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Response — Dean of Humanities Ulf Hedetoft responds to the featured comment by the department council of the Eastern and South Eastern European Studies academic council which has called his decision to close Polish and Balkan Studies programme 'utterly hypocritical'
Dear academic council and anyone else who is interested in this issue
I am neither ignorant nor arrogant. I do not question your great efforts and I have not turned the halt to admissions into an argument for closure.
Let me start by correcting your starting point. In the notice given to Rector and the Board last spring it was made clear that admissions and dropout numbers on the two study programmes (Polish and Balkan Studies) were such that they had to be closed down as independent programmes. The situation only gets worse when UCPH in 2018 introduces a 6-grade as entry requirement – then Polish will, with a high probability, not be able to admit any students at all.
This decision cannot be touched.
Then we should subsequently examine whether we could remedy the situation by merging the programmes. We asked the department to make a proposal, and this we have recently taken under consideration.
You would think that a large and important country like Poland would be able to attract more students than the programme does, but we must take stock of the situation as it actually exists now.
Ulf Hedetoft, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities
The result is that we can see a point in a merger at the MA level (where we preferably should be able to negotiate for more study places), while the Department’s proposal of a BA level merger is maintaining the status quo, with three separate courses, but with more joint classes. We do not believe this is a sustainable model, either formally (because if this happens it is not a closure, which was what we presupposed last year) or real (as there will be a huge imbalance in the composition of the interdisciplinary classes and the two separate language dimensions will suffer for the two smaller languages – if we are able to call ‘Balkan’ a language).
We therefore choose to opt for the optional course with a reduced language dimension – but other suggestions are very welcome. I regret this development and the decisions we have had to make. But they are primarily due to the lack of admissions and the large, high drop-out rate in the BA. You would think that a large and important country like Poland would be able to attract more students than the programme does, but we must take stock of the situation as it actually exists now.
Sincerely Ulf Hedetoft