Omnibus prik

The Regatta and two learning environments at AU have been nominated for ‘Best in Aarhus’ awards

The local newspaper Aarhus Stiftstidende, in collaboration with the Tivoli Friheden amusement park, will soon announce the winners of the 17th annual ‘Best in Aarhus’ (Byens Bedste) awards in a wide variety of categories. The awards will be conferred at an event at Tivoli Friheden. And this year, both the Regatta and the learning environments on the medical degree programme and at Aarhus BSS as a whole have been nominated.

Photo: Roar Lava Paaske

Translated by Lenore Messick

Pretty much everyone in Aarhus knows that the Regatta is one of Aarhus’ largest sporting events, with an audience of thousands of students. But did you know that it’s also been nominated as the city’s best cultural experience, along with ARoS and SPOT festival? And the Regatta isn’t the only AU institution that’s been nominated for the annual award, the winners of which will be announced at the Best in Aarhus award show sponsored by Århus Stiftstidende. The medical degree programme and the faculty Aarhus BSS have also been also nominated in a new category, ‘the best learning environment in the city '.  

This is the 17th time the local newspaper has asked residents of the Municipality of Aarhus to vote for the winners of the Best in Aarhus award at the big award show in Tivoli Friheden.

Student culture is also Aarhus culture

Lasse Juul Christensen and Anne Kirsten Andersen are the two organisers of the recently held Regatta. And they were beside themselves with excitement when they found out a few weeks ago that the Regatta had been nominated – and were given a Best in Aarhus statuette and poster – a few weeks ago after an evaluation meeting.

“We were just so psyched,” Christensen said. “We were already happy that the Regatta had gone so well, so we were totally euphoric about the nomination, which was an extra pat on the back. And of course, we really want to win.”

The nominees in the category ‘Best Cultural Experience in Aarhus’ are usually the heavy-hitters on the Aarhus cultural scene. And this year is no exception – the Regatta is up against the following cultural experiences:

  • SPOT Festival
  • Thomas Helmig’s concert in Ceres Arena
  • The soccer match between Aarhus Fremad and Brøndby at Risvangen stadium
  • Tapestries, the ARoS exhibit of Cindy Sherman’s latest work

And Christiansen believes the Regatta is a serious contender:

“The Regatta isn’t what you’d characterize as high culture, but the fact that we’re nominated anyway testifies to the fact that a lot of people feel it’s an important part of the culture of the city. It’s a unique community for students from all subjects, and at the end of the day, culture is everything that takes place between people,” he said.

Unique student community

Another kind of unique community that the awards will celebrate for the first time this year is also central to the student experience: the new award for ‘Aarhus’ Best Learning Environment’. Both the medical degree programme and the faculty Aarhus BSS have been nominated in this category.

The top leadership at the Faculty of Health is delighted about the nomination, said Lise Wogensen Bach, the faculty’s vice-dean for education:

“Well, the faculty leadership team sets the framework, but it’s the students who really bring the learning environment alive. We’re naturally very pleased about the nomination, because it means we’re doing something right,” she said.

According to her, some of the things that characterize the learning environment on the medical degree programme are a massive commitment and the fact that the students organise and offer other each other a wide variety of activities that promote their well-being, socially, academically and, ultimately, also in relation to the societal role they will play in the healthcare system:

“We have vibrant clubs and associations, which spring both from social committees like the party committee Umbilicus to the more academic and socially and healthcare oriented clubs such as SAKS, the society for medical student research, IMCC, IFMSA, the Beat Cancer run and so on,” Bach explained.

The medical students’ council is also very pleased about the nomination. Sofie Hillgaard Pedersen,  who is a member of the council l and vice-chair of the board of studies for medicine, isn’t at all surprised that the learning environment at Medicine has been nominated as one of the best in the city:

“The medical programme is a very close-knit community,” she said. “You get to know lots of people in all year groups, and that’s quite unique. Medical students really make an effort to give students from other semesters advice and tips, for example if they know a  tough re-exam is coming up. We’re all really connected by the sense of identity that comes from the fact that as doctors, we’ll be making big decisions in the future .”

She and the other members of the medical students’ council hope that winning the award could help draw attention to the financial challenges that threaten the future of volunteering at the faculty:

“Right now we’re really struggling with funding for our associations and events, because the general financial situation has gotten harder, and because the rules change really often and can be quite confusing and complicated,” she said. So of course we hope that this nomination will help show how important volunteering in clubs and associations is, and that it will get better funding in future for that reason.”

After Covid, a strong effort to boost student well-being at Aarhus BSS

The nomination and the statuette that goes with it were also well-received at Aarhus BSS. According to the vice-dean for education at Aarhus BSS, Morten Rask,  the diverse palette of committed and active student organisations at the faculty deserves credit for improving the learning environment and well-being among the students post-Covid.

"Right after the Covid shutdowns, the the student organisations were in disarray, and so we decided to spend a lot of our well-being funding to help them get back on their feet,” he said. “I really think that has succeeded, and the students deserve the credit for it. Today we’re pleased and proud that someone has noticed what a great learning environment we have.”

The other nominees are:

  • VIA’s Ceres Parken campus
  • Katedralskolen upper-secondary school
  • Aarhus School of Architecture

The awards will be presented at a big award show in Tivoli Friheden on 17 August.

Vote for your favorite now!