The campus-centred university is at the core of AU's institutional plan
The campus-centred university is at the core of AU's institutional plan The parties behind the political agreement on "more and better educational opportunities throughout Denmark" have now received institutional plans from the eight Danish universities. The universities have also sent a proposed joint sector plan to the ministry.
Political negotiations will soon begin that will ultimately result in the final plan for Aarhus University and the other universities. The overall political objective is to reduce the number of student places in the four major Danish cities and to create more student places in other cities and regions in Denmark.
The principle of campus-based education is a central part of AU’s identity. In recognition of this, a guiding principle in AU’s approach to the bound task of drafting the institutional plan is that student places that are relocated must be established on proper campuses. Students must have a high-quality educational experience and a good social and academic environment.
Relocation of degree programmes to Herning and Foulum
In the institutional plan, AU proposes moving two degree programmes to Herning Campus, which would be an asset to this well-established campus as well as to collaboration in and around Herning.
The university will also establish a campus in Foulum. AU will offer a new Bachelor's and Master’s degree programme in veterinary science and relocate the degree programme in agrobiology. In addition, the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) and AU together have proposed transferring the programme in animal science from UCPH to AU and moving it to Foulum.
As Rector Brian Bech Nielsen says:
"This enhancement of the Herning campus means that we’ll be in an even better position to support development in the western part of our region. We expect the new campus at Foulum will become a powerhouse – not least for the green transition in agriculture – to the benefit of the region and the whole country."
Thank you for a constructive and professional process
AU is convinced that it is not possible to realise the government’s goals through relocation alone. For this reason, the institutional plan submitted suggests downscaling a number of degree programmes and closing seven programmes in Aarhus and Emdrup.
The total net reduction in admissions in Aarhus and Emdrup proposed in the institutional plan is six per cent, which aligns with the decision by the parties to the agreement.
AU’s plan was submitted to staff and students for comment, and was discussed on several occasions by the senior management team. Every effort has been made to arrive at a plan that balances realising the political objectives with the senior management team's commitment to AU’s continued ability to contribute to society, as a university with a wide portfolio of disciplines with five excellent faculties and through the university's strategic initiatives. The board has approved the plan that has been sent to the ministry.
"This was by no means a task we approached with enthusiasm; nonetheless, the process of drafting the institutional plan and the comments from staff and students have been characterised by a constructive approach. I greatly appreciate this. There has been a high degree of professionalism all around, and through teamwork, we’ve arrived at a proposal for how we can work together to find a balanced solution,"concludes Rector Brian Bech Nielsen.
AU’s institutional plan will be included in the upcoming political negotiations on the final plan for the university sector.
Involvement of universities in the political process
Rector Brian Bech Nielsen and Pro-rector Berit Eika are looking forward to their dialogue with the politicians.
"Specifically, AU hopes that the politicians will discard the idea of setting a hard cap on our admissions. Having to cut back student places elsewhere at the university if we are to increase places in areas where society needs us to is immensely counter-productive. The educational landscape consists of many elements, and you can’t change one without risking that this will affect the others," says Pro-rector Berit Eika.