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University of Copenhagen
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Students block entrances and occupy CSS (updated)

CSS Campus at the University of Copenhagen is right now under blockade by around 100 students. They fear that announced cutbacks will hit the Social Sciences hard

The offices of CSS – which house the Social Sciences – have been blockaded by students since 6.30 am.

A group of around 70-80 students blocked the entrances to the administration building and denied the Dean access to his office in protest against layoffs, which are the result of a proposed government budget cutback.

Press strategy

Based on the total tally of 4-700 for the university, the social science students fear that up to 80 staff in their faculty will have to go.

The University Post’s Danish section Universitetsavisen observed a perplexed Social Science Dean Troels Østergaard Sørensen by the CSS entrance just before 9 am. He did not wish to comment.

The students, on the other hand, have plenty to say.

Danish television news and press crews wander in with cameras as sociology student Magnus Pedersen holds an inflammatory speech for the gathered protesters and journalists.

Teaching hours will be lost

The aim of the blockade is to show politicians what will happen if the planned ‘austerity package’ which includes cutbacks at the university is agreed in parliament tomorrow, he says.

The students fear that they will not learn enough.

»We are afraid for our academic qualifications,« he says. »So we want to tell the government that our budget can not be cut back any further. This time it will be teaching hours that disappear, and we will not be able to guarantee that we have the qualifications that we are expected to have.«

Blockade is most effective

Psychology student Emilie Nayberg, says that blockades have previously proved a more effective way to be heard than ordinary protests.

»There is press coverage here, and that could mean that universities stop being a place where politicians can make cutbacks without consequencess,« she says.

The Danish union for academics, Dansk Magisterforening, is expected to visit the blockade in support of the students during the day.