IT West ANNUAL REPORT

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1 IT West ANNUAL REPORT

2 Table of contents Annual Report What is IT West? Annual report Report from the IT West Board... 5 Report from the Aarhus School of Business... 7 Report from University of Southern Denmark... 9 Report from Aalborg University Report from University of Aarhus Financial overview Study programmes and the research behind Number of students Full-time Master Programmes Business Communication and Information Technology...26 IT, Communication and Organisation...28 IT in Organisations...31 IT Product Design...34 Multimedia Design, Technology and Production...37 Multimedia...39 Multimedia...41 Software Engineering...45 New full-time Master Programmes in Bioinformatics...48 Software Engineering...50 Part-time Master Programmes ICT and Learning...52 Information and Communication Technology in Organisations...55 Industrial IT...56 IT, Language and Learning...58 Informatics and Network Economics...60 Multimedia Design, Technology and Production...60 Multimedia...62 Multimedia...63 Software Engineering...64 Software Engineering...66 New part-time Master Programme in Cultural History and Informatics...68 Part-time Diploma Programmes Software Engineering...70 Software Engineering Particular focus areas Flexnet The Coordination Committee The IT West Board Members of the Board

3 7. The IT West management Staff Appendix IT West teachers List of publications

4 1. WHAT IS IT WEST? IT West was created in May 1999 by the Ministry of Research and Information Technology (now the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation). The official Danish name is IT Universitetssamarbejde Vest, in English, IT West. IT West is a cooperation between Aalborg University, University of Aarhus, University of Southern Denmark and the Aarhus School of Business aiming at increasing the number of students graduating with an IT degree significantly as well as strengthening IT education and IT research in close interaction with business and industry. IT West is a network organization where education and research take place at the four cooperating institutions. The staff and students are under the auspices of the individual institutions. IT West is led by a director reporting to a supervisory board consisting of nine members. The chairman of the board as well as four members have been appointed by the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. The other four members represent the vice-chancellors of the participating universities. The supervisory board is responsible for the fulfilment of the goals of IT West and, to achieve this, it makes decisions about the offering of educational programmes and the distribution of financial resources. Formally, the IT West cooperation is organised as an educational and research center hosted by the Aarhus School of Business, ASB. ASB receives funding as stipulated in the state budget and distributes resources according to the decisions of the supervisory board. It is also the responsibility of ASB to check that IT West abides to current laws and regulations. A small administrative and management unit has been set up to handle the day-to-day coordination and administration and to assist the supervisory board. This unit is hosted by The Danish National Centre for IT Research (CIT). The director of CIT has been appointed by the ministry to also undertake the role as director of IT West. 4

5 2. ANNUAL REPORT Report from the IT West Board Information technology has become a cornerstone in the transformation of modern societies. The lack of people with relevant IT university degrees is a main inhibitor for a timely and efficient continued development within both the private and the public sector. IT West, along with the IT University of Copenhagen, were established in 1999 to help bridge the gap between demand and supply of people with a university degree in IT. To accomplish this goal, the IT Universities were asked to set up an organisation with teachers, teaching/study facilities, administration etc. The IT universities had to develop new educational programmes which could attract the right people in sufficient numbers and within topics where the graduates would be in demand. We find that IT West is on the right track towards achieving this, cf. section 3. The governance model chosen for IT West was a network organisation of four institutions: Aalborg University, University of Aarhus, University of Southern Denmark and the Aarhus School of Business. Being a network organisation allowed us to start work from day one by drawing on people already employed by the institutions in the network and by using existing university departments, committees, administrations and teaching/study facilities supplemented with a number of ad hoc groups set-up in cooperation between the four institutions and The Danish National Centre for IT Research, CIT, which hosts our secretariat and management. From the formal establishment of IT West in May 1999 until the end of August the same year, IT West decided to launch educational progammes within four main subject areas: Software Engineering Multimedia Information technology, communication and organization Industrial IT These areas reflect our view on what kind of competencies will be most in demand, and they have served as the basis for bottom-up development of proposals for new educational programmes. Eleven educational programmes were developed within these areas and by September 1, 1999, teaching began within six of these programmes. IT West has chosen to aggressively strengthen graduate studies and further education compared to the normal profile of the educational programmes offered by Danish universities within IT. This added focus on graduate studies and further education is reflected in both the number of educational programmes and the number of students, cf. section 3. 5

6 During the year 2000, IT West decided to expand the educational scope by adding five new educational programmes, and in 2001 another seven programmes were accepted by the board. Currently, IT West offers 23 programmes and we find that we give good coverage of the areas originally decided upon. The task for the next period will be to revise the existing educational programmes based on input from the coming external evaluation as well as input from business and industry, students and staff. IT West is a network organisation. This means that our education, research and most of the administration and management is an integrated part of the activities of the four institutions in our network. As already mentioned, the resulting flexibility allowed IT West to develop and implement a broad palette of educational programmes in a very short time. At the same time, the integration of IT West activities into the daily life of the network institutions has provided interesting and challenging research environments as well as critical mass for the geographically highly distributed IT West. However, during year 2000 it became increasingly clear that the flexibility of the IT West network also had its drawbacks. IT West teachers, administrators and university managers are not formally employed by IT West and have their main obligations outside IT West. In short, intra-institutional interactions take precedence over interinstitutional interactions and the possibilities of synergy in the network has been challenging to build.thus, in year 2001 IT West decided to set up a new committee, the Coordination Committee, with its own budget, to develop the IT West infrastructure and cross-institutional interaction. At the same time the committee was given the task of improving our interaction with business and industry. When the committee commenced its work, it became clear that the first step in order to improve the situation was to develop better infrastructure platforms for IT West, network interaction and external relations at each institution. During 2001, improved teaching/study facilities including physical space and IT infrastructure have been implemented and a process have begun where different aspects of IT West network interaction have been identified and anchored within the institutions. Also a concept for an annual IT West conference has been developed. An important aspect of modern university education is IT support. Particularly for part-time students not living close to campus, advanced internet support is often a prerequisite for a successful completion of their studies. In order to increase the amount of high-quality internet supported education, IT West began the development of a large project in this area in January The project, called Flexnet, runs until mid 2004 and involves twelve educational programmes. cf. section 5. We remain very confident that IT West is on the right track and will continue to evolve as a strong networked organisation building on both the strengths of the participating institutions and the geographic coverage. IT West, as a point of synergy, makes unique contributions to the development of IT education, to 6

7 the increase of students with an IT dimension and to the use of information technology in education. Report from the Aarhus School of Business The Aarhus School of Business (ASB) has contributed to the realisation of IT West by having part in two educational programmes: The master programme in IT, Language and Learning and in IT(2000), Communication and Organisation (2001). Moreover, the IT West cooperation has helped the ASB to more research in the area of IT. Being the host institution Since the establishment of IT West, the Aarhus School of Business has been the host institution for IT West. Being host implies first of all that IT West is legally viewed as a part of ASB. This means that the stipulations that entitle ASB to different activities, normally also entitle the same activities in IT West, most importantly in connection with appropriation and appropriate regulations. Being the host institution also means that the rector at ASB has the legal responsibility for the IT West organisation. To bear this responsibility, a representative for the rector follows the work in IT West through participation in board meetings. ASB is subject to the Business School Law as well as the University Law. Within these regulations the necessary changes were made to assure that IT West board within the areas connected to the IT West was able to act freely from the management of ASB. Being the host institution means that ASB takes the appropriation responsibility and ensures the financial transactions between IT West and the involved institutions. As part of the host role, ASB has gathered a lot of experience, especially in organising the formal cooperation between several institutions. Among other things based on this, ASB has along with SDU started development of a more generally usable cooperation model. IT activities at ASB The Aarhus School of Business has other IT activities than IT West. For many years, the HA (dat.) programme has existed - an education that combines the economic studies of ASB and data studies. On top of a HA (dat.), students can take the cand.merc.(dat.) programme. ASB also offers the HD degree in informatics. All three programmes are offered mainly by the Department of Information Science where research in IT related activities also take place. The Faculty of Modern Languages and the Library at ASB have started what is called the Faculty of the Future where IT is the most important element. The most important issues are IT reorganisation of education, research, administration and how to share learning. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has supported with DKR 1 mill. for each of the following years: 7

8 2001, 2002 and 2003 and, in addition to that, the ASB has also provided funding for the project. The Library at ASB has also taken a lot of initiatives of which the electronic communication is the most important. The Virtual Library has been implemented at the Library at ASB and all articles written by ASB researchers or of interest to the ASB staff can be found electronically. More can be found at ASB s Gain From the Cooperation The establishment of IT West has been of great importance to Aarhus School of Business and the school s activities. It is hard to decide whether the initiatives that have been carried out under the IT West cooperation would not otherwise have been carried out, however, it is clear that the cooperation has meant a considerable development in an already existing direction. By being part of the IT West cooperation, the Aarhus School of Business has established new study programmes where the central point is a number of IT related subjects. Such a development of education would have been inconceivable without the incentive and the inspiration of the IT West collaboration. The part-time master programme in IT, Language and Learning is an example of such an education that would probably not have been implemented without IT West. The programme, the planning of it and the coordination of it has meant a considerable rise in the interest and involvement that the Faculty of Modern Languages has put in fitting the IT topics in the more traditional programmes. At the same time, the inspiration from the IT West cooperation has contributed to the Faculty work to a high degree - supported by the ministry - in developing the Faculty of the future where IT is integrated everywhere in the Faculty work meaning radical changes in organisation and tasks. Establishing the Learning Resource Centre in cooperation with the Library at the school is another good example of the catalyst effect that the IT West cooperation among other, has had on the internal processes and activities, e.g. structuring and operating an IT learning environment for all humanistic students. It is a centre that has also financially been able to start as a result of the IT West activities. The cooperation has also had a considerable effect on a number of not direct IT areas. First of all, the experience from the IT West cooperation has lead to a much more open cooperation in general between the institutions and on our institution internally. Directly in extension of the IT West duties, cooperation especially with SDU and Aalborg University has arisen. An education cooperation across Faculty boundaries is now custom and e.g. on the Faculty of Modern Languages cooperation across departments has grown. In the research area, the IT West cooperation has lead to more research in IT, and especially to a larger research cooperation across institutional and 8

9 departmental borders. Development has been restricted by the difficulties in ensuring recruitment of the necessary faculty, especially in the Faculty of Business Administration. However, the tasks have caused more employees being involved in IT research work. With the structure of the IT West study programme, where the ordinary programmes have students with various bachelor s degrees, the ASB has got in contact with students that might have dropped the ASB. This means that the ASB has taken part in turning a number of student s studies in a more commercial direction. This means that the ASB has helped fulfill a demand among students and in business life right. In this way, the IT West cooperation has directly helped the ASB meet its objectives. It shall not be forgotten that the ASB in this way has had the possibility of presenting its methods and knowledge for a larger group of students and businessmen. Large parts of the means provided by IT West have been used to purchase equipment, establish classrooms, etc. Without the assistance from IT West, the ASB would not have established video conferencing equipment, etc. The coordination of the IT West activities at ASB The IT West organisation at the ASB on Coordination Committee level is organised in a local group chaired by the director of study administration with all core stakeholders as member. Since the establishment of the Coordination Committee it has become clear that the academic communities running the actual IT West programmes do not have the resources to optimally develop and implement the various activities and projects that are vital and very special to the IT West programmes. Projects like establishing student support databases setting up and maintaining student project databases ensuring maximum contact with IT West programmes at other universities creating and maintaining the crucial corporate networks etc. have not been possible within the existing resource base. It is therefore the plan to set up a position to cater for these special IT West needs and to ensure that ASB fills its role within the IT West activities not traditionally included in basic university programmes. The position will work in close cooperation with the academic coordinators for our IT West programmes and refer to the Director of Study Administration & International Relations. Report from University of Southern Denmark The University of Southern Denmark (SDU) has succeeded in contributing to the realisation of the main goal and objective of IT West an increase in the production of new IT graduates completing research-based full-time master programmes and part-time master programmes. During the period from 1999 to 2001, we have initiated four full-time master programmes through IT West: 9

10 Multimedia (1999), Business Communication and Information Technology (2000), IT, Communication and Organisation (2001) and IT Product Design (2001) and four part-time master programmes: Multimedia (1999), Software Engineering (2000), Cultural History and Informatics (2001) and IT, Communication and Organisation (2002). Only one of these part-time Master of Software Engineering was not realised due to lack of applicants. IT activities at SDU In addition to the study programmes mentioned, which will be further described later in the report, SDU has also research and educational IT activities in relation to programmes in Mechatronics at the Mads Clausen Institute for Product Innovation in Sønderborg, Computer Systems Engineering at the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute for Production Technology in Odense, Computer Science at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science in Odense, Information Science at the Department of Business Communication and Information Science in Kolding, in Business Economics/Computer Science in connection with the Department of Marketing and the Department of Organisation and Management in Odense, Media Studies at the Department of Interactive Media in Odense and in Journalism at the Department of Journalism. (http://www.sdu.dk/index.shtml) Thus, research and education with a large element of IT are found in three of the university s four faculties (Humanities, Social Sciences and Science and Engineering) and in all four cities on Funen and in the Southern Part of Jutland, where the university has campuses. There is little doubt that the very strong increase of the activities in recent years - and in all parts of the university - has been strongly influenced by IT West. Indeed, many of the new activities would probably not have taken place without the presence of IT West. The University of Southern Denmark offers the following IT study programmes: two bachelor programmes (Electrical Engineering and Business Language and Information Technology), five bachelor s and master s degrees (Mechatronics and Computer Systems Engineering, Information Science, Computer Science, Business Economics/Computer Science, Media Science), four IT West full-time master programmes and three IT West part-time master programmes. Teaching is conducted at 10 research institutes and departments with a total staff of approx. 125 faculty members and approx students. Particular research areas at SDU in this connection include: Science and engineering: computer architecture and arithmetic, databases, algorithmics, cryptology, user centred design, software design, mathematical modelling, applied mathematics, actuator and 10

11 sensor technology, software engineering and technology and natural interactive systems Humanities: IT sociology, IT philosophy, digital aesthetics, computer games, new medias, terminology and lexicology, temporal logic and ITbased learning processes Social sciences: communication/journalism, marketing communication, IT and organisations, management science. SDU s gain from the co-operation The establishment of IT West and the new co-operation with other member universities have contributed to the development of new study programmes and to the strengthening of others. In particular, some of the new study programmes would not have materialized without the existence of IT West. It turns out that the IT programmes of IT West have primarily been sought by students with a bachelor s degree in humanities and in social science, thus giving these students a valuable background in IT that has considerably increased their market value. In addition, a series of part-time master programmes have been developed for people already in job who may need an update of their IT skills and knowledge. Over the first two years, we saw a strong increase in the interest for our IT West study programmes. Lately, however, a decline in the intake to the programmes has been noted. Thus, any prognosis for the intake in the years to come based on these trends is uncertain. It should be noted that particular programmes giving the students soft IT competences are popular (e.g. IT, Communication and Organisation). Programmes aiming at more fundamental technical IT competences (e.g. Software Engineering) have had problems in attracting enough students. The IT co-operation has contributed to strengthening the already existing good internal ties between the faculties at the University of Southern Denmark. This is a contributing factor to the initiation of a building - named the Media House which, when inaugurated in 2002, will house a number of institutes and units within IT and Communication at SDU in Odense. This will include research units from science and engineering, humanities and social sciences. The IT West co-operation has all together contributed to strengthening the IT infrastructure at SDU in a substantial and visible way. Finally, an educational co-operation has been established between SDU and Aarhus School of Business leading to a joint responsibility for carrying out the full-time master programmes and a corresponding part-time master programme in IT, Communication and Organisation. The co-operation includes a common teaching curriculum and exchange of teaching staff at both the two-year master programme and the one-year master programme. This co-operation would most likely not have been established without the existence of IT West. It is estimated that the new programmes are now so well-established that there is a basis for further expanding and developing the co-operation between the IT West institutions into other areas of common interest. 11

12 The coordination of the IT West activities at SDU The University of Southern Denmark is represented in the board of IT West by the dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering and has been so since the establishment of the IT university. The coordination of the IT West activities at the SDU was reorganised in 2001 so that an IT Committee has been set up with representatives from the Academic Study Boards offering programmes under IT West and with the dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering as chairman. The IT West Committee at SDU has the following objectives: 1. To contribute to securing a coordination and development of the university s IT West activities including making IT West more visible at SDU. 2. To contribute to securing a coordination of the university s contribution to the co-operation between the IT West institutions. 3. To take part in and support development and co-operation projects under IT West. 4. To support the university s representatives on the board and in the Coordination Committee. The secretarial functions are handled by the university s IT West contact person. This person and a member of the academic staff are also members of the IT West Coordination Committee. Report from Aalborg University Aalborg University (AAU) has succeeded in contributing to the realisation of the main goal and objective of IT West - an increase in the education of new IT graduates completing research-based full-time master programmes and parttime master programmes. AAU has initiated two full-time master programmes through IT West: Multimedia (1999) and Software Engineering (1999), five parttime master programmes: ICT and Learning (2000), Industrial IT (1999), Informatics and Network Economics (2000), Multimedia (1999) and Software Engineering (1999) and one Diploma Programme: Software Engineering (2000). The four last mentioned have not until now been realised due to lack of applicants. IT activities at Aalborg University Goals At Aalborg University teaching and research are conducted in the fields of engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. The management of Aalborg University has through the last 15 years encouraged the IT-innovation concerning IT as a subject as well as a tool. The strategic goals of Aalborg University's involvement in IT activities are as follows, 12

13 1. The improvement of the quality of our graduates 2. The improvement of our access to knowledge 3. The improvement of our efficiency in communicating inside and outside the university 4. The improvement of the university as an open and flexible teaching and research institution 5. The virtual mobility. Activities Teaching and research at Aalborg University in the IT area are extensive and engage many aspects of IT development. Characteristically for the university is the problem-oriented concept where solution of theoretical and practical problems is the decisive driving force. This has contributed to IT research at Aalborg University having a high degree of utility in the different development and research environments. Primarily, the IT research can be summarised as, The theoretical and basic scientific understanding of the content and the processes of the technology The datalogical conditions The technological design and construction of the technology The production and control of IT technology and its many part elements Media technology and integration Technical and research specific modelling and application Communication Organisational development and change. Number of students and staff in IT programmes and IT research areas Students Ordinary Open University Total Fac. of Eng. and Science Fac. of Humanities Fac. of Soc. Science Staff Scientific Technical/Admin. Total Fac. of Eng. and Science Fac. of Humanities Fac. of Soc. Science Note: IT plays a part in almost all programmes. The above figures only count students on programmes with IT as the core area. The scientific staff means teachers on these programmes and researchers with IT as the core area. 13

14 There is of course a certain amount of estimation in using these kinds of definitions. Aalborg University's gain from the cooperation in IT West The establishment of IT West and the new co-operation with other member universities have contributed to the development of new study programmes and to the strengthening of others. In particular, some of the new study programmes would not have materialised without the existence of IT West. The concrete benefits of the cooperation in the IT West are of economic as well as of scientific nature. The economic support is of three kinds. Funding of research, funding of new programmes and funding of specific activities through the so-called "Coordination Committee". The scientific benefits come from the closer cooperation between the involved universities within each field of study. One type of study programme is, where two or more institutions have a common programme. The intention is that the students shall not see themselves as students at Aalborg or University of Aarhus but as students at both - as students at IT West. Here the cooperation is very integrated. Of course, the cooperation between researchers and teachers from different institutions with different approaches to pedagogical matters, subject etc. can be difficult. There are a lot of obstacles for these types of common programmes. All economic and administrative routines - whether it is on national or ministerial level, on central institutional level or on faculty level - are designed to deal with one owner. One of the coming achievements of IT West will be to establish the steering and administrative foundation for common education - and the benefit of these will not only belong to study programmes in IT West, but to all forms of educational cooperation programmes at the universities. Another type of IT West programme is the type, where each institution has its own programme - e.g. in the Software Engineering field. The necessity of cooperation is existing but small and in a busy everyday, it can be difficult to practice cooperation here. The coordination of the IT West activities at Aalborg University Aalborg University is represented in the board of IT West by the vice-rector of the university and has been so since the establishment of the IT university. The IT West study programmes and the research are at Aalborg University organized similarly to the non-it West activities. Specific for IT West activities is that they are organized in the AAU-IT West board. Vice-rector is chairman of the board. The three Faculties have each a member in the board and all the IT West study programmes are represented. There are two students' representatives in the board. 14

15 In the administration the chief of studies is the IT West contact person. He delegates tasks to relevant persons and units in the administration. He is the main entrance for communication with the IT West management. It has been an organisation principle, that IT West activities should be taken care of by means of the existing functional units (the budgeting office etc.), but four members of the staff have been added a specific IT West label to their job profile, i.e. for the chief of studies, for the head of the office for open education, for the open university information officer and for one of the student counsellors. Generally speaking, in most forms of cooperation you get value of it. But you have to renounce self-determination, and in some ways it demands considerable resources and it is of course experienced more bureaucratic to cooperate. Beside the normal organization and the normal routines (procedures etc.) a new layer has been added. In relation to IT West, the overall challenges are to transform the relevant parts of IT West to a networking organization. And the challenges for the whole IT West project - especially the board and the management is to establish an organization that does not develop itself to become a new institution but a management supporting the networking and the aims of the network between the four member universities. Aalborg University is looking forward to the work concerning a reduction of the organisational and administrative costs of running two parallel systems. Report from University of Aarhus Since the beginning of IT West in 1999, University of Aarhus (AU) has contributed to the research and educational activities in IT West. This has been done by initiating educational activities leading to IT graduates on an academic level in a variety of fields within IT. Furthermore, several cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary research teams have been established with the participation of researchers from AU. During the period from 1999 to 2001, eight different academic programmes have been initiated at AU through IT West: four full-time master programmes:multimedia (1999); IT in Organisations (2000); Software Engineering (1999) and Bioinformatics (2001), three part-time master programmes: Multimedia (1999); Software Engineering (1999) and IT and Communication in Organisations (2000) and, finally, a diploma programme:software Engineering (2000). Furthermore, one part-time programme has been initiated in cooperation with other institutions within IT West: ICT and Learning (2000) (Aalborg University plus 3 institutions not participating in IT West). IT activities at University of Aarhus Viewed in an international perspective, AU has strong research teams as well as attractive single and cross-disciplinary academic programmes within the field of IT. The IT related research and academic programmes are primarily situated at 15

16 the Department of Computer Science (The Faculty of Science) and the Department of Information and Media Studies (The Faculty of Arts). At these departments, research and education within IT is wide-ranging covering theories and disciplines from natural sciences, the humanities/arts and social sciences. The research covers a comprehensive field ranging from computer science research on a mathematical foundation to programming languages, object technology and experimental computer science, from subjects with an emphasis on the organisational and social foundation of the understanding of the consequences of technological changes and the use of this knowledge in the development and design of new technology to subjects with a focus on new communication media and their role in education. Apart from the IT West study programmes, AU has several academic programmes within the IT field. These programmes cover Computer Science, Information and Media Studies and Multimedia (a collaboration between the two mentioned departments plus the departments of aesthetical studies) plus a collaboration with the Engineering College of Aarhus. These programmes were all already existing when IT West was founded, but since then the academic programmes offered have strongly increased in both educational as well as in research activities. As a result AU is in the process of locating all research teams and academic programmes within the field of IT in the Katrinebjerg IT Park, not far from the university campus. The departments of Computer Science and Information and Media Studies count the following employees and students: People Academic staff: Research and education Academic technicians Student teachers Secretarial staff: Administration Students (part-time) Information and Media Studies Full-time: 25 Part-time: Computer Science Full-time: 47 Part-time: (18 of these are PhD students) PhD students 6 43 Bachelor s and Master s students converted into number of full-time posts Information Studies: 220 Media Studies: 140 Computer Science: 250 The research at the departments is organised in different research teams, and internationally recognised research teams are working within a wide variety of areas, including: object technology, hypermedia, human computer interaction, design, modelling and verification, security, algorithmics, social technology society studies, internet, digital aesthetics, IT and learning, semiotics, the media system, short film and the reception of different media. 16

17 IT West activities at AU AU s participation in IT West has meant new research, new academic programmes and new collaborations within the IT field even though AU had extensive activities within the IT field prior to IT West. Many of the academic programmes at IT West at AU has had the effect that different kinds of students than normally seen, have been attending academic programmes within IT. Furthermore, now people with vocational training have the possibility to upgrade themselves to an academic level. Many of the programmes cross traditional academic boarders. Thus, the academic development of new collaborations and cross-disciplinary activities has been necessary, requiring supplementary resources. IT West has improved the possibility of facilitating, participating and investing in activities like these. Many of the courses offered have each been developed, planned and taught by researchers from different departments and faculties, resulting in crossdisciplinary research and teaching within many subjects. AU s participation in IT West has made it possible for AU to develop and offer new academic programmes in both ordinary master programmes and further education due to resources available to invest in development. The resources have given AU a possibility to employ more people, thus increasing the volume and consolidating the research activities in the research groups. Furthermore, a greater number of courses have been offered, resulting in a greater differentiation of content in our master programmes, which also benefits the students. AU has a comprehensive programme in further education, and the participation in IT West has led to an expansion of the offers available in further education within IT. These programmes give a different kind of feedback to AU, because the feedback comes from people who work within the IT field. The feedback is relevant both in connection to the further development of further education and in relation to the development of the ordinary bachelor and master programmes within the field of IT. The expansion of further education has led to cooperation with larger companies. Not only has this strengthened the possibility of offering educational activities of relevance, but the knowledge and the cooperation have also improved the possibility of cooperation on research. Internal organisation AU has been represented in the board of IT West by the dean of the Faculty of Science in the period from 1999 to A steering committee with representatives from both departments involved controls the academic programmes across faculty boarders. Apart from this, the Department of Computer Science has an IT West coordinator, whereas the head of study programmes at Information Studies has the coordinator role within the Faculty of Arts. Concerning part-time programmes, the Open University Office plays a central role in getting new students and administrating 17

18 the matriculated ones. Furthermore, it has been suggested to situate the crossfaculty programmes organisationally with the objective of providing students with only one organisational unit with the responsibility for their education. Due to the many organisational units involved, AU has employed an academic secretary to coordinate and implement the IT West activities within the University. Through means from the coordination committee, several projects have been undertaken to improve the organisation and the study conditions for the students. Among these are the establishment of new and exceedingly improved student facilities, the employment of extra student counsellors and an academic secretary employed to establish, improve and coordinate contacts with companies that have an interest in IT related education. This should be to the benefit of the students (improved prospects for getting an internship or for collaboration with companies on projects) and to the benefit to the companies, giving them more usable offers for further education. 18

19 3. FINANCIAL OVERVIEW This section gives an overview of the economy of IT West. Basically, the economy consists of two components: educational or taximeter funding based on the number of exams passed by students funding for research, administration and special initiatives Educational funding ( taximeter funding) is transferred directly from the ministry to each of the four cooperating institutions. This taximeter funding depends on production of students passing exams. It is in principle unlimited, i.e. doubling the production doubles the taximeter funding. Funding for research, administration and special initiatives is decided upon by the board of IT West and transferred via the host institution. With each year s state budget the IT West board receives a grant to finance research, administration and special initiatives. During the first three years, , the funding from IT West has been based on two principles: Advance payment. In order to encourage the institutions to establish new IT West programmes they received advance payment for each approved programme. Matching funding. To support the development of the research environments of the IT West educational programmes, IT West matches the educational funding. To achieve this, the institutions were credited for the advance payments with amounts equal to the taximeter funding they received directly from the ministry 1. The remaining funds have been used to support the development of specific focus areas: IT West infrastructure and cross-institutional interaction and internet-supported education 1 Due to the increase in the number of students at IT West and the limited funds available to the board it is apparent that IT West in 2002 is not able to match the taximeters from the ministry 1:1. 19

20 Funding directly from the ministry Total Taximeter funding Aalborg University University of Aarhus University of Southern Denmark The Aarhus School of Business Total Numbers are in thousands of Dkr Funding from the IT West board Total Grant Funding transferred to the IT West institutions: Aalborg University University of Aarhus University of Southern Denmark The Aarhus School of Business IT West expenditures: Host Institution / ASB Central Management / CIT Board (salary) Transfer to next year Numbers are in thousands of Dkr Notes Concerning 2000 The grant to IT West was Dkr 18 million. In addition, IT West received financial support from the Ministry of Education with the purpose of promoting development of new study programmes (Dkr 4,5 million). Concerning 2001 The IT West board decided to initiate activities in relation to the Coordination Committee. The total funding of these activities is Dkr 9,75 mio. Even though 20

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