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Aarhus University is a young, modern university established in 1928. It has grown to become a leading public research university with international reach covering the entire research spectrum. AU is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top universities. It was ranked number 71 in the 2021 Shanghai ranking and among the world’s 50 best universities in 5 out of 51 subjects in the latest 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
Around 12 per cent of AU’s 39.000 students are international, representing over 106 nationalities. AU offers more than 60 complete programmes in English at Bachelor’s and Master’s level. All PhD programmes are in English.
The strategy of Aarhus University focuses on three strategic priorities:
- Basic research and core disciplines of the highest quality that will generate research breakthroughs and collaborate to produce new interdisciplinary research
- Solid research-based degree programmes for all students combined with supplementary academic activities and challenges for the most talented and motivated students
- Internationalised teaching and research programmes that contribute to the high concentration and mobility of talent at all levels.
The first chapter of the history of Aarhus University began with the inauguration of "University studies in Jutland" in Aarhus Technical College's ceremonial hall on the 11th of September 1928.
The municipality of Aarhus allocated a budget of 33,000 Dkr for the first year, classrooms were rented from the Technical College and a teaching corps consisting of one professor of philosophy and four Readers of Danish, English, German and French was assembled.
On inauguration day, 64 students registered. During the first semester the total rose to 78.
A wide circle of citizens from the city's business community, organisations and institutions formed the University Association Aarhus (Universitets-Samvirket) , in 1921, which, together with the municipality of Aarhus, formed the impetus in the fight to have Denmark's second university located in Aarhus.
From the beginning, in 1928, it was the University Association's job to participate on the University's board together with representatives from the City Council and a representative for the University's teachers. Another important function was the raising of funds for the construction of university buildings on the site allotted by the municipality in 1929 for the coming University Park.
Up until the 1940's the University's buildings were erected exclusively by means of donations. The national government financed the majority of administrative costs from and including 1932. Use of the name "Aarhus University" began in 1933.
The Faculties I
In 1928 courses in the humanities were offered (in philosophy and language) and in 1933 the Faculty of Medicine (formally established in 1935) began its courses in basic medical subjects. The Faculty, which in 1953 was completely built-up, merged with the dental school in 1992, after which it changed its name to the Faculty of Health Sciences.
The Faculty of Economics and Law was established in 1936. Once the Political Science and Psychology study programmes began within the same area of study in 1959 and 1968 respectively, the faculty changed its name to the Faculty of Social Sciences.
The Faculty of Theology was established in 1942 following a period in which theology classes had been offered since 1932.
The Faculty of Science was established in 1954. As a result, Physics and Chemistry moved from the Faculty of Medicine to the new faculty and, in a similar manner, Geography moved from the Faculty of Arts. Only Mathematics was completely new.
City and People
Aarhus University functioned as a private institution until 1970 when it became a state-run institution under the first University Act. With this, the University Association and the City Council withdrew from the University's administration. But even as a public institution, the University maintains close ties with the city government, the business sector and institutions, this cooperation being exemplified well by Science Park Aarhus. With the Universities Act of 1992, groups external to the university were once again represented in the administration. According to the Universities Act of 2003, the universities are governed by a university board. Rector, deans and heads of department are no longer elected by staff and students, but appointed by the board. The board commenced in January 2004 and appointed a rector in August 2005.
In 1997 emeritus Professor Jens Christian Skou received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his discovery of the sodium-potassium pump.
In 2003 the number of regular students was 21,948 while, in the same year, there were 738 PhD students matriculated.
The Buildings and the University Park
The buildings of Aarhus University are gathered in and around the University Park, and through the years they have multiplied considerably. The first building, which stood ready in 1933, was originally prepared to accommodate medical science classes. It is situated on a protruding promontory on the moraine ravine's eastern side and houses many of the social sciences' subjects.
With only minor modifications, the building style in the University Park has remained consistent since the architects Kay Fisker, C.F. Møller and Povl Stegmann won the architectural competition in 1931. Since 1939, the architectural firm C.F. Møller has been responsible for building activities. In a harmonious interplay with the rolling hills of the park, the uniform buildings create an attractive campus, which has achieved international renown.
The characteristic yellow brick buildings in the University Park have a total floor area of 246,000 m 2 . Beyond this, the University has at its disposal a series of buildings outside of the park with a total floor area of 59,000m 2 .
For three decades Prehistoric Archaeology, Medieval Archaeology and Ethnography have been based at the old Moesgård Manor south of Aarhus, and since the mid 1970's several subjects within the Faculty of Arts have been located at the Trøjborg complex.
Since 1998 the former Langelandsgade Barracks have provided the setting for the aesthetic subjects, and in 1999 the language subjects moved into the Nobel Park complex's new buildings on the street corner of Randersvej and Nordre Ringgade.
In the year 2000 the Faculty of Theology moved out of the main building and into the former Orthopaedic Hospital and the IT Park was inaugurated on the street named Åbogade. During the same year the former maternity home was reopened as the Health Sciences Library under the name of the Victor Albeck Building.
A new building in the University Park with five lecture theatres was put in use in 2001. Its interior is extensively decorated by the artist Per Kirkeby.
In 2006 the Institute of Business and Technology in Herning (HIH) became part of Aarhus University; and in 2007 the Aarhus School of Business, the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, the National Environmental Research Institute and the Danish University of Education did the same. In 2012 Engineering College of Aarhus became part of Aarhus University. As a result of these mergers, the University now has about 40,000 students and 10,000 staff.
The Faculties II
After the mergers in 2006 og 2007, the university had consisted of nine main acedemic areas. As a consequence of an academic development process, the number of areas was reduced to four with effect from 1 January 2011: Aarhus Faculty of Arts, Aarhus Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus Faculty of Health Sciences, and School of Business Studies and Social Sciences.
The specific admission requirements differ with regard to the programme and are subject to change. Please, keep yourself updated on the programme's profile of your choice.
The university’s main campus is located in the city of Aarhus, a dynamic city on Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. Aarhus is a city of growth and with a population of more than 340,000, Aarhus is Denmark's second largest city. It has all the advantages and resources of a big city while keeping to a manageable size, and consequently everything in Aarhus is within biking distance.
Denmark's number one student city
Aarhus is at heart, however, also Denmark’s youngest city when you consider the average age of its inhabitants which is far lower than anywhere else in the country. At Aarhus University alone there are 39,000 students. This gives the city a young and exciting vibrancy of its very own. This is clearly evident along the canal in the city centre, where the student population today frequents the many cafés and restaurants packed tightly along the canal. But Aarhus is also a city with clearly visible roots, founded, as it was, by the Vikings in the 8th century.
Buzzing city life and beautiful countryside
Aarhus has many nature experiences to offer. The city is located on the waterfront and you are never far from beautiful beaches or tranquil forests. In the summer, the sandy beaches near the city centre are perfect for enjoying the sun and taking a swim in the sea. So if you like water sports and beach activities there are a wide range of possibilities for you in Aarhus. You can also enjoy a time-out in one of the city's green parks, or take a walk in the Risskov and Marselisborg forests situated near the city centre.
- Student Counsellor. Student counsellors are experienced students who advise other students in their department. They are your first contact when you have questions, and they will be able to help or advise you on where to go for additional help.
- International Students with special needs. The Counselling and Support Centre can offer counselling and assistance for international students who experience study-related difficulties caused by dyslexia, physical, mental or behavioural disabilities. We offer free counselling and full professional confidentiality.
- International Student House. Studenterhus Aarhus – also known as International Student House – is the university’s central meeting point for international and Danish students in Aarhus. Social and cultural activities and concerts are organised throughout the year and regular events include the Tuesday ‘International Night,’ a weekly dinner club, theme parties and film nights.
- Aarhus University Libraries. The AU libraries are located on every AU campus. All libraries have spacious reading rooms and wifi, and some are accessible 24/7.
- Friday bars. Every Friday at noon, each department sets up a small bar in a canteen or a classroom where beer and soft drinks are served. This is another great place to meet both fellow students and professors over a drink.
- Canteens. On every AU campus you can find different canteens that offer both hot meals and sandwiches. A few canteens are also open for dinner.
- Learn Danish. As an international student, you can sign up for Danish classes on campus free of charge.
- Careers Service. Arts and Aarhus BSS gives your company the opportunity to cooperate with students and graduates. We help promote your company to AU's students at the faculties of Aarhus BSS and Arts.
Top 100 University
AU is consistently ranked as one of the world’s top universities. It was ranked number 65 in the 2018 Shanghai ranking and among the world’s 100 best universities in 17 out of 42 subjects in the latest 2018 QS World University Rankings by Subject.
At AU, teachers are active researchers and teaching takes place in an informal context. All programmes are deeply rooted in research and are reviewed on an ongoing basis to meet the highest national and global quality standards.
Favorable tuition fees
Tuition is free for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens. For other students, tuition fees range from €8,000 to €14,800 annually.
Study in English
AU offers 59 complete programmes in English at Bachelor’s and Master’s level. All PhD programmes are in English.
An international university
Around 12 per cent of AU’s 39.000 students are international, representing over 106 nationalities.
Service and guidance
For students, the International Centre offers a full induction and introduction programme as well as professional support and guidance throughout your time at AU.
For researchers and PhD students, Aarhus University offers a full range of services to make your transition into the university as smooth as possible. IAS assists researchers and PhD students from abroad in all practical matters, including visa, resident and work permit, housing services, child care, etc.
World-class higher education system
According to Universitas 21 Ranking 2020 Denmark ranks third best in the world in proving higher education.
Unique Research facilities
Aarhus University offers state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories. We have a strong tradition of multidisciplinary research for instance in one of our 42 major research centres.
Attractive working conditions
International staff at AU emphasize favorable working conditions as an important motivation for working at Aarhus University. These include an attractive salary, a pension, and parental leave benefits. On top of this international academic staff members can, under certain conditions, benefit from a special tax scheme to further improve working conditions.
Great work-life balance
Denmark prides itself on having a healthy work-life balance. Researchers will enjoy flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity/paternity leave and childcare facilities at reasonable prices. Furthermore, Denmark is widely cited as one of the world’s most liveable places. It has one of the world’s highest levels of income equality according to the OECD.
Safe, secure, equal
Denmark is widely cited as one of the world’s most liveable places. It is one of the few countries with the highest income equality according to OECD. Based on the Corruption Transparency Index, Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world.
English – no problem
Danes were recently ranked as one of the best non-native English speakers in the world, so it is easy for international students to get along in Denmark even if they don’t speak Danish.