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University of Copenhagen
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300 student places cut at the University of Copenhagen’s humanities faculty. Here is the detailed plan

Relocation agreement — Plan released with details on which study programmes at the Faculty of Humanities will have fewer places in 2025 as a consequence of the Danish government relocation agreement. Here is an overview of the closure and relocation of student places.

The Faculty of Humanities has drawn up a plan that outlines which study programmes are to have fewer student places.

625 student places are to be cut in total from the University of Copenhagen as a part of the relocation agreement — a government initiative that, according to Danish politicians, is to safeguard »more and better educational opportunities throughout Denmark.« The Faculty of Humanities is the hardest hit at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), and will have to close 300 student places.

The plan for the first reductions was ready by December. Generally speaking, the largest study programmes are to cut the most: Back in 2021, 172 new students enrolled on the Faculty of Humanities’ largest bachelor study programme, Danish. According to the new plan, only 150 students will start in 2025. Information Studies is to be reduced by 22 places.

»22 corresponds to a class, so we have the opportunity to either remove one whole class or make some much smaller classes,« says Eva Silberschmidt Viala, Associate Dean for Education at the Faculty of Humanities.

In close collaboration with the boards of studies and the departments’ managements, she has spent the past year finding out what the future is for the Faculty of Humanities. They have taken unemployment, the number of first-choice applications, first-year dropout rates, vacant places, and finances, into account . They have also wanted to maintain a wide range of degree programmes, and they have looked at the study and research environments.

»It was not just a question of reducing the number of places, but also about working strategically with our degree programmes. That’s why it’s been so important that we had time for this work,« says Eva Silberschmidt Viala.

»This has been a consideration for all degree programmes, where we have looked at their different circumstances, and where it is possible to cut. It has not been a factor in itself if the study programmes were large. There are also smaller programmes that have to cut back, but with a small number,« she says.

Differences in the number of student places at the Faculty of Humanities

(Above) Study programmes (in Danish) where 10 or more student places are to be cut, or where the student intake will increase.

It is not set in stone that exactly 22 places that are to be cut in, say, Danish, and 18 at musicology. As the faculty has to make an overall reduction. They will therefore regularly take stock of the situation and reassess if, for example, student places on some study programmes are not taken:

»We need to also monitor the students’ application patterns,« the associate dean says.

A total of 180 places are to be cut from the bachelor’s degree programmes at the Faculty of Humanities. When the smaller year cohorts have come through the bachelor’s degree, 120 fewer will then be admitted to their master’s. This will mean that the faculty reduces 300 places in 2030 as required.

The number of student places at the Faculty of Humanities 2021-2025

Move your cursor over the columns to see the trend in spaces on each study programme (in Danish).

Admissions dropped below the norm in 2022 following large student intakes during the corona pandemic. This means that it looks as if the reduction has already been carried out. But the 300 fewer student places will be of importance if applications surge again.

German and Audiologopedics not cut

German is one of the subjects at the Faculty of Humanities that has had low application numbers and empty places for a number of years. The study programme will not reduce its intake however. In fact, they can now admit more than in 2022, where there was generally low application numbers due to the previous corona year. According to Eva Silberschmidt Viala, this is due to low unemployment among graduates. She hopes that, in the future, more people will study subjects like German and French.

»Even though there are low application numbers, it is important to maintain the language courses. Our best move if we want to recruit more students is to improve the study programmes. We have received funding that will give the students more in-person teaching hours.«

Audiologopedics, the degree programme on hearing, speech and reading therapy, is the only study programme that will increase its intake relative to 2021, where 35 students were admitted. 40 are to be admitted in 2023.

»There is virtually no unemployment, and the degree programme is highly sought-after. That’s why we saw a potential in increasing admissions. We would have liked to increase it even more, but due to the requirements for reduction, it ended up on 40,« the associate dean says.

Relocation is ‘a long haul’

In addition to cutting 625 student places, 304 places have to be moved out of Copenhagen as part of the relocation agreement. The relocation can either happen by the University of Copenhagen setting up a new unit outside Copenhagen. Or by letting student places be transferred to another university.

»It’s a long haul, but things are moving steadily forward,« says Rie Snekkerup, Vice-Provost for Education and Students.

She has the overview of the relocation situation. What she calls »the biggest lumps to be relocated« are the medical degree programme, which is to relocate spaces to the southern suburb of Køge, and the Veterinary and Animal Science programme, which is to relocate spaces to Aarhus University’s new section in Foulum near Viborg in Jutland.

This will not mean that students will suddenly have to move from Copenhagen to the small town of Foulum to continue their studies next semester. It is not students, but student places for future admissions that are being moved.

Overview over the relocation of student places

Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, Køge: 155 places will be moved from the medical degree programme in the Panum building in Copenhagen to the Køge suburb. The first bachelor’s degree students are expected to be able to fill out the campus in Køge in the autumn of 2024. They will be joined by master’s degree students in 2027. But there is still some way to go. Region Zealand is in the process of building three floors in continuation of the Zealand University Hospital in Køge with teaching facilities for the medical degree programme. The building is expected to be completed in the spring of 2024. The degree programme has to, also, first be approved by the minister, and the University of Copenhagen has sent an application for approval of the study programme to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science in January. It expects a response in April.

Veterinary studies at Aarhus University, Viborg: 25 of the University of Copenhagen places in veterinary medicine are to be relocated to Aarhus University, in a new unit in Foulum near the town of Viborg, Jutland. A total of 30-50 students will start when the new campus in Foulum opens its doors in the autumn of 2024. The buildings in Foulum are in the process of being refurbished with laboratories, and it will be finished on an ongoing basis as students start to use it. The programme was approved by the Minister for Higher Education and Science at the end of January 2023.

Animal Science at Aarhus University, Viborg: The study programme can no longer be followed at the University of Copenhagen, as the 59 places on the bachelor’s programme in animal science and the 23 places on the master’s programme are to be transferred to Foulum. The pre-qualification of the study programme has been submitted as an application on 1 February, and they are now awaiting the Ministry’s approval. The first students will start in the autumn of 2024.

Other student places up for relocation: An astute reader will notice here that this does not tally to a total 304 student places that the University of Copenhagen has to relocate. This is because some STEM subject student places are to be moved to Odense and Aarhus. A small number of places on clinical psychology are, according to the plan, to be moved to Region Zealand.