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Politicians and business people in Central and Western Jutland contribute to the development of AU Herning

The first meeting of AU Herning’s new external council has just been held, and the meeting was the beginning of the new cooperation between AU Herning on the one hand and the Chairman of the Regional Council, the mayors and business people in the region. The aim is to collaborate on the development of AU Herning, thereby enabling the school to stand strong among the competition and to be the most preferred place to study in Central and Western Jutland.


At the introductory meeting of the new external council at AU Herning there was general agreement that AU Herning serves an important purpose in Central and Western Jutland. Chairman of the external council is former Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Helge Sander, and he shares with the other members the view that it is important to keep a part of Aarhus University in Herning, because it offers an alternative to those who do not wish to move to the big city. The external council will take up the battle against the bigger cities that attract the majority of the young people in Jutland.

- I have chosen to be part of AU Herning’s external council, because we want a region that offers research-based teaching in the east as well as the west, and we would like to develop a strong basis for developing the business community in the entire region as well. Our biggest problem right now is that people tend to move towards the eastern part of the region. If we are to maintain a proper balance, we need to focus on teaching and research, and to do it in a manner that is accepted and acknowledged by the people in the area, says Bent Hansen, who is Chairman of the Danish Regions and of the Regional Council in the Central Denmark Region – and now he is also a member of AU Herning’s external council.

Bent Hansen also emphasises that it is important to make investments in order to achieve balance in the region and make sure that some of the region’s exciting and attractive events and activities also take place outside of Aarhus. If everything is moved to Aarhus and to the eastern part of the region, then there will be fewer places of employment and fewer businesses in Western Jutland, and that will have a significance for the livelihood of the people who live there.

Important to have research-based study programmes

- AU Herning’s new external council serves an important purpose, because if we don’t support the department, it will lead to some severe shortcomings in terms of what Central and Western Jutland has to offer, and we won’t be able to attract people with university degrees to the remote parts of the region. So the council is a basic necessity, and it is really important to safeguard the study programmes that are offered in Central and Western Jutland, so that we can also improve on the overall level of education, says H.C. Østerby, who is mayor of Holstebro Municipality and member of the external council.

His colleague, Mayor Iver Enevoldsen from the Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality, agrees and emphasises the importance of being able to offer higher education degree programmes to the young people in the western part of the country in order to create incentive for some of them to stay in the region.

Focus on quality and innovation

The external council at AU Herning will contribute to securing the quality of education and research. At the same time, the members of the council are to identify ways to further improve the cooperation between the university and the business community.

Nicolai Hansen, who is Managing Director at KMC in Brande and member of the external council, points out that at AU Herning they are good at being innovative, and they work hard to strengthen the collaboration with the companies in the region. Nicolai Hansen believes that it is a strong asset for an educational institution to be able to reach out and collaborate with external forces. In this sense, AU Herning really has something to offer to the people and businesses in Central and Western Jutland. It is important to maintain a strong dialogue with external partners and companies, and it is a necessary step towards getting the school’s research out into the world.

Per H. Lauritsen, Head of Research at Siemens Wind Power and member of the external council, adds:

- I think it is important for Central and Western Jutland that there is activity in Herning, especially with regards to education. We need there to be university-level study programmes here in Herning, and they must be of high quality to benefit the area around Herning and further west.

Facts about AU Herning’s external council

In addition to Chairman Helge Sander, AU Herning’s external council is comprised of the following politicians: Bent Hansen (Chairman of the Regional Council in the Central Denmark Region), Ulla Diderichsen (member of the Regional Council), Lars Krarup (Mayor of Herning), Carsten Kissmeyer (Mayor of Ikast-Brande ), H.C. Østerby (Mayor of Holstebro), Iver Enevoldsen (Mayor of Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality) and Niels Viggo Lynghøj (current Mayor of Struer).

The business community in Central and Western Jutland and the trade union are represented by Managing Director Lars Gade Hansen from Færch Plastic in Holstebro, Managing Director Nicolai Hansen from KMC in Brande and chairman of the Danish Metalworkers’ Union (Dansk Metal) in Ringkøbing-Skjern Helge Albertsen.

The area’s competencies and values are represented by Medical Director Jens Friis Bak, the Regional Hospital West Jutland, Head of Research at Siemens Wind Power Per H. Lauritsen and Director Ivar Brændgaard from the regional television channel TV MIDT-VEST.

Further information

  • Helge Sander, Chairman of AU Herning’s External Council: +45 40 73 97 45 / helsand59@gmail.com
  • Michael Evan Goodsite, Head of Department at AU Herning: +45 60 11 25 57 / michaelg@hih.au.dk