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Plan for new common timetabling system is ready

New system for planning teaching and examination activities to be implemented between now and 2021. The system is accompanied by a more uniform way of timetabling.

2019.05.01 | Camilla Schrøder

The work of rolling out the system will be a collaborative effort between the administration and the academic environments across the faculties. Photo: Anders Trærup

AU’s three existing timetabling systems are to be replaced by one new common timetabling system. The new system – TermTime/ExamTime – will be rolled out in a step-by-step process starting in October 2019. The plan has been drawn up following discussions in the senior management team in December, and the system is expected to take effect for timetables from the autumn semester in 2020. This will be preceded by six months of ‘shadow planning’, in which the system will be tested on selected teaching and examination activities.

Kristian Thorn, deputy director of AU Student Administration and Services and chairman of the steering committee for the teaching and timetabling system, stresses the need for a trial period.

“We want to minimise the inconvenience that staff and students will experience in the transitional phase. With shadow planning we have the opportunity to test how our data works with common processes and make adjustments before teaching and examinations are planned in a new system. This will require some extra effort in studies administration for a while, because we still have to plan in existing systems – on the other hand, it will probably make life easier for teachers, students and administrative staff when the system is implemented,” says Thorn.

Common planning

The new system is accompanied by a uniform method of timetabling, which will take account of the need for qualified coordination between teaching and examination activities, the number of students, room size and equipment, as well as proximity to the study and academic environment.

When the system has been completely rolled out, teachers and students will receive valid personal timetables for both teaching and exams. And studies administration will find that timetabling in a common system provides a better overview to allow rooms to be used efficiently.

The work of rolling out the system will be a collaborative effort between the administration and the academic environments across the faculties. The vice-dean for education at Arts will play a central role in both AU-wide and local work.

“The intention behind more uniform planning is to make it easier for staff and students to see their timetables and exam schedules in good time and to know where and when they have classes and exams. A prerequisite for success is to create workflows that make it possible for us to plan the semesters earlier than we can today,” says Niels Lehmann. He also emphasises that the transition will be made step by step, leaving teaching staff at Aarhus University with flexibility and influence over their timetables.

Teaching and administrative staff can expect to be kept informed of progress with the implementation. A local steering committee has been set up in each faculty, with representatives from both academic and technical/administrative staff, to provide for buy-in and timely involvement of key employees. Employees will also be able to consult the project website and the University’s newsletters. 


FACTS: Four phases in the plan

  • Autumn 2019 – spring 2020: Shadow planning of selected teaching and examination activities in all four faculties. The aim is to quality-assure data and work processes. Planning in existing systems will continue unchanged.
  • Spring – autumn 2020: New system goes live and is implemented across the university. Parallel testing of common principles for timetabling with a large, limited group of students.
  • Autumn 2020 – spring 2021: Transformation, with further work on common processes and principles in the annual cycle for Course and Examination Administration.
  • Spring 2021 onwards: Continued transformation and consolidation of timetabling principles based on analysis and evaluation of initial findings.


FACTS: Organisation of the implementation

The project will be managed by a steering committee with broad representation from the academic environments and the administration, chaired by the deputy director of AU Student Administration and Services Kristian Thorn. Local steering committees have also been set up in each faculty, chaired by the vice-dean.

The steering committee has also formed a process working group with members from across the faculties. The process working group is responsible for ensuring continuity and consistency in the development of the phased plan to bring in common processes.

Read more on the project website 

Administrative, Administration (Academic), All groups, All AU units, Aarhus University