves as a people and based on what collective memories and values.

This year's MatchPoints Seminar brings together more than 100 international and Danish researchers within history, psychology, literature and culture studies to a conference where they will be presenting new research into memories of war, conflicts and critical transitions. They will discuss intergenerational remembering and how such memories transform and shape our identity.

This is the fifth MatchPoints Seminar hosted by Aarhus University. The seminars are intended to provide a wider audience with deeper insights into leading research within a topic of extreme relevance to society.
The MatchPoints Seminar is held at the Lakeside Lecture Theatres at Aarhus University on 10-12 May and is open to all.

Special event with the Danish University Extension: Wars and crises - as told by Danish authors
MatchPoints is again this working with the Danish University Extension which on 10 May in the evening is hosting the event "Krig i litteraturen" (War in literature). The journalist Klaus Rothstein will be interviewing the director Anne-Grethe Bjarup Riis about the making of truthful films as well as the two authors Birgithe Kosovic and Lars Husum about crises and war memories in their books.

Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen debated Europe's future

On Monday 7 May, the former mayor of Aarhus, Nicolai Wammen, visited Aarhus University in his new role as Danish Minister for European Affairs.

Nicolai Wammen outlined Europe's future as regards, for example, the accession of new member states like the Balkan countries, and the impact of an expanding Europe on legislation 

Two experts on Europe from Aarhus University, Associate Professor Derek Beach and Professor Philipp Schröder (BSS), were on the panel of researchers and lead the debate. The debate was held in English.

Royal visit and young researchers at Aarhus University

On Monday 30 April, Aarhus University hosted this year's Young Researchers competition for pupils at elementary school or attending youth education programmes. Out of 1,500 entrants, 48 had made it to the finals where they were assessed, among other things, on the degree of innovation, the scientific method applied, thoroughness, independence and the communication of their project.

The projects included ideas like intelligent barbecue tongs which can tell you when your steak is done, sun cream made from seaweed and the electric cars of the future.

As patron of Young Researchers, HRH Prince Joachim attended the event and presented the awards to the winners.


  • 10-12 May: MatchPoints 2012
  • 2-3 June: The Great Debate
  • 13 June: Meeting of the University Board
  • 14 June: Summer speech

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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