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Focused digitalisation initiatives at AU

Digital developments are happening at a remarkable pace, and new solutions are constantly emerging, but what should AU focus on? In the near future, AU will be focusing on how digitalisation can support the university’s core activities to a greater extent and make life easier for students as well as academic and administrative staff through the streamlining of procedures.

2016.05.12 | Malene Hjulmand Bundgaard

Photo: Colourbox

Digitalisation can be used to make life easier and free up resources for students as well as academic and administrative staff at the university, provided that it is done the right way. “Digitalisation offers considerable scope for improving and professionalising procedures, but the challenges and pitfalls are many if it isn’t handled in the right way. We must bear in mind that digitalisation is 80% organisation and 20% IT. It isn’t just a question of switching to digital processes, but just as much about making sure that the processes are right,” explains Arnold Boon. 

Focus on needs of academic environments

The university is constantly working to develop its digital services, but is now going one step further by defining a common digitalisation strategy for AU. Digitalisation comes in many shapes, and students as well as academic and administrative staff will therefore be involved in the process of finding out what AU should focus on.  

Administrative processes and services can be improved and simplified through digitalisation. Research and teaching activities, learning outcomes and the physical study environment can be supported by various digital solutions, such as e-Science, streaming and digital platforms. Moreover, digitalisation can also play an important role when it comes to attracting the best students and researchers, who in future are expected to demand more advanced digital solutions,” says University Director Arnold Boon.

The digitalisation strategy must support AU’s core activities and be based on the needs of the academic environments. Predicting future needs can be difficult, but it is necessary to define a general framework. The framework must be flexible and gear the university for any changes necessitated by changing needs. 


The efforts to define a digitalisation strategy will be divided into two phases. The first phase has kicked off and consists of a number of interviews and workshops for the university management, students, academic and administrative staff. The aim is to investigate where AU is today, and to find out which areas and processes should be digitalised as a way of making life easier for the various targets groups and ultimately strengthening the university’s competitiveness. The initial phase will also involve an exchange of positive experience with other educational institutions and businesses from comparable sectors.

The second phase starts in the autumn and will set the course and define the objectives of the digitalisation strategy. At the end of October, the digitalisation strategy will be submitted for an open consultation at the university prior to its adoption by the senior management team at the end of 2016 and finally by the board in February 2017. 



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