Acc. to the fac. man. team abbr. should be avoided at HE

If you find it difficult to decipher this heading and find meaning in the text, you are probably not the only one. New guidelines for the use of abbreviations at Health will help to create more inclusive communication. The general rule is: avoid esoteric university-specific abbreviations.

 AI-generated illustration showing a woman sitting in front of a desk, while a lot of letters are flying around herd, mens en masse bogstaver svæver rundt om hende.
Photo: Adobe Firefly

Abbreviations are an effective way of communicating, both orally and in writing. At a university, abbreviations of technical terms are not just a practical shortcut; they also form an important part of our professional language and identity.

But for new employees and others who are not familiar with the abbreviations and their meanings, abbreviations can be experienced as exclusionary and create frustration, misunderstandings, and a sense of distance.

The faculty management team has therefore approved a new set of guidelines that limit the use of abbreviations in both speech and writing. The purpose is to support more inclusive communication at Health.

Guidelines for abbreviations

The new guidelines for abbreviations are available on the faculty's website. Overview:

1. Never abbreviate Health

The faculty and its units are often abbreviated as HE and HE BYG. Health is called Health, and the administrative units will be written and pronounced as their full name such as Health Estates Facilities (see abbreviation above).

2. Avoid subject-specific and university-specific abbreviations

Documents and meetings at Aarhus University can almost feel like a secret code to the uninitiated due to the many insider abbreviations. Therefore, we should strive to avoid subject-specific and university-specific abbreviations.

A subject-specific and university-specific abbreviation could, for example, be FISU or IRM. We now use the full names: local information security committee and Department of Forensic Medicine.

In exceptional cases, you can use an abbreviation if you write the word in full the first time it is mentioned – followed by the abbreviation in brackets. In other words: local information security committee (FISU) and Department of Forensic Medicine (IRM).

3. Use commonly recognised standard abbreviations

You can still use standard abbreviations for common words found in accepted dictionaries. This could be e.g. (for example), i.e. (that is) and Dr (doctor).

The faculty's website contains several examples of how we use and do not use abbreviations in our communication at Health.

By the way, the headline of this article should rightly be: According to the faculty management team, university-specific abbreviations should be avoided at Health.


Head of Communications Ulla Krag Jespersen
Aarhus University, Health Administrative Centre – Health Communication
Mobile: +45 31 69 10 14