News from the Senior Management Team no. 22/2013

The Crown Prince inaugurates new research stations in Northeast Greenland

This week, a small Danish/Greenlandic delegation is traveling to Northeast Greenland to inaugurate and launch Aarhus University's new research facilities at Zackenberg, Daneborg and Station North.

The delegation comprises HRH the Crown Prince, the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard, Greenland's Minister for Education, Research and Nordic Affairs Nick Nielsen, Chairman of the Aage V. Jensen Foundation Leif Skov, Chairman of the Villum Foundation Lars Erik Kann-Rasmussen, Professor and Head of Aarhus University's new Arctic Research Centre Søren Rysgaard and Rector at Aarhus University Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen.

AU introduces mentor/mentee scheme for academic staff

In the autumn, Aarhus University will be introducing a mentor/mentee scheme for academic staff at Aarhus University.

'Empower talent' is the name being given to the new scheme, which will help to ensure that the university maintains and strengthens the competencies of its academic staff.

Participation is voluntary for both mentors and mentees. All interested employees at assistant professor (assistant professor/researcher/postdoc) level can become a mentee, while all employees at associate professor level and above who are interested can register as mentors.

The mentor and mentee do not need to be from the same department or main academic area. Pairs of mentors and mentees can register together, or individual employees can register as either a mentor or mentee, and they will then be matched on the basis of their wishes, interests and competencies.

Theme workshops will be held regularly to inspire and develop both new and established mentor/mentee relations, so that participants benefit to the greatest possible extent from the scheme.

Initially, the senior management team has allocated funding to run the scheme for three years, after which it will be evaluated.

Once the scheme is finally ready to be introduced from the autumn, it will be announced in the senior management team's newsletter and on the university website.

Tribute to Mads Møller, architect

It is with great sorrow that the senior management team has received news of the death of the architect Mads Møller.

In his own outstanding way, Mads Møller continued the legacy of his father, C.F. Møller, and played a key role in shaping Campus Aarhus.

Among the architectural works which can be attributed to Mads Møller are the Lakeside Lecture Theatres and the Nobel Park, where his passion for architecture, functionalism and, in particular art, really shines through. In recent years, Mads Møller was very interested in enhancing the look of the university's green areas and in opening them up to students and staff. This can be seen for example in front of Stakladen and at the main entrance to the university.

Mads Møller was a strong advocate of good architecture in green surroundings, and it is largely thanks to him that we are still able to enjoy the University Park, which is one of the loveliest parks in Denmark, and with buildings and parkland beautifully complementing each other.

Mads Møller was 71 years old.

AU lives up to its 'acute' job commitment

Last October, the Danish government agreed with the Confederation of Danish Employers (DA), Local Government Denmark (LGDK), Danish Regions and the Danish Ministry of Finance that 1,200 'acute' jobs should be created at state workplaces in the period leading up to 1 July 2013.

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education's total share of employees under the 'acute' job scheme is 295, of which 56 are at Aarhus University.

Aarhus University has now employed 56 people under this scheme and is thereby living up to its commitment.

Government presents internationalisation plan

More Danish students must acquire international experience as part of their studies. This sums up the action plan for internationalisation which the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard presented at Folkemødet – Denmark's Political Festival on Bornholm.

The action plan focuses primarily on Danish students, and will be followed later in the year by a second part which looks at attracting and retaining foreign talents.

The plan comprises four measuring points, with each point being addressed in a number of specific proposals:

  • At least 50% of graduates in 2020 must have undertaken study periods or internships abroad.
  • The number of Danish students undertaking study periods or internships in growth countries must increase by min. 15% a year up until 2020.
  • The proportion of partnerships with foreign educational institutions involving double degrees or degrees at two institutions must have increased by 20% in 2020.
  • The number of Danish students undertaking study periods or internships in non-English-speaking countries must increase by min. 15% a year up until 2020.

At the same time, the government proposes to abolish the requirement for an equilibrium of inbound and outbound exchange students in favour of a kind of 'reverse FTE scheme'. At the moment, the universities receive FTE funding for incoming exchange students. The Danish government is proposing that, in future, FTE funding will only be given for the ECTS points which Danish students earn abroad.

Scottish doctoral partnership enters new phase

A new programme with six joint PhDs will be the first concrete result of a major doctoral partnership between Aarhus University and the University of Edinburgh (UoE).

The six PhD scholarships are expected to be advertised in autumn 2013 and offered from 2014-2016 within three academic areas which have been identified in dialogue with UoE:

  • Psychiatric research (AU) and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (UoE)
  • Arctic Studies (AU) and Geosciences (UoE)
  • Department of Culture and Society (AU) and Centre of African Studies (UoE)

PhD students will be enrolled at Aarhus University and at the University of Edinburgh and complete their PhDs in collaboration with both institutions.

The agreement with UoE, which was signed in September 2012, has the overall goal of strengthening European PhD training and will result in a joint EU application called ExEDE (Excellence in Doctoral Education) – A collaborative project on Excellence in Doctoral Training.

The two universities are working together on presenting the project at the Euroscience Open Forum in Copenhagen in 2014.

Graduate school heads Johnny Laursen and Lise Wogensen Bach are Aarhus University's anchorpersons on the project.

New SDD (Staff Development Dialogue) concept at AU

The Main Liaison Committee (HSU) has approved a new joint SDD concept which also has the backing of the senior management team. The new SDD concept is open to all employees at the university, where SDD dialogues are held in the autumn.

The concept provides a framework for holding SDD dialogues and contains, among other things, dialogue guides intended for the main staff groups: VIPs, TAPs, VIP managers and managers. The concept has been tailored to AU following a consultation process with the liaison committee organisation. The consultation has meant, among other things, that the concept now takes account of special university conditions in the best possible way, with dialogue guides and agreement forms having been revised accordingly. The concept will be evaluated each year.

Aarhus University celebrates its 85th anniversary

On Friday 13 September, Aarhus University is celebrating its 85th anniversary at the traditional Annual Celebration.

The programme is being finalised, and the celebration starts in the Main Hall at Nordre Ringgade with the appointment of a new honoured alumnus and four new honorary doctors as well as the conferral of the Aarhus University Anniversary Foundation's Honorary Award in Education, the Aarhus University Research Communication Award and the Queen Margrethe II Travel Grants. The celebration continues in the evening with an event at Concert Hall Aarhus.

Unfortunately, there is a limited number of tickets for the evening party at Concert Hall Aarhus, so – as in previous years – registration is on a first-come, first-served basis for staff. The invitations will be sent out on 12 August, and registration opens on Wednesday 14 August at 9.00. More information will be published in a subsequent issue of the newsletter.

Aarhus University at NorthSide

The music at NorthSide Festival had an academic supplement when Aarhus University showed up the weekend before last with its InnoSide concept for the second year running at the increasingly popular Aarhus music festival.

Via InnoSide, Aarhus University, students from the university and AU alumni present concrete results of their entrepreneurial activities.

Festival-goers had the chance to meet food researchers who served samples of organic herbs, and whey as a protein drink. Throughout the event, it was possible to see and interact with different projects, for example "Smagsdommeren" – the Taste Judge – an interactive photo installation that collected reasons why Aarhus is the best city in which to study in Denmark.

NorthSide wants to be seen to be continuously moving forwards, and in this respect Aarhus University is a valuable partner within the fields of new knowledge, entrepreneurship and networking.


  • 13 September: Annual Celebration
  • 24-25 September: Board meeting and seminar

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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