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Government grabs DKK 70 million from KUA lease funds

The government has cut an annual payment to the University of Copenhagen of DKK 70 million from its 2016 budget, breaking a 14-year-old agreement

The Danish government is to cut an annual DKK 70 million payment to the University of Copenhagen. In 2016 the university will receive a smaller sum, while in 2017 the university won’t receive any of the money, writes the Danish-language site Uniavisen.dk.

The cut comes at a time when Danish universities are already reeling from a series of government trims to education and research budgets, that has the University of Copenhagen shed PhD positions, and reduce service..

“Never in my thirty years as a public sector leader have I heard of government abuse like this. Never,” says University of Copenhagen Rector Ralf Hemmingsen.

Confirmed by Minister

In 2001 the government approved the building of the new Faculty of Humanities (KUA). The University of Copenhagen rents its buildings from the state, and the Ministry of Finance had set aside money for the rent of the new buildings to the University of Copenhagen as part of the government’s original contracted agreement with the university.

The university was to receive this sum when the buildings were completed. Not any more. The government will keep the funding to itself in its 2016 budget, breaking a 14-year old agreement.

“I can confirm that the removal of the approximately DKK 70 million annually is an amendment to previous budgets, including estimated pay-outs in the annual state budgets and previously binding acts,” writes Minister of Education Esben Lunde Larsen.

Rector: Will lower quality

University of Copenhagen Rector Ralf Hemmingsen, says that the new cut will lower the quality of research and education: “I advise the government to take this very seriously. This cut comes in the wake of several others that the government has imposed on the universities.” says Rector Ralf Hemmingsen.

Read the the story on Uniavisen.dk (In Danish) here.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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