News from the senior management team no. 8/2016

Quota 2 applicants up 18 per cent

This year, 5,092 applicants – 18 per cent more than in 2015 – have listed Aarhus University as their first priority in their quota 2 applications. All in all, Aarhus University has received a total of 14,041 applications – an increase of 16 per cent.

All faculties have seen growth in the number of applications. The biggest growth can be seen in applications to the medical degree programme at Health, where a new quota 2 procedure  involving tests and interviews was introduced this year.

The number of quota 2 applicants continues to grow too at Science and Technology; the faculty’s 10 engineering degree programmes have received 29 per cent more applications than last year. 

Clear requirements and guidance to ensure study progress

The abolition of the automatic registration for exams, first-year exams on the Bachelor’s degree programmes, and a requirement that Master’s degree students must earn a minimum of 45 ECTS credits a year are just some of the initiatives being suggested by the AU Education Committee to help the university reduce the average degree completion time by 4.7 months.

The faculties and boards of studies have just been invited to comment on the proposal, the deadline being 11 April. Pro-rector Berit Eika points out that the financial framework around the study progress reform does not allow much room for manouevre, but that the proposal seeks to combine clear requirements with targeted guidance in an attempt to avoid a fine of up to DKK 240 million.

Better opportunities for women in research

After a broad consultation process at the university and consideration by the senior management team, Aarhus University has now drawn up an action plan with several specific tools for removing or reducing structural and cultural barriers.

The barriers mean that too few talented women at Aarhus University choose a career in research. The plan involves such measures as full compensation for costs relating to parental leave and new processes for filling positions – for example, all positions must be filled on the basis of open calls, and the use of search committees will be increased. Next, the departments and schools will prepare their own action plans based on the overall action plan.

The administration must work smarter, not harder

University Director Arnold Boon provides a briefing on the planned cost cuts of DKK 100 million in the administration up until 2019. He explains that the cost reduction plans for the period up until 2017 are now basically in place. At the same time, he stresses the need for new and innovative thinking in 2018 and 2019, where he is proposing to streamline working procedures.

Mapping tomorrow’s key research areas

Together with a number of other public and private stakeholders, Aarhus University has been invited to submit its suggestions for tomorrow’s most important research themes. The suggestions will be included in the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science’s FORSK2025 catalogue, which will provide the academic input for the political investments in strategic research.

The Committee for Research and External Cooperation has now initiated a process whereby the faculties will gather input from the various research environments. If you would like to contribute to the process, please contact the research committee at your department (HE, ST, Aarhus BSS) or school (Arts), or the vice-dean for research at your faculty. The input from AU as a whole must be submitted by 1 June this year.

The FORSK2025 catalogue will replace FORSK2020 and is expected to be published in spring 2017.

Danish research talents can apply for stays at MIT

Researchers from every university in Denmark can now apply for a research stay at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Under a cooperation agreement between the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation and MIT, each year up to ten Danish PhD students and postdocs within biology, biotechnology, chemistry and the pharmaceutical area now have the opportunity to spend either six or 12 months at MIT.

Applicants are responsible for financing their own salary, insurance etc. MIT is one of the highest-ranking universities in the world, and AU researchers can apply to spend time at the university on an equal footing with everyone else. The deadline is 24 May.

  • Read the notice on the Ministry of Higher Education and Science website (in Danish)


  • 18 April: Danish Minister for Environment and Food Esben Lunde Larsen visits the AU research centre in Foulum together with Kristian Pihl Lorenzen MP
  • 26 April: Board meeting
  • 28 April: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 28–29 April: Minister for Higher Education and Science’s annual education summit: general education in higher education
  • 29 April: Festival of Research


The Senior Management Team publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued. If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Team, please go to The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at