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Opinion

Regime of the ministers, no thanks!

Students’ column — The era of the regime of the professors was laid to rest 50 years ago. Now, 50 years of co-determination by staff and students is being superseded by a new regime: the regime of the ministers, writes the Student Council.

Just before the Easter break, the first citizens’ proposal in Danish history went through the Danish parliament. The proposal was co-authored by the Student Council and student organisations, and was about abolishing the cap on the number of education programmes that Danish students can take.

The Student Council has, from the outset, clearly rejected the Danish cap on education programmes. As education and knowledge is always valuable in itself and of benefit to society. It is therefore moronic to put a cap on education.

A clear majority of the population is opposed to the education programme cap.

And the support for the citizens’ initiative speaks for itself. In less than two weeks, we succeeded in getting more than 50,000 signatures for the proposal. In addition, a poll taken by YouGov shows that a clear majority of the population is opposed to the education cap. The Student Council is clear about this: The cap on education is a bad idea.

Despite the broad support for the citizens’ proposal, the Danish government, the Danish People’s Party and the Social Democrats refuse to listen to us students and the rest of the Danish population. They will not reconsider the decision and are determined to retain the cap on education programmes.

This is just one example of the trend for politicians to refuse to listen to us students. A very worrying trend. A number of recommendations were recently submitted by the Committee For Better University Education Programmes. One of these recommendations is to take decision-making powers from the boards of studies and move them to a unified management structure with more ministerial governance and less democracy. Another step in the wrong direction, and a good explanation for the increase in political apathy.

 

It really worries me if the knowledge that students have, and the value that we create for the university is to be lost, simply because a unified management structure and more ministerial governance is the new black.
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If politicians, led by the minister, choose yet again not to listen to us students, this can have a major impact on the quality of our university. For there should be no doubt that students, in cooperation with instructors, are best at deciding how our education programmes should look.

When students and staff sit at the table where decisions on our education are being taken, it helps to ensure quality. As we know what is happening, and we know what works in practice.

On the study boards we have repeatedly put our feedback on the agenda, and we have worked for more of it.

On the study boards we have repeatedly put our feedback on the agenda, and we have worked for more of it. This work started in the study boards and resulted in a broad focus on feedback across the entire university.

It is the students in the study boards that know when the workload is getting too high in exam periods, and that can help to change the form of the exam, as has been done in medicine and in political science, for example. It is the students in the study boards who know when, and in which subjects there is a need for more classroom instruction.

It really worries me if the knowledge that students have, and the value that we create for the university is to be lost, simply because a unified management structure and more ministerial governance is the new black.

Fifty years ago we celebrated the downfall of the regime of the professors. Can this really be so, that we are celebrating the anniversary of the student revolution by introducing the regime of the ministers?

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