News from the senior management team no. 18/2016

Board approves AU’s budget plan and strategic initiatives

At a board meeting on 14 June, the board unanimously approved the plan implementing the cost reductions which the university is facing as a result of the 2016 Finance Act. In the period up to and including 2019, costs must be reduced by an estimated DKK 280 million, and Aarhus University is well geared to handling the forthcoming financial constraints.

At the same time, the board decided to prioritise four strategic focus areas which, with DKK 260 million from the university’s strategic funds (USM), will strengthen Aarhus University’s position in the areas in which the university’s knowledge and graduates are in particularly high demand.

The budget plans have been through an extensive consultation and co-involvement process, and the process of further articulating and implementing the plans locally will now begin.

New national centre for school research opens on 1 August

On 1 August 2016, the Danish School of Education (DPU), Aarhus University, is opening a new national centre for school research, which is an important element in the university’s new strategic focus areas. Dean Johnny Laursen has high hopes for the new centre, which will be responsible for bringing together Danish educational research in major research projects with the aim of improving the quality of education in daycare institutions and schools.

The centre has been established in collaboration with VIA University College, and the first two large-scale projects as well as a partnership agreement with Aalborg University are now in place. Professor Lars Qvortrup has been appointed head of the centre, and will take up his position in connection with the opening.

Eight AU researchers receive Sapere Aude millions

Eight AU researchers have been awarded funding from the Danish Council for Independent Research in the form of Starting and Research Talent grants under two Sapere Aude programmes.

Six of the grants for AU researchers are Starting grants, with five researchers at Science and Technology and one researcher at Arts receiving grants totalling almost DKK 42 million. In addition, two talents at Arts have each received a grant of DKK 144,000 as part of the Research Talent programme.  

In total, the Danish Council for Independent Research has awarded DKK 125 million to a total of 38 talented researchers in Denmark.

Dean of Health Allan Flyvbjerg joins Danish government’s growth team

Dean of Health Allan Flyvbjerg from Aarhus University will represent the Danish universities on the Danish government’s recently appointed growth team, which will help the pharmaceutical and medtech industry to maintain and consolidate its strong position.

Allan Flyvbjerg has also joined Ugeskrift for Læger (journal of the Danish Medical Association) as a regular blogger, In his first post, he discusses what the health system can learn from patients.

Rector and pro-rector call for higher academic standards in new upper secondary school reform

In an article published in the Danish broadsheet Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten on 9 June, Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and Pro-rector Berit Eika express their wish for a stronger focus on academic skills and competencies in the debate about tomorrow’s upper secondary schools. Berit Eika will focus on the issue during Denmark’s Political Festival on the island of Bornholm.

Administration’s core task up for debate

Focus was on cooperation in the administration when University Director Arnold Boon brought together the deputy directors, administrative centre managers, division managers, chief advisers and the secretariat managers for a meeting on Wednesday 8 June. The aim was to kick off a process of creating a more coherent administration across units, faculties, departments and schools and to address what Arnold Boon calls the customer-supplier mindset. At the meeting, most of the discussions centred on the administration’s core task. Arnold Boon encourages everyone to come forward with their ideas.



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