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University of Copenhagen
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Response to Peter Blume

Peter Blume argues that there is no mess at the Faculty of Law. But that is because he is sweeping the dirt under the carpet, writes a law student

Law professor Peter Blume says that the Faculty of Law’s administration is not a mess.

As a student at the Faculty of Law, I can only agree with Peter Blume: The faculty is not a mess, and things are running just fine. Nice and smooth. This must be clear to the reader when you read Peter Blume’s well-argued contribution to the debate.

Læs mere:

Law: No mess here

That someone dares to get such a misleading impression just because the student environment assessment documents it year after year, just because the Accreditation Council chooses to criticize the faculty’s administration, and just because the vice dean for education repeatedly acknowledges that the dissatisfaction is justified – why this is nothing less than shameful, as there is no evidence for this.

Just individual cases – lots of them

I acknowledge there are a few individual cases that are problematic, but they pose no major problem. There are a few unfortunate cases of students who have applied to go on exchange and who have received their reply after their study programme started – but these are of course individual cases.

In the same way, there are also rare individual cases where students have had credits reported incorrectly after a typical 4-5 months processing time, or of students’ telling us of incorrect dates on their undergraduate and graduate certificates.

In order to understand why the students’ and Uniavisen’s criticisms are flawed, you have to realize that the administration is there for the researchers and the management: because it is research that is to be supported through the faculty’s well-oiled, smooth administration.

We students must realize that we are a byproduct of the Faculty of Law’s mission. When the faculty finds itself bogged down with even more students and the same accreditation requirements as every other university, it is clear that a few errors can occur there, very rarely, in individual cases. Many of them.

But the true problem lies, according to Peter Blume, in that these errors are often inflated simply because the number of singular administration problems that can affect one student, in some rare cases lead to a strong apathy towards faculty management.

This apathy is only due to the fact that the individual cases of irregularities, breaches of good administrative procedures, errors etc. have turned individual students’ lives into a nightmare, and some individual students report that they have regretted that they ever let themselves enroll at the University of Copenhagen.

Objective evaluations are absolutely necessary

In passing it should be mentioned, what an amazing institution the Accreditation and Evaluation Institute (EVA) is, which Peter Blume opposes. Professors and management should understand that the accreditation by requiring reports and documentation for all teaching and guidance, why this is the very reason we have university degrees.

Imagine a day when a larger faculty does not get accredited, and students end up with worthless education programmes, because they lack the one essential item that a university must provide: Factual documentation of all feedback procedures concerning evaluations or training not sufficiently based on research. It is therefore imperative that we let a new rector understand that he is in every speech should thank the Ministry of Research for this beneficial innovation.

But this should not end in a tribute to the accreditation – it should be about the fact that there is no mess at the Faculty of Law. For the so-called mess does not exist – in the same way as we can see that the house is clean so long as the dirt is swept under the carpet.

Deny, deny, deny

You may find individual students who have been wrongly relegated, the stress from sick students, the assignment of too few or too many ECTS or students who have experienced problems being admitted to their Master’s programme.

But all these students should provide additional evidence for the mess, as a lot of individual drops cannot set the administration afloat. They simply lead to a sea of individual cases, plugging the sink and in the end resulting in a significantly slower operation.

The Faculty of Law is for sure not affected by more or harder documentation requirements, accreditation requirements, or processes, but it is in the name of self-denial also why there is no mess at the faculty.

Now one of these critics might ask, with all these individual cases, why can’t we use the term ‘a mess’?. This can be easily answered: Because a man who has for years been part of competent management tells us that these are only individual cases!

If I have to come up with one proposal to solve the problem with the clear and disproportionate criticism of the Faculty of Law, it should be that we students stop complaining about the few problems that we seldom experience – because they don’t actually exist.