News from the senior management team no. 29/2016


Governance review should not lead to more control

In the spring, the Danish government initiated a so-called governance review, which will look at whether the current governance of higher education degree programmes lives up to the government’s expectations regarding quality and relevance.

In the course of the summer, the governance review mapped the concrete experiences of a number of stakeholders and their perspectives on the legislative framework, the supervisory authority and development contracts, which have since been compiled and analysed in a recently published report from the analysis agency Nextpuzzle.

The report has generated considerable debate, because it suggests that there is a need for the ministry to become involved in the appointment of boards “for example through an appointment body designated by the minister, or through the minister approving proposed candidates,” as it says in the report.

The theme was also one of the focal points for the Technical University of Denmark’s education and research policy summit last week, at which neither the Liberal Party’s spokesperson for education nor the minister would go into further detail about which specific measures the review will lead to.

For Aarhus University, the arm’s length principle and macromanagement are keywords in relation to university management. This is something which both the rector and the chairman of the University Board have stated on numerous occasions. Most recently, Rector Brian Bech Nielsen had the following to say about the current review in the Danish daily newspaper Berlingske:

“Politicians should confine themselves to macromanagement, and grant the university management teams the necessary freedom to manage the universities within the given framework. The problem is that we are micromanaged beyond what is reasonable. This problem will not be solved through having politically appointed boards,” he says.

The government will present the results of the governance review later in the autumn.

AU kicks off idea generation process for Campus 2.0

On Friday 7 October 2016, representatives from business and industry, culture, politics, the City of Aarhus and Aarhus University came together for the first of two workshops. The aim of the workshops is to kick of the process of developing a modern and urban campus on the AUH Nørrebrogade property, which AU will take over in 2019.

In collaboration with the future owner of the hospital buildings, Forskningsfondens Ejendomsselskab A/S (FEAS), the university wants to develop a campus area which will be integrated with the city and business and industry, and which students, employees, citizens and the business community will use and want to be part of 24/7.

The process of developing ideas will continue over the autumn, and another workshop will be held on 9 December. The university would very much like to hear from anyone – internal as well as external stakeholders – who may have any ideas for the campus of the future. All the input will be drawn on in the ongoing process of developing the area.

Submit your ideas and keep track of developments at (in Danish, but English translation available soon)

In parallel with the university’s idea generation process, FEAS is running a process which will result in a local development plan for the area.

Universities contribute to companies’ growth

Universities Denmark published a new report last week which focuses in particular on the effects of the interplay between companies’ research activities and their recruitment of university-educated employees. Researchers from Copenhagen Business School (CBS) are behind the report, which concludes that growth increases markedly if businesses cooperate with the Danish institutions of higher education.

Aarhus University sees the report as a significant contribution to the task of promoting cooperation with business and industry. In line with the chairman of Universities Denmark, Anders Bjarklev, Aarhus University hopes that the report can contribute to highlighting and encouraging more dialogue on the question of how research can best drive growth and innovation in society.

The report is part of Universities Denmark’s work to describe and document the economic effects of public research. 

Trine Hyrup Mogensen receives newly established Jens Christian Skou award

Trine Hyrup Mogensen, an associate professor at Aarhus University and a specialty registrar at Aarhus University Hospital, is the first-ever recipient of the Jens Christian Skou award.

The award was established to focus on young research talents within the health sciences. Trine Hyrup Mogensen is being presented with the award in recognition of her unique research into how the immune system combats infection. Congratulations!

AU advances two places in NTU Ranking

Aarhus University has advanced two places in the new National Taiwan University Ranking (NTU), and is now no. 86.

AU has climbed 46 places since 2007, when the list was first published. The NTU Ranking focuses exclusively on research, and is unique in that it looks at production and impact within a relatively short period of time.

Aarhus University has advanced two places in the new National Taiwan University Ranking (NTU).

AU is now no. 86 in the ranking, having climbed 46 places since 2007, when the list was first published. The NTU Ranking focuses exclusively on research, and is unique in that it looks at production and impact within a relatively short period of time.

Within the subject rankings, AU enjoys particularly high rankings within Agricultural Sciences (no. 10), Environment/Ecology (no. 17) and Plant & Animal Sciences (no. 58).

MatchPoints 2017 programme now finalised

The MatchPoints conference at Aarhus University on 20-21 May 2017 will focus on the Reformation, and will be the biggest adult education event in Denmark during the quincentenary of the Reformation. About 70 experts from different disciplines will shed light on the importance of the Reformation for the society we live in. The keynote speakers include the world-renowned Professor Francis Fukuyama from Stanford University, and HM Queen Margrethe II will open the conference with a speech.

60 years with TÅGEKAMMERET

One of the university’s legendary party and lecture societies – TÅGEKAMMERET – celebrates its 60th anniversary on 11 October. The society, which is run by student volunteers, is today a social gathering point for mathematics, mathematics-economics, computer science, IT, physics and nanoscience students. The anniversary will be marked with a number of activities organised by students, among other things a reception in the Ambulatory, an anniversary revue, and an anniversary lecture, where Rector Brian Bech Nielsen will give a speech, among things about the importance of TÅGEKAMMERET for the study environment at the faculty over the years.


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