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Aarhus University launches ambitious digital initiative

Over the coming years, Aarhus University will realise an ambitious multi-phase digitisation initiative which will help prepare researchers, students and the labour force for the digital transition of the future. On 9 June, the board approved the plans for the four action areas of the initiative and to the launch of the first action area in autumn 2017.

2017.06.14 | Rikke Skovgaard Lindhard

The digital initiative consists of four concrete action areas which will be realised at Aarhus University in the coming years:

1.      Education of more STEM digitisation specialists

2.      Development of technology and educational theory and practice to support incorporation of IT into the degree programmes (Educational IT)

3.      Ensure relevant digital competencies in all of the university’s degree programmes and educate more digitisation specialists from within non-STEM academic areas.

4.      Strengthen continuing and further education in the area of digitisation.


These action areas constitute the first wave of the university’s contribution to Denmark’s digital future – a future which will require that all professions and trades acquire stronger digital competencies, in addition to an increase in the number of students who choose STEM degree programmes, according to the Digital Growth Panel. Connie Hedegaard, chair of the Aarhus University Board, emphasises the importance of strengthening digital competencies not only in the technical and natural sciences research and teaching programmes, but also in the humanities and social sciences:


“The labour market of the future will not only place high demands on the qualifications of our graduates. It will also demand that we find the answers to many of the fundamental challenges which accompany digitisation. This requires the ability to bring many different fields in play across faculty boundaries. Including when it comes to digitisation.”


The new initiative will draw its strength from the encounter between digital competencies and disciplinary specialisation. The four action areas each involve wide-ranging initiatives and are at the same time mutually interdependent. For this reason, they will be successively presented to the board for final approval towards 2019.

“The board take quite an interest in this initiative, and not least in ensuring that the optimal degree of interplay is created among its various elements, so that the digitisation initiative benefits the entire university. We want to future-proof the university’s research and degree programmes, and to give graduates the best preparation for solving the major task facing society,” Hedegaard says.


The first action area, which focuses on the expansion of digitisation-related STEM degree programmes and research, will be launched in autumn 2017. The other three action areas will be presented to the board for approval according to the following schedule:


·         October 2017: Educational IT

·         2018 (tentative): Ensure relevant digital competencies in all of the university’s degree programmes and educate more digitisation specialists from within other academic areas than STEM.

·         2019 (tentative): Strengthen further and continuing education of the current labour force


·         Read more about the plans for the first action area



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