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Vice-dean: The E2020 semester start will be out of the ordinary

The commencement of studies for the autumn semester 2020 has already led to grey hair among Health's studies administration, the reorganisation committee, board of studies and teaching staff even before it has really begun. The development of the coronavirus in Aarhus has made preparations difficult, but Vice-dean for Education Lise Wogensen Bach remains optimistic – in spite of everything.

2020.08.20 | Sabina Bjerre Hansen

Vice-dean Lise Wogensen Bach says that preparations for the coming commencement of studies will literally continue right up until the deadline as the corona situation is changing almost hourly. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Photo.

Vice-dean Lise Wogensen Bach says that preparations for the coming commencement of studies will literally continue right up until the deadline as the corona situation is changing almost hourly. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Photo.

When students and teaching staff at Health embark on the new semester at the beginning of September, very little will be as it usually is. Some of the planned intro events have been postponed or reduced, while others will be held in new formats. Only some of the teaching can take place in the university's classrooms, and some will have to be held online. The re-emergence of the corona pandemic and altered guidelines and recommendations means there is a need to change course again – and again.

"We were naive enough to have everything ready and done and dusted on the basis of the guidelines that were in force when we began our summer holidays. We’d hoped that everyone would be able to return to campus after the holiday, but that’s not how things turned out," says Vice-dean for Education Lise Wogensen Bach and elaborates:

"We've learned that we must be prepared for both worst and best case scenarios. We have no choice, even though doing the same work twice is both tedious and time-consuming. In times like these, where external factors determine how we must and can work, strategy and development have fallen on hard times. Nevertheless, we must maintain our focus on the faculty’s future, so we don’t get completely bogged down in guidelines for distancing, cleaning and coughing in your sleeve," she says.

The new students have first priority on campus

Together with health's administrative staff and teaching staff, the faculty's student advisers have worked hard on the preparations for receiving the almost 880 new students at the faculty in the best possible way; however, circumstances mean that this will not be a plan A or B, but rather a plan C or D.

"We're sorry that the planned orientation week events for our new students have had to find new formats that are conditional on external circumstances. The student advisers have worked really hard and been very flexible under difficult conditions. In spite of this, they’re giving the new students an orientation that we can be proud of, and which the new students can look forward to," says Lise Wogensen Bach.

“The social and academic integration is important for retention and well-being, so we will do our utmost to make sure the new students feel they belong at the university, even under these exceptional circumstances. We’re therefore looking at whether we can merge the orientation week into the semester itself, for example in the evenings, at weekends and during holidays," says the vice-dean.

She also hopes that the teaching staff will keep a close eye on the new students in this special situation.

Committed employees make it all work

With barely two weeks to the start of the semester, a lot can still change. But Lise Wogensen Bach is not shaking in her boots.

"Dealing with the coronavirus situation has been and continues to be a challenge, but our administrative support and the academic organisation of the educational area are functioning at all levels thanks to dedicated and patient employees. That's why we will also succeed with the start of the semester and the commencement of studies in the autumn semester," concludes Lise Wogensen Bach.

Autumn 2020 – facts about the commencement of studies and admissions

Commencement of studies:

  • If they have not already received information, the teaching staff at Health will be informed directly about how they can plan, schedule and carry out their teaching in the autumn semester.
  • On Monday 24 August 2020, the students will be notified directly as to whether they should attend teaching in the University Park, or whether they must participate in online teaching.
  • Prior to the commencement of studies, guidelines with clear instructions about how to act in the different teaching situations will be sent to the teaching staff and the students.
  • In the case of questions or queries, members of teaching staff are encouraged to contact their immediate supervisor or deputy head of department, while students should contact the studies administration.


  • All of the degree programmes at Health are able to offer their student places to first-choice applicants.
  • The minimum grade point average has fallen for all of Health's degree programmes, with the exception of public health science. The primary reason is that the so-called quick start bonus has been abolished.
  • In the case of medicine, this year there were 1,037 first-choice applicants to the 553 student places and a total of 310 more applications than last year.
  • The dental hygienist degree programme experienced an unusually high number of applicants last year, and therefore – as the only degree programme at Health – sees a decrease in the number of applicants this year. Despite this, the degree programme still received 144 first-choice applicants to the 79 student places.
  • At sports science, the number of admissions to the Bachelor’s programme has been increased by nine places from 80 to 89 with a view to ensuring recruitment to Bachelor’s tracks in the new academic regulations and to the Master's degree programme.


Vice-dean for Education Lise Wogensen Bach
Aarhus University, Health
Mobile: (+45) 2548 8522
Email: lwb@au.dk

Education, Technical / administrative staff, Health, Health, Academic staff, PhD students