News from the senior management team no. 27/2017

Aarhus University celebrates 89th anniversary

Last Friday, Aarhus University celebrated its 89th anniversary, and true to tradition, the formal part of proceedings took place in the Main Hall, including the presentation of awards and celebratory speeches.

Chairman of the Board Connie Hedegaard kicked off the event by stating in no uncertain terms that the university must act as a shield against fake news, and that knowledge, facts and depth must counter the superficiality which pervades our culture. She stressed that politicians, civil servants, decision-makers and citizens must have access to research-based knowledge, and questioned whether all public sector consultancy should be subject to competitive funding.

In his speech, Rector Brian Bech Nielsen impressed upon the audience that education is a journey of personal development, and called for greater confidence in young people and their choices for the future. He emphasised that the university works every day to improve quality and strengthen competitiveness, and pointed out that the Danish government’s plans to carry on cutting the funding for education by 2 per cent a year has nothing to do with quality improvements.

Niels Due Jensen is distinguished alumnus of the year

Niels Due Jensen, a mechanical engineer and former Group President and CEO of Grundfos, was named distinguished alumnus 2017. Niels Due Jensen is one of the most prominent figures in Danish industry, and has been the driving force in making the Bjerringbro-based company Grundfos the world’s largest pump manufacturer. Niels Due Jensen graduated in 1971 as an engineer from Aarhus Teknikum, now Aarhus University School of Engineering. His engineering degree became an important foundation for his long-term work as Group President and CEO of Grundfos.

Niels Due Jensen is the tenth in a string of distinguished alumni, which includes former CEO of LEGO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Professor of Physics at Harvard University Lene Vestergaard Hau and former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

In addition to the distinguished alumnus, the day also honoured a number of other researchers and students at Aarhus University. The prizes of honour presented included a prize of honour for pedagogics, a research communication award, and the Queen Margrethe II Travel Grant for four AU students. In addition, an honorary doctor was appointed by each faculty.


Giant sports day and celebrations in the University Park

Last Friday, the students celebrated the university’s anniversary with Denmark’s biggest Friday bar and the sports day in the University Park.

The event is organised by the Student Council at Aarhus University and Aarhus University Sport (AUS), and brings together students from all degree programmes and year groups for a fun and festive day with lots of tournaments in more or less serious sporting disciplines – from volleyball, basketball and floorball to beer bowling and a hot-dog eating contest. The programme also includes stand-up comedy, concerts and other forms of entertainment during the day and into the evening.

The student sports day is based on voluntary involvement and the desire to have fun together, and no particular level of sporting achievement is required. Last year, 20,000 students attended the event.


Focus on quality, retention and progress at inspiration day

There was tremendous support for this year’s inspiration day, and last Thursday more than 150 employees met up for an intensive programme about education, which included input from a number of external speakers, panel debates and presentations from the academic environments.

The Education Committee is behind the inspiration day, which this year was themed on quality in teaching and excellence in education with a focus on measurement, retention, progress and immersion. Throughout the day, the participants debated and exchanged experience on, e.g., quality tools, measurements, learning analytics and specific AU projects.

Pro-rector Berit Eika is delighted with the high level of commitment of the academic environments and their excellent input and projects. At the same time, she stressed that, at a time when the pressure is on for quality measurements to be carried out, it is particularly important to ensure the quality of the measurements.


Aarhus hosts sport and education summit

During the three-day ENSE Sport Summit 2017, researchers and experts from the world of sports last week presented the latest knowledge from Denmark and abroad about sport and studies, talent development and dual careers.

The Danish speakers included Minister for Culture Mette Bock, President of Team Danmark Lone Hansen, Olympic silver medallist and student Sara Slott, Professor Verner Møller from the Section for Sport Science, and Professor Karl Anker Jørgensen from the Department of Chemistry.

Dean of Health Lars Bo Nielsen was there and praised Aarhus University as a front runner when it comes to focusing on sports talents and ways of combining talent development with a research-based education.

The event was held at Concert Hall Aarhus and the Lakeside Lecture Theatres.


Danish School of Education moves to Nobel Park

The Danish School of Education’s department in Aarhus has moved from Trøjborg to Nobel Park.


Aarhus University Press launches new history series

‘100 danmarkshistorier’ is a new series from Aarhus University Press. The series comprises 100 books of 100 pages each in which 100 researchers talk about known and less well-known historical events in Denmark. One book will be published a month for the next 100 months. The first book in the series was published this week – Poul Duedahl’s Gudhjemtid (Gudhjem time = GMT + 1).


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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 http://info.au.dk/medarbbreve, 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 http://info.au.dk/medarbbreve/index.asp?sprog=en. The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/.

You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/2015.