News from the senior management team no. 17/2016

Internal management seminar on study progress and external research funding

The annual management seminar on 30 May at Sandbjerg Estate focused on study progress and external research funding in a series of presentations and debates. The senior management team, faculty management teams and heads of department/school participated in the seminar.

The discussions on study progress provided the heads of department/school with a forum for discussion aimed at giving everyone an opportunity to contribute to reducing the average time to degree. Six factors were central to the discussions: students, culture, teaching staff, administration, curriculum and management.

The discussions on external research funding focused, in particular, on attracting more external funding for the purpose of strengthening research at Aarhus University and creating attractive career opportunities for researchers. Measured on a number of objective parameters, Aarhus University has a very strong research environment, but figures still suggest that Aarhus University is attracting a falling share of external funding nationally. The participants discussed possible causes and solutions, focusing in particular on the role of management at all levels.

The Committee on Education and the Committee for Research and External Cooperation will now follow up on the discussions at the management seminar, as will the faculty management teams.

A simpler and more up-to-date staff policy 

AU’s staff policy has been revised to bring it in line with the university’s current organisation. The revised staff policy is shorter and consists of eight norms and nine specific subpolicies which constitute a framework for local implementation.

Dean Thomas Pallesen of Aarhus BSS chaired the working group responsible for developing the staff policy, a process which has involved both employees and managers from the entire university. The staff policy has now been approved by the Main Liaison Committee (HSU) and the Main Occupational Health and Safety Committee (HAMU).

More students choose AU Summer University

The summer holidays are just around the corner, and for many this means a break from their studies. However, more and more students are choosing to devote part of their holiday to further study. With 1,850 students enrolled in AU Summer University, a 9 per cent increase relative to 2015 has been achieved. The increase is primarily attributable to AU students who are choosing to take summer courses to earn ECTS credits, for example prior to doing an internship, or students who have fallen behind on their ECTS credits. However, an increase is also being seen among international students.

The increase is not a new trend. Over the past five summers, there has been a significant growth in the number of AU students at AU Summer University. Relative to 2012, there are now 79 per cent more internal students, and an overall increase of 53 percent if all groups of students are included.

The number of courses being offered has remained largely constant over the years. This year, however, demand has been higher than ever before. Out of the 55 courses, 24 are completely full, something which has never happened before. The most popular courses are ‘Negotiation’, ‘Practising Business and Data Analytics’, ‘Service Marketing and Social Media’, ‘United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods’, which are offered by Aarhus BSS, ‘Visual Media Production’, which is offered by Arts, and ‘Wind Power Summer School’, which is offered by Science and Technology in cooperation with Siemens and Vestas.

The senior management team is very positive about the development of AU Summer University as a tool for giving students more flexibility within the framework of the study progress rules. AU Summer University is also important for the university’s international profile. With this in mind, the senior management team would like to see a wider selection of summer courses being offered for Bachelor’s degree students, as the Summer School is a strong platform for recruiting international students to the university’s Master’s degree programmes. 

AU Summer University starts at the beginning of July and runs for six weeks until mid-August.

AU researcher receives ‘For Women in Science’ award

Luise Ørsted Brandt, assistant professor at UrbNet, School of Culture and Society, received an award from L’Oréal-UNESCO for a research project on the colours of ancient sculptures last week. In winning the award, Luise Ørsted Brandt becomes a role model for other women in science.

AU part of new Big Data research centre

Niels Christian Nielsen, dean at Science and Technology, recently inaugurated a new research centre – the Danish Center for Big Data Analytics driven Innovation (DABAI). The Department of Computer Science plays a key role in DABAI, which is headed by the Alexandra Institute together with parties from several other universities, businesses and public agencies as well as Central Denmark Region.


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