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Campus has come alive this week - but we're not back to pre-Covid-19 normality

The Rector’s Office welcomes all students and employees back for the autumn semester.

The Student Council has made a big contribution with the current information campaign that encourages students to treat each other with respect and consideration. The campaign builds on last year’s ‘Be nice - not træls’ campaign, and can be seen all over AU’s campuses in locations highly visible to students. Photo: Lars Kruse

First and foremost, we would like to welcome all students and employees back to campus for a new semester. However, this semester is very different from previous semesters at Aarhus University. Primarily because classes can’t take place on campus to the extent we were used to before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. So unfortunately, life on our three campuses won’t be quite the same. That’s the situation, and we have to make the best of it.

Before orientation week, tutors, teaching staff and administrative staff put an enormous amount of hard work into course planning, and as a result, there will be classes on campus in Aarhus, Herning and Emdrup, despite the pandemic. And not least, this hard work has also made it possible for the 7,000 new students to come to campus and meet their teachers, get to know their fellow students and experience as much as possible of what campus life is all about.

Classes and orientation week activities have been organised in compliance with the healthcare authorities’ guidelines. It’s crucial that we all – staff, students and tutors – practice social distancing, use sanitiser and follow the guidelines for behaviour on campus. The more careful we are here and now, the more we can be together in the long term. 

A special thanks to tutors...

Generally speaking, the first week has gone really well. Despite all the challenges, tutors have kept their spirits up and have given the new students a warm welcome. This year, tutors were also given responsibility for introducing the new students to the new hygiene guidelines it’s so important all of us adhere to. They accepted this responsibility without hesitation, and they’ve done a great job.

...and to our administrative staff

The same is true of teaching and administrative staff, who’ve been working tirelessly to make orientation week possible. An enormous amount of work has gone into making orientation week and classes on campus as safe as possible under the circumstances. Classrooms have been measured, entrance and exit routes have been planned and COVID-19 response procedures have been developed, just to name a few examples. It’s a wonderful testimony to how the entire university is pulling together to make this work.

Be nice: An excellent campaign from the Student Council

We’d also like to say a few words in praise of the current information campaign encouraging students to treat each other with respect and consideration. The Student Council has done a fantastic job: both in creating the campaign, which builds on last year’s ‘Be nice - not træls’ campaign, and in communicating it effectively.

On-site work and teaching

We are crossing our fingers that we will be able to work and study on campus this semester to the greatest extent possible. The special restrictions in Aarhus have been lifted, as we announced on Friday. This means that employees can go to work on campus in Aarhus again. Employees should make an agreement with their immediate supervisor on how their work will be organised in light of the fact that on-site work is possible.

See the full list of AU guidelines, which is updated on an ongoing basis at au.dk/en/corona.

We’re still in a situation that requires these precautions: the better we are at maintaining social distancing, the more we can be together. We will make a success of this by working together.

We wish all of you a great semester.


The Rector’s Office