News from the senior management team no. 3/2016

Predictability and transparency in new appropriation model

Aarhus University proposes that the universities’ present taximeter system be converted to a model consisting of a basic grant and an activity-based grant. The proposal has been made in response to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s request for input about a new funding system for higher education degree programmes.

The model proposed by Aarhus University addresses the need for transparency and predictability, while also taking into account the fact that certain programmes have higher costs, for infrastructure for example.

In the model, the basic grant accounts for 80 per cent of total funding and is primarily based on two key quality indicators: student/VIP ratio and consumption of external funding per VIP. The remaining 20 per cent takes the form of an activity-based grant which is dependent, among other things, on the size of the student body.

Together with proposals from the rest of the educational sector, the AU model will be discussed at the dialogue meeting which the Ministry of Higher Education and Science is holding on Thursday 4 February. Here, representatives from the Danish institutions of higher education and other stakeholders will debate how to best organise the appropriation system which is to replace the taximeter system. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen will participate in the meeting as a member of the discussion panel.

Ministerial visit to AU

Student commitment, nanoscience, business collaboration and talent programmes were among the topics discussed when Esben Lunde Larsen, Minister for Higher Education and Science, visited Aarhus University on 1 February.

Here, the minister met some of the students behind Aarhus Symposium, which every year brings together a number of Danish and international leaders, politicians and senior researchers for a debate at Aarhus University.

The minister was also taken on a tour of the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO) facilities, where he discussed research infrastructure and business collaboration with nanoscience researchers. As part of the tour, the minister also met students and lecturers from the iNANO talent programme for a presentation of Aarhus University’s honours programmes for the brightest and most motivated students.

The minister visited AU Flakkebjerg on 2 February, and is due to visit the Department of Business Development and Technology in Herning on 22 February.

Questions for university director

University Director Arnold Boon is inviting all staff and students to ask any questions they would like him to answer. For example, about the work of the administrative areas, his managerial style or his approach to various challenges facing the organisation.

A welcome reception for Arnold Boon was held on 29 January. Here, Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and Pro-rector Berit Eika welcomed the new director, after which Arnold Boon gave a speech.

Health joins forces with Helsinki

A new agreement between the faculties of health at Aarhus University and the University of Helsinki aims to strengthen the universities’ PhD programmes, increase mobility and internationalisation and provide better opportunities for international careers. The new agreement involves activities such as exchanges of PhD students, lecturers and employees as well as joint supervision and courses.

The closer cooperation on PhD degree programmes between the faculties of health at Aarhus University and the University of Helsinki started two years ago.


  • 4 February: Dialogue meeting on the new appropriation system for higher education; Brian Bech Nielsen is on the panel
  • 22 February: Esben Lunde Larsen visits AU Herning
  • 24 February: Board meeting 
  • 3–4 March: Seminar for the Academic Council at Sandbjerg Estate attended also by the University Board

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