News from the senior management team no 32/2016

Institutional accreditation: Last visit before decision time

This coming week, AU will be visited for the second and last time by the accreditation panel, which will assess the university’s quality assurance system. At the same time, it is the final step on AU’s journey to being granted the much sought-after accreditation. But what is actually at stake?

Students evaluate study environment

Up until 25 November, all full-time students at Aarhus University can participate in the university-wide study environment survey to map the university’s physical and psychological study environment. In the near future, material will be sent out to directors of studies and teaching staff to help them in their efforts to encourage students to participate in the survey.

The study environment survey, which is Aarhus University’s version of the statutory educational environment assessment, is organised by the Education Committee, and this is the fourth time it is taking place; the last time was in 2014. 

University director comments on workshop on employer conduct

Last Thursday, the Agency for Modernisation together with Kammeradvokaten gave a presentation on ‘Handling of low performers in the state.’ The nationwide initiative has become the subject of considerable discussion in the media about the work ethics of state employees.

University director Arnold Boon is emphatic that the picture of inefficient employees is not one he recognises at Aarhus University. At the same time, he believes that the discussion is relevant given the view that good employer conduct can help to increase employee well-being as well as the organisation’s productivity – the purpose being to develop, not dismiss.

The co-examiner system: A jewel that needs polishing up

In a debate series on, Berit Eika in her capacity as pro-dean for education sits on a panel which now and in the near future is focusing on the contribution being made by the Danish co-examiner system to education quality. In her article on 27 October, Berit Eika calls the co-examiner system one of the important jewels in the education system. However, she maintains that there is a need for more focused use of co-examiners, which at the same time must be integrated in the universities’ ongoing quality assurance work. Among other things, she suggests using external co-examiners for fewer exams as well as professionalising the appointment, allocation and assessment processes.

Lundbeck Foundation prizes for AU researchers

AU researchers have received two of the Lundbeck Foundation’s personal prizes for researchers within the health sciences.

Alexander N. Zelikin, associate professor at the Department of Chemistry and the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO) has received the Lundbeck Foundation Research Prize for Young Scientists 2016 for his research into the design and development of medical polymer materials. The prize is awarded to a particularly promising researcher under 40 years of age.

Lars Wiuff Andersen, doctor and PhD student at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, has received the Lundbeck Foundation’s Talent Prize 2016. The prize is awarded to researchers under 30 years of age. 

Facelift for from 1 November

The university’s external website is getting a facelift on 1 November. The new website design focuses, in particular, on the recruitment of students, straightforward access for external stakeholders and easy access to information about the university’s research and academic units. The new design is part of a major drive to improve the university’s web solutions.



Danish Council for Independent Research becomes Danish Foundation for Independent Research

Following broad political agreement, a number of changes will be made to the Danish Council for Independent Research, which is changing its name to the Danish Foundation for Independent Research. The activities of the Danish Foundation for Independent Research still focus on the funding of free, researcher-initiated research in Denmark, but a change to its powers means that in future it will be possible to impose a quarantine period on researchers whose proposals have been refused a grant. This is a practice which is also known from the ERC. In addition, the foundation is able to grant funding for ‘thematic research’, which is financed over and above to the foundation’s basic grant. 



World’s biggest tech network coming to Aarhus

Between 300 and 400 people from the biggest businesses and universities worldwide will be visiting Aarhus for the international IEEE conference hosted by the Department of Business Development and Technology at Aarhus BSS on 27–30 November 2016. The IEEE – the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – is the world’s largest tech network with approx. 420,000 members, and the conference guest list includes representatives from Cisco, HP, Google, Princeton, Stanford and MIT. Rector Brian Bech Nielsen will welcome the delegates.



Research Communication Prize 2017

There is still time to nominate candidates for the research communication prize which is awarded each year by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in connection with the opening of the Festival of Research. The deadline is 1 November at 12:00.







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