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University of Copenhagen
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Cuts force pharma to shed 4,200 teaching hours

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is to cut 4,200 teaching hours in the coming academic year. This raises concerns among students and business

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been forced to cut 4,200 teaching hours in the up-coming academic year, causing uproar among students and academics.

The union Pharmadanmark – Academics in the Field of Medicine has criticised the cutbacks in the financial newspaper Børsen while students have voiced concerns in their academic publication Pharma.

Off target

Lærke Arnfast, head of the union Students of Pharmaceutical Sciences, fears that future post-grads will be unable to compete with the current standard, resulting in unemployment.

There is nothing wrong with the management of the Faculty, Lærke Arnfast adds. It is the way the university is financed:

»The Faculty definitely lives up to the political expectations set by the university world today. When the funding for education is so far from being adequate for a Faculty, despite it ticking all the right boxes, that must be a sign that the target is off the mark,« she says in Pharma.

Fierce competition

Executive Vice President of Drug Development Anders Gersel Pedersen of the pharmaceutical company, Lundbeck believes it’s a problem that the universities rely so heavily on earmarked funding, and that it’s a serious concern to have post-grads that aren’t educated as well as previously.

»It’s no longer good enough to deliver post-grads of the same standard as the year before. In the world we live in, the universities need to produce post-grads that are better than the year before. That’s the challenge,« he says to Pharma.

Cutbacks »won’t have negative influence«

The cutbacks are unavoidable according to the Dean of the Faculty, Sven Frøkjær: the government funding that the Faculty is free to govern over themselves –the so-called ‘basismidler’– has been cut by two per cent every year.

»We are of course very sorry about the financial means we are working with. We have cut as far into the management as has been responsibly possible, and are now forced to cut back in the last place we would ever wish to – the actual education,« he says to Pharma.

He does, however, believe that the cutbacks won’t have a negative influence on the quality of post-grads, as the Faculty –in comparison to others– still has a plenty of seminars and a considerable diversity in the courses available.