News from the Senior Management Group no. 29/2012

Aarhus University annual celebration 2012

On 14 September, Aarhus University will be hosting its traditional annual celebration, which on this occasion is celebrating the university’s 84th anniversary.

The afternoon ceremony in the Main Hall will see, among other things, speeches by the Chairman of the Board and the Rector as well as a special lecture by Professor Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, the conferring of honorary doctorates, prize-giving and, in particular, the naming of the honorary alum of the year. The afternoon event in the Main Hall will be broadcast on-line.

In the evening, there is a star-studded concert under the direction of conductors Per Chr. Frost and Peter Vuust. There is always a run on tickets for this popular event, and tickets have therefore been issued to university employees on a first come, first served basis.

Aarhus University’s students are celebrating the day by holding the combined sports day and Denmark’s biggest Friday bar in the University Park.

Interdisciplinary education discussed at September meetings

Study programmes are in focus when the senior management team visits the four main areas in connection with the annual September meetings next month. Here, discussions will take place on how to develop an interdisciplinary education profile, and how Aarhus University’s educational structure can give students more possibilities for combining subjects and acquiring competencies across the different research areas.

Central themes at the meetings will include core expertise as the key foundation for interdisciplinarity, diversity in the main academic areas’ study structures and, not least, the practical possibilities for integrating interdisciplinary elements in the ECTS system.

AU retains its top 100 position in the Shanghai ranking

This year’s ARWU ranking (Academic Ranking of World Universities), otherwise known as the Shanghai ranking, were recently published, with Aarhus University still at no. 86 in the international university ranking.

In 2007, Aarhus University was no. 102 on the list, but after several years of progress, the university has consolidated its top 100 position, where it is one of the five youngest institutions. The top of the ranking is dominated by American universities, which occupy 17 of the top 20 slots.

The ARWU list, which is compiled by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University, measures research conducted within the health sciences, natural sciences and the social sciences. Unlike other rankings, the ARWU list only uses objective parameters such as the number of publications, Nobel Prizes and articles in magazines and periodicals such as Science and Nature.

Interdisciplinary centre opens its doors

The new interdisciplinary research centre, Interacting Minds, officially opens its doors on Friday 24 August.

The centre, which is headed by Professor Andreas Roepstorff, will forge new knowledge about human interaction by drawing on research from the social sciences, health sciences, natural sciences and the humanities. So far, funding has been granted for the first five years of activities.

The opening of Interacting Minds is being marked with an academic workshop followed by a reception, which is open to everyone who has registered.

Interacting Minds is one of the five interdisciplinary research centres which were established earlier in the year at Aarhus University with a view to stimulating collaboration across the traditional scientific fields.

Strategic funding bolsters PhD area

The focus will be on career prospects and international recruitment when, in the coming years, more than DKK 6.6 million is allocated to strategic talent development initiatives. The funding will help to strengthen the PhD area at Aarhus University and support the Danish PhD initiatives.

So far, four different initiatives are on the drawing board at the interdisciplinary Talent Development Committee:

  • Strengthening targeted careers guidance for PhD students while focusing on both the private and public sector
  • A satisfaction survey among the current PhD students with a view to quality assuring the study programmes
  • Developing new courses which are relevant for PhD students from all academic areas
  • A recruitment campaign directed at PhD students throughout Europe

The strategic funding will be distributed in the 2012-2016 period.


  • 24 August: Opening of Interacting Minds
  • 29 August: CULT, the EU’s culture committee, visits Aarhus University
  • 31 August: Inauguration of the S Building at Fuglesangs Allé in Aarhus
  • 10 September: Opening of the research infrastructure project DigHumLab
  • 10 September: Opening of the Astrid2 particle accelerator
  • 14 September: Aarhus University’s annual celebration
  • 18-19 September: University Board meeting and seminar
  • 21 September: Inauguration of the Arctic Research Centre (ARC)

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