Aarhus University Seal

New communication practice gives departments and centres greater latitude

Aarhus University’s new communication practice marks a break with the central principles of the branding strategy it replaces and is tailored to the university’s development anno 2016.

Aarhus University has just adopted a new communication practice which sets out the overall framework for internal and external communication across the university. At the core of the new practice is a local focus which respects the need of departments, centres and schools for greater latitude in their communication.

The preparatory work for the new practice was performed by a cross-university working group of academic and administrative employees as well as students appointed by the faculties. After consideration by the academic councils, the new communication practice was adopted unanimously by the senior management team.

“The working group has struck a good balance between giving the faculties more latitude and consideration for the university’s unified stance. The driving force of the university is and always will be strong academic disciplines, which is why the new practice shows such clear respect for unique academic identities,” states Brian Bech Nielsen.

The process of developing the new communication practice was set in motion as a result of the 2014 problem analysis, which identified a range of challenges associated with internal and external communication. In the course of the past two years, the university has been working to address these challenges.  The goal has been to encourage a greater focus on teaching and research in communication and to involve employees and students to a greater degree. This approach has now been officially formulated in the new communication practice.

The practice is based on the fundamental principle that departments, centres and schools should select the forms of communication that best serve to strengthen their academic positions, with due consideration for the fact that they as part of the university also contribute to AU’s overall image.

In addition, the practice should be understood in the context of the general effort to reach the university’s strategic objective of a strong position both in Denmark and abroad, not least in relation to attracting external grants, being viewed as an attractive partner and being able to recruit the best students and employees.   

According to the communication practice, concrete action plans should be developed at the local level to guide external and internal communication according to the needs of the individual units. Some units have already started this process, while others are preparing to launch it.


Background information about the project

  • The new communication practice is based on the thorough preparatory work of a cross-university working group appointed by the faculties consisting of academic and administrative employees as well as students.
  • The process was initiated in the context of the follow-up on the 2014 problem analysis, and was anchored by a steering committee chaired by University Director Arnold Boon.
  • The communication practice was reviewed by the academic councils in May 2016, and have now been formally adopted by the senior management team.
  • The practice will apply in the period covered by the university’s strategy for the period 2013-2020, and replaces the 2011 branding strategy.
  • As part of the development of the communication practice, a minor adjustment of the design programme with regard to the use of the logo and seal was also adopted by the senior management team in April 2016. Read more
  • Proposals for improvements to the university’s websites were also developed in parallel with the development of the communication practice. Read more
  • Most recently, a new design for au.dk has been approved. Read more