Aalborg University

Aalborg University (AAU)
Aalborg Universitet (AAU)
Latin: Universitas Alburgensis
Motto Viis Novis
Established 1974
Type Public university
Budget DKK 2.560 billion (2013)[1]
Rector Per Michael Johansen
Academic staff
2,062 (2013)[2]
Administrative staff
1,483 (2013)[2]
Students 21,427 (2013)[1]
489 (2013)[1]
Location Aalborg, Esbjerg, Copenhagen, Denmark
Campus Aalborg, Esbjerg, Copenhagen
Nickname Template:If empty
Affiliations ECIU, ENTREE and CESAER

Coordinates: 57°00′54″N 9°59′06″E / 57.015000°N 9.985000°E / 57.015000; 9.985000{{#coordinates:57.015000|N|9.985000|E|region:DK_type:edu|||| |primary |name= }}

Aalborg University is a Danish university located mainly in Aalborg, Denmark with campuses in Aalborg, Esbjerg and Copenhagen. Aalborg University (AAU) was established in 1974 under Aalborg University Center (AUC), but changed its name to Aalborg University in 1994. Today, Aalborg University is the fifth largest university in Denmark based on the number of enrolled students. In Aalborg, the university is mainly located on the main campus in the eastern part of the city, but the university also has departments located in downtown Aalborg.[3] Currently, Aalborg University has approximately 21,606 students and 3,479 employees.[4] In 2011, Aalborg University experienced the largest increase in applicants in Denmark, as the number of new students increased by 31 per cent.[5]


Aalborg University (AAU) was founded in 1974 under the name of Aalborg University Center (AUC) as a result of a series of mergers between a number of institutions, which made it possible to create a single university with several faculties. At its establishment in 1974, AUC had a Faculty of Humanities, a Faculty of Social Science and a Faculty of Technical-Natural Science . In 1994, AUC changed name to Aalborg University (AAU). In the same year, Aalborg University opened the Faculty of Health Sciences. Although AAU is a young university in Denmark with its 40 years of history, the university has some even greater roots such as the Master of Science programme in Surveying and Mapping Programme, which is the oldest education at Aalborg University, originally created in 1768. The Surveying and Mapping programme still exists at Aalborg University and is offered both in Aalborg and at the university's department in Copenhagen. Aalborg University's roots can be traced back to e.g. a number of older institutions, which now are part of the university such as The Business School Department in Aalborg founded in 1920, National Building Research Institute established in 1947, Esbjerg Engineering College established in 1955, The School of Social Work in Aalborg founded in 1966, The National Engineering Academy established in 1967 and Copenhagen Business School Aalborg Department established in 1969. Since its establishment in 1974, AAU has been characterised by a problem-based and project-oriented teaching method. In 1995, AAU opened a department in Esbjerg by merging with Esbjerg Engineering College; in 1996, the School of Architecture & Design was created; in 2003, Aalborg University opened a department in Copenhagen; and in 2010, the School of Medicine was created.[6]


Aalborg University differentiates itself from the older and more traditional Danish universities with its focus on interdisciplinary, inter-faculty studies; an experimental curriculum based on an interdisciplinary basic course with subsequent specialisation; a pedagogical structure based on problem-centred, real-life projects of educational and research relevance – which internationally has become known and recognised as The Aalborg Model. With the problem-based, project-organised model, semesters at AAU are centred around complex real-life problems which students attempt to find answers to in a scientific manner while working together in groups.[7] In February 2007, the foundation of the UICEE Centre for Problem Based Learning (UCPBL) paid recognition to Aalborg University, which subsequently led to the appointment of AAU as UNESCO Chair in problem-based learning.

Administration and organisation

The university is governed by a board consisting of 11 members: 6 members recruited outside the university form the majority of the board, 2 members are appointed by the scientific staff, 1 member is appointed by the administrative staff, and 2 members are appointed by the university students. The rector is appointed by the university board. The rector in turn appoints deans and deans appoint heads of departments. There is no faculty senate and faculty is not involved in the appointment of rector, deans, or department heads. Hence the university has no faculty governance.[8]

Faculties and departments

Aalborg University has five faculties with a number of departments, schools, centres and study boards. Since 1 January 2007, AAU has been divided into the following faculties;[9]


Aalborg University Library is a public research library for the North Jutland region. The library's primary mission is to support research and education at Aalborg University by providing appropriate information and documentation. The University Library is geographically located at Langagervej 2 in Aalborg, which is linked to smaller branches located on other campuses in Aalborg, Esbjerg and Copenhagen.[10]

Aalborg University Campuses

  • Aalborg University's largest campus is situated in the Eastern part of the city of Aalborg. Located on campus is the fitness centre UniFitness as well as some restaurants. Other divisions of AAU's campus in Aalborg can be found various places in the city centre.
  • Aalborg University Esbjerg is the name of the Esbjerg department of Aalborg University. Aalborg University Esbjerg offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and courses mainly in engineering sciences. Aalborg University Esbjerg is located at Niels Bohr's Road 8 (Danish: Niels Bohrs Vej 8).
  • Aalborg University Copenhagen is the name of Aalborg University's department in Copenhagen. Aalborg University Copenhagen offers 8 undergraduate and 21 postgraduate programmes and courses. Aalborg University Copenhagen is currently located at A. C. Meyers Vænge 15 in southwest Copenhagen.

Special action areas and cross-disciplinary research

AAU conducts research within all faculties. Aalborg University is among the leading universities in the world within health technology research, wireless communication, energy, computer science, innovation economics and comparative welfare studies. AAU has established centres for telecommunication at Birla Institute of Technology in India, at Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia, and at the University of Rome. Furthermore, AAU has established a research centre for health technology at Xi'an Jiaotong University in China.

AAU has conducted several experiments in the field of CubeSat technology. The first AAU CubeSat was launched on 30 June 2003, the second (called AAUSAT-II) on 28 April 2008 and the third will be launched in Q1, 2013.[11] After launching AAUSAT3 the fourth will begin development.[12]

AAU has always adopted a cross-disciplinary, problem-based approach to research which often requires contributions from a number of scientific disciplines. Aalborg University has five cross-disciplinary action areas:

  • Sustainable energy, the environment and construction.
  • Global production, innovation, knowledge development and coherence.
  • Information technology.
  • Nanotechnology and nanoproduction.
  • Experience technology and design.

International relations

Although Aalborg University has had strong regional ties since its establishment in 1974, internationalisation is a cornerstone in AAU's strategy and development. Thereby, AAU is a local university with an international outlook. AAU focuses on international collaboration within research and has, among other things, established a department for wireless communication and satellite navigation at University of Rome Tor Vergata, and the University of Calcutta in India and two centres for telecommunications, one at Birla Institute of Technology in India and one at Bandung Institute of Technology in Indonesia.

25% of the University's researchers are non-Danish and 10 per cent of the student body of Aalborg University is made up of international students.

University trademark

Aalborg University is known for its project-oriented educational system. A large part of education at Aalborg University is based on teaching students to acquire knowledge independently and through projects executed in groups. This approach has yielded results similar to those of other Danish universities with less hours of theoretical teaching. This method of group-based, project-oriented learning is applied across all subject areas (from Computer Science to Sociology) and begins at the first semester of university. Many local high schools in Aalborg prepare their students for this way of learning.

File:Aalborg University summerlake.jpg
Aalborg University; Fibigerstraede

Cooperative agreements with other universities and colleges

  • Aalborg University is a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), which was founded in 1997 by 10 European universities. The aim of the ECIU is to create a European network where participating universities can exchange experiences and practices in projects in education, research and regional development. In 2010, the ECIU consisted of eleven members and three foreign affiliates.[16]

Student organisations at Aalborg University

The following student organisations are or have been directly associated with Aalborg University and its students:

Student Pubs at Aalborg University

  • Aalbar is a student pub for the students at Communication and Digital Media: Interactive Digital Media (Formerly known as: Humanistic Informatics), Art & Technology, Media Technology and Architecture and Design. Aalbar is the successor to the former student pub Kablah. Aalbar is located at Aalborg Universitys city campus in downtown Aalborg at the Create building at Rendsburggade 14.
  • Bajers Bar is a student pub which is primarily used by health sciences and technology students. Bajers Baren is open every Friday and is located in Aalborg University building at Fredrik Bajers Vej on the universitys main campus in Aalborg East.
  • Barbaren is a large multidisciplinary student pub. Barbaren was created in 2014 by merging the former student bars O'Sohn Baren and Wunderbar with each other. Barbaren is located at Fibigerstræde at Aalborg Universitys main campus in Aalborg East.
  • DE-klubben is the only student pub which is open every Thursday at Aalborg University. DE-Klubben is primarily used by the electronic and software students at Aalborg University. DE-Klubben is the only student pub at Aalborg University which is open on Thursday. DE-Klubben is located at Aalborg Universitys building at Fredrik Bajers vej on the universitys main campus in Aalborg East.
  • Mærkbar is a student pub which is primarily used by the student at Faculty of Humanities at Aalborg University. Mærkbar is open every Friday and is located at Aalborg Universitys building at Kroghstræde on the universitys main campus in Aalborg East.
  • SLUSEN is a student pub at Aalborg University campus in Copenhagen. SLUSEN is open every Friday.

Note 1: Kablah was the former student pub for the students at the bachelor's degree in Humanistic Informatics (Now known as: Communication and Digital Media: Interactive Digital Media) and the three master programs in respectively Information Science, Communication, Interactive Digital Media when they had facilities on Friis at Nyhavnsgade 14.

Note 2: O'Sohn Baren was the former student pub which was primarily used by the engineering students at Aalborg University. O'Sohn Baren was located at Aalborg Universitys building at Sohngårdsholmsvej. Wunderbar was former student pub which was located at Fibigerstræde at Aalborg Universitys main campus in Aalborg East.

Notable alumni as well as persons current and previous associated with Aalborg University

Notes and references

External links