Minister for Higher Education and Science: “You have that unique DNA”

Aarhus University’s department in Herning received a lot of praise and good advice last week, when the department hosted a business conference focusing on the development of the area of Central and Western Jutland, including AU Herning.

[Translate to English:] På billedet ses uddannelses- og forskningsminister Sofie Carsten Nielsen sammen med AU Hernings institutleder Jacob Kjær Eskildsen.
[Translate to English:] Uddannelses- og forskningsminister Sofie Carsten Nielsen ankommer til AU Herning og bliver mødt af institutleder Jacob Kjær Eskildsen og formand for Eksternt Råd Helge Sander.
[Translate to English:] Sofie Carsten Nielsen holdt åbningstalen til konferencen og derefter stillede et panel spørgsmål til ministeren.
[Translate to English:] Alle oplægsholdere var på podiet for at svare på spørgsmål fra salen.
[Translate to English:] Bent Hansen, regionrådsformand i Region Midtjylland, holdt tale med regionens perspektiv på udviklingen af Midt- og Vestjylland og AU Herning.

“Your energy here at AU Herning is contagious,” said Minister for Higher Education and Science, Sofie Carsten Nielsen, in her opening speech at the conference on 6 October. The main focus of the conference was to contemplate and discuss the ways in which AU Herning can contribute to the development of Central and Western Jutland.

“I’m really happy to hear about your initiative to send students on company visits at the very outset of their studies, so that they gain insight into what they can actually use their education for, and they become motivated. Collaborating with companies is very important, and you have come along way in doing so here at AU Herning. It’s certainly a bonus for all parties involved,” said Sofie Carsten Nielsen and proceeded:

“Nine out of ten graduates from AU Herning are employed in the private sector – and this makes your work a pioneering example. You deliver quality, relevance and cohesion. Especially in terms of your collaboration with the business community, and I encourage you to keep up the good work. You have that very unique DNA, which drives the entrepreneurial spirit in this place.”

International competition places high demands on graduates

Throughout the conference, AU Herning received a lot of praise from the representatives from the local community for their efforts in collaborating with the business community. But it was also pointed out that the business community are seeing a growing interest from very well qualified international employees.

“At Siemens Wind Power we need engineers. We receive a lot of applications from highly qualified graduates from India, and there are a lot like them. In China, for instance, seven million engineers graduate every year. We therefore expect a lot from the graduates from AU Herning and Danish universities in general,” said Per H. Lauritsen, who is head of research at Siemens.

Satisfied organisers

“It has been a really good day, and we really appreciate all the input that we’ve received from our primary stakeholders here in the area. We have been given inspiration for thought, which we will bring forward in our work to develop the department in Herning in the future, including the development of our study programmes and research activities. But also in our approach to collaboration with both the private and public business community in the area,” said one of the organisers of the conference at AU Herning, Anna Katrine Bruun, who is chief consultant and director of AU Connect Herning. 

Among the speakers at the conference were Bent Hansen (Chairman of the Regional Council, Central Denmark Region), Jens Friis Bak (Medical Director of the Regional Hospital West Jutland), Kenneth Mikkelsen (Director of the Business Development Centre Herning & Ikast-Brande) and Søren Sloth (Chairman of the Business Council Northwestern Jutland). The conference also included a panel discussion. Members of the panel were Kenneth Iversen (former director of Kyocera Unimerco), Helge Albertsen (chairman of the Danish Metalworkers' Union, Dansk Metal Skjern-Ringkøbing) and Nicolai Hansen (Managing Director of KMC).