News from the Senior Management Team no. 39/2012

China visit opens doors for researchers and students

A delegation from Aarhus University has just returned from visiting some of China's strongest universities. They came back with a newly signed student exchange agreement with Tsinghua University and several new promising and unique opportunities for collaboration.

??Personal relations and knowledge mean a lot in China, and the visit therefore included several meetings and reunions with university managements and representatives from different academic areas at the three universities: Peking, Fudan and Tsinghua.

??There was also time to visit the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, which houses the new Danish-Chinese SDC programmes. Here, work is well under way to enlarge the campus with a new four-storey building for, among other things, SDC's study activities as well as meeting and accommodation facilities for Danish and Chinese researchers and students.

The visit to China is part of a big initiative to achieve greater mobility and closer collaboration between students and researchers at Aarhus University and Chinese universities. The next step is to set up specific matchmaking activities; the senior management team has allocated DKK 2 million for this purpose.

Aarhus University contributes to social mobility

A new survey of students at universities in Denmark shows that Aarhus University lies above the national average in terms of social mobility at Danish universities.

In all, 74% of students starting their studies at Aarhus University in 2011 are expected to finish with a higher level of education than their parents. The national average is 72%.

In brief from the University Board meeting

At its meeting on 31 October, the University Board discussed and approved the job advertisement for a new rector. The job ad will be published on the AU website on Friday 9 November and in the national media on Sunday 11 November.

The Board also discussed AU's strategy 2013-2020 with a view to clarifying the senior management team's future work. The strategy will be submitted for consultation in the relevant fora at AU by mid-November.

The final strategy will be presented to the Board on 27 February 2013. The Board concluded the meeting with a visit to Science and Technology.

New Center of Excellence at AU

The new Center for Geomicrobiology is opening on the 9 November. For the next five years, it will be a 'Center of Excellence', financed by the Danish National Research Foundation.

The centre is being headed by Professor Bo Barker Jørgensen, who also led the former Center for Geomicrobiology (2007-2012), which was co-financed by the German Max Planck Society and the Danish National Research Foundation. Researchers from Center for Geomicrobiology were involved in the significant breakthrough regarding research into conductive 'cable bacteria' on the sea floor which has just been published in Nature.

PIT will make IT users participants??

High expectations and big research ambitions marked Tuesday's opening of the new interdisciplinary centre for Participatory IT, PIT.

PIT brings together researchers from across the Department of Aesthetics and Communication and the Department of Computer Science, and five of these researchers unveiled a number of the centre's specific research themes which all focus on participation; participatory innovation, participatory publics, sustaining IT development in public institutions, aesthetics of participation as well as artistic strategies of participatory culture. To begin with, PIT has a five-year grant

Bomb threat at Campus Fuglesangs Allé

Last Friday, Campus Fuglesangs Allé was subjected to a bomb threat, and students, employees and visitors were evacuated from the area. The threat was called off on Friday afternoon, and on Saturday the campus reopened for teaching and exams.

The evacuation meant that three exams on the day-time study programmes and a single Master's exam had to be interrupted, and the university will ensure that students are able to resit these exams as quickly as possible.

Aarhus University has launched an evaluation of the process in connection with the bomb threat.

East Jutland Police are currently investigating the incident.

Erhoff Prize again won by AU researcher

Professor Jens Christian Djurhuus, PhD, at Aarhus University was recently awarded the Erhoff Prize in Danish biomedical research.

The prize is awarded by the Erhoff Foundation on the basis of Professor Jens Christian Djurhuus's more than 30-year-long career within research and, in particular, his notable work within research organisation and research politics.

In 2011, the Erhoff Prize was awarded to AU Dean Allan Flyvbjerg.


  • 9 November: Official opening of Center for Geomicrobiology
  • 15 November: AU in DR TV programme 'Gintberg på Kanten'
  • 26 November: Conference on bridge-building in the educational system
  • 28-29 November: Management seminar
  • 3 December: Topping out ceremony at the NAVITAS building



Kind regards,

The Senior Management Team, 2 November

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