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University of Copenhagen
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Meet your candidates: Martin Garcia & Mads Glahder

UNIVERSITY ELECTION 2013: The two Progressive Agenda candidates tell us about their alternative platform, and how they plan to simplify IT platforms and battle bureaucratic red tape

In Progressive Agenda we believe that the reason why the turnout in the elections to the university bodies is embarrassingly low, is due to the fact that there are too few different candidates to choose from. This inspired us to create an alternative and more idealistic agenda, which hopefully will provide greater incentive to vote.

Our main issues

1) Apply four blocks instead of semesters in study programmes for all faculties
We as students get stressed when there is no even distribution of work during the semesters. The university should reflect the life in the labour marked after end studies. It makes no sense to have a relatively quiet semester followed by an intense exam period in the end. Another advantage of applying blocks is that the students would actually get a real Christmas holiday without worries of an exam in the first week of January. And last but not least there could be an optional fifth block during summer that both would enable reading ahead as well as catching up missed courses.

2) We want to discuss whether the Theological Faculty should exist in a secular university
The Theological Faculty is moving from the inner city to KUA3 in the near future. We want more debate on whether the faculty needs to exist in the first place. Second we should take a long hard look at whether a modern university should even be the place of education for priests in the first place. While we’re at it we think a discussion ought to be had on whether the Theological Faculty should be a faculty at all.

3) The university and sustainability
We welcome that KU has a green agenda. We think that as one of the largest companies in the nation that the university should be one of the most sustainable institutions. It is highly problematic that KU has decided, almost per default, to work with Danske Bank, which invests heavily in fossil fuels. A start would be for the board to create a set of ethical guidelines, stating what the university is willing to accept with its partners. It is not only the employees of the university who have a responsibility some of that falls on us, the students.

The biggest problem at University of Copenhagen

We have two big issues at KU at the moment: A severe lack of IT infrastructure and a mountain of red tape. It should be possible in 2013 to have stable, campus wide WiFi. You should be able to buy compendiums as e-books and download lectures as podcasts.

We lack a practical and easy to use intranet that acts as one digital platform instead of solving problems by digital fragmentation. To effectively use the intranet today you need to master the following platforms: KUnet, Absalon, Stads, SIS and KB Rex. Many of the systems are unstable, lack common layout and are seemingly unconnected. If DTU can figure this out, then so should we. A common IT solution combined with identical study programme structures would make it possible to more easily pick courses outside of your faculty.

In addition, the invasive and all encompassing bureaucracy needs to go. It shouldn’t be a painful, long-winded process if you both want to study abroad and bring home ECTS points. It should be easy and quick to pre-approve foreign exchange. You should get a digital receipt when you hand in a project or paper via Absalon. The printouts from STADS look like something out of 70’s science fiction – it’s just not good enough.

Why we are different from the other candidates

In comparison to the other student parties we don’t want to set a minimum for teaching hours. We prior quality before quantity, when it comes to lectures, and feel the local Study Boards of researchers and students have the best preconditions to decide the number teaching hours. We also want to get rid of ungraded exams, so that bright and brilliant students are rewarded for hard work.

We also don’t assume to represent all the students at KU as opposed to Studenterrådet. We have a clear list of members who know what and who they’re voting for. We neither do politics on SU or the way the institutes are granted money from the state – these issues are decided by the parliament and are completely out of our hands if we get a seat in the board. We know what can be changed and we know how to do it.

You are most welcome to join us in our quest to make a better university. Find us at and remember to vote.

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