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Humanities dean: Cuts are 'without vision or perspective'

It is a country where education has been seen as an investment. No more, says Dean at downbeat Humanities meeting

Late October and the sky turns dark early.

Dark times for the University of Copenhagen (UCPH), with cuts planned on universities’ education and research. The Faculty of Humanities (UCPH has been particularly hard hit and was the logical venue Tuesday for a public meeting of upwards of 140 professors, staff and students.

“I joined the student Council one and a half years ago and this is one of the biggest challenges we have ever had at the University of Copenhagen,” said Laura Bech Hansen, Chairman of the humanities chapter of the group.

The University of Copenhagen will be hit by a spate of reductions including, a 2 per cent budget reduction year-on-year, an 8 per cent re-distribution of funding 2016-19, a 1 per cent limitation each year, and a DKK 1.4 bn reduction in research funding and fines for slow students as a result of the so-called ‘Study Progress Reform’. Total cuts are estimated at DKK 300m over the next two years.

Hopes only for demonstration

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Ulf Hedetoft called the cuts a part of a government “policy without vision and perspective” in a country where there is a tradition to view education as an investment.

Humanities by night. Photo: Yifan Liu

The goal of the meeting was to inform students about the issue, what impact of the budget cut will have to the UCPH especially to the Humanities department and how it will influence students’ life. It also provided information about the upcoming huge demonstration against the budget cut on Thursday.

It already has more than 12,000 people signed up in Copenhagen. “I hope that we together can change something” says Laura Bech Hansen.

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