News from the Senior Management Team no. 21/2013

New research hub opened at Aarhus University

The Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) was inaugurated on Thursday with talks and academic presentations from researchers and managers.

AIAS is the first institution of its kind in Denmark. The institute will host a total of 35 research fellows at a time. The new facilities in the University Park will allow the researchers to devote themselves to their work for several years, without any demands being made on them with respect to content, purpose or methods, just quality. AIAS is expected to help to create new, strong international relations and networks at Aarhus University.

At the opening, Björn Wittrock, Principal of the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Study, described institutes of advanced studies as being a special type of research unit which have proved particularly successful at e.g. Princeton and Stanford. Afterwards, the recently appointed AIAS fellow Cheryl Mattingly introduced the audience to her anthropological research.

So far eleven fellows have been appointed. The deadline for applications for the second round expired on 7 June. A new group of fellows is expected to be appointed in the autumn.


Universities' equity scrutinised in new report

According to a new report from the Public Accounts Committee (Statsrevisorerne), Aarhus University's equity is relatively small in relation to its revenue.

At the end of 2012, Aarhus University had an equity/revenue ratio of 10%, compared to an average of 21% among all eight Danish universities.

In its report, the Public Accounts Committee acknowledges that the universities need a certain amount of equity, and that they should each be able to set their own targets with respect to the size of their equity. The Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education have said they will introduce rules for the size of each university's equity, but that they will continue to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the sector.

The auditors' report mentions that some universities have exceeded their own targets in relation to equity, and that several universities have reported that they are budgeting with a deficit in the coming years.

In 2013, Aarhus University's budget includes several investments which are expected to result in a loss of DKK 81 million, reducing the university's equity to DKK 536 million by the end of the year. 

The Public Accounts Committee has asked for general improvements to be made in the Danish university sector: The committee would like the universities to improve how they adjust their budgets during the year, and they would like the universities to link calculations regarding the uncertainty of their income to a greater extent with the size of their equity to avoid large budgetary deviations in future. In the 2010-2012 period, Aarhus University's budgetary deviation was 1%, relative to the average for the sector of 1.9%.


Top universities to submit declaration to G8

In connection with the latest Global University Summit, a selected group business leaders, policy makers from organisations such as the IMF and the OECD and rectors of leading universities, including Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, prepared a declaration with statements of intent and recommendations relating to global development and growth.

The declaration, which contains four general recommendations for G8, was presented to Dominic Martin, Director of the G8 Presidency Unit.

During the Global University Summit, Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen also chaired a panel debate on technological possibilities in an educational context.


Calendar

 

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 info.au.dk/medarbbreve, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Team, please go to info.au.dk/medarbbreve/index.asp. The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/. You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/2013.