News from the Senior Management Team no. 33/2013

Broad majority for new Innovation Foundation

The Danish government has reached an agreement with the Liberal Party of Denmark, the Danish People's Party, the Red-Green Alliance, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party on the establishment of a strategic research foundation from 2014.

The foundation will be established through an amalgamation of the Danish Council for Strategic Research, the Advanced Technology Foundation and the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation and will be known as 'Denmark's Innovation Foundation – the foundation for strategic research, advanced technology and innovation' (Danmarks Innovationsfond – Fonden for strategisk forskning, højteknologi og innovation).

The new innovation foundation will be headed by an independent board modelled on that of the Advanced Technology Foundation. The board is expected to have an annual budget of DKK 1.5 billion.

The political agreement on Denmark's Innovation Foundation also includes an evaluation of the existing technology transfer efforts and partnerships between knowledge institutions and the business community.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen back at Aarhus University

Former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, now Secretary General of NATO and distinguished AU alumnus, visited Aarhus University on Thursday, 3 October. Here, he gave a special talk about his views on and experience of conflict management and developments in the balance of power in international politics. Having taken an initial look at the overall theory, he went on to explain how the theory works in real life.

The special lecture was organised by the Politological Society, and the large auditorium at the Department of Law was packed. Students had been invited to register on a first-come, first-served basis.

Before the lecture, Anders Fogh Rasmussen met briefly with Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.

New head of AU Summer University

From summer 2014, Department Head Kurt Jensen from the Department of Computer Science will be head of AU Summer University.

Based on AU's strategy for the 2013-2020 period and AU's development contract, the senior management team has decided to give higher priority to the university's activities as a summer university. To realise the new vision for the AU Summer University, the senior management team has appointed Kurt Jensen.

Kurt Jensen has accepted the appointment, which he will take up in earnest once his contract as department head expires on 30 June 2014. Kurt Jensen has not wanted to carry on as department head.

The new head will be working with a coordination group consisting of six to eight selected directors of studies appointed by the main academic areas.

Annual visit by the Danish National Audit Office

The Danish National Audit Office visited Aarhus University last week. As is usual practice, the auditors had identified a number of focus areas in advance.

In connection with the visit in 2013, the auditors are focusing on:

  • guidelines for researchers' other paid employment and the administration of standard hours
  • guidelines for the payment of invoices to external suppliers
  • management information systems
  • handling of the impact of the increasing student intake on the need for university buildings.

The regular visit by the auditors also covers a review of the annual report for the preceding year.

The findings are included in the Danish National Audit Office's overall assessment of Aarhus University's annual report and in the report on the audit of the state accounts for 2013.

AU ranked 138th in Times Higher Education tables

In the new Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Aarhus University is ranked 138th. down 22 places on last year.

Aarhus University is also ranked in three out of six subject rankings: Arts and Humanities (95), Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health (92) and Life Sciences (89).

The THE tables, which were first published in 2010, are dominated by North American universities. Half of the top 100 universities are North American, and seven out of the top 10 universities are from the USA.

The tables are based on 13 performance indicators within the categories of research, teaching, international outlook and cooperation with the business community. Among other things, an annual survey of the universities' reputation is conducted, while points are also earned based on research influence in the form of citations. The methodology favours smaller universities specialising in technology or the medical and health sciences, for example. The top-listed institution in the ranking is the California Institute of Technology, which has 300 researchers and 2,000 students.

In other rankings of the world's best universities, Aarhus University is in the top 100:

  • Shanghai Ranking (ARWU): no. 81
  • National Taiwan University Ranking: no. 82
  • QS World University Rankings: no. 91
  • CWTS Leiden Ranking: no. 77 among the 132 largest universities in the world measured in terms of research production

Read more about rankings and AU


  • 9 October: Senior management team meets with the Department of Culture and Society
  • 6 November: University Board meeting
  • 13 November: Senior management team meets with the Department of Business Communication
  • 11 December: Senior management team meets with the Department of Biomedicine

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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