University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Tough talk over university billions

Talks on the billion-kroner globalisation-fund have ended in a political stand off, with the government now threatening to use the billions with the right wing Danish People's Party. This is after the centre-left Social Democrat and Social Liberal parties slammed the door

Talks about the key globalisation-fund have ground to a halt, paralysing other government negotiations in the process. Government and opposition parties are unable to agree where the money for education and research institutions – scheduled to be shared out in 2010, and important for the University of Copenhagen’s budgets – should go. Now there is only a cold war of words, each blaming the other for the money being stranded.

The stand-off is the culmination of a long dispute. Report after report has been flung into the public arena, hoping to earmark the money for this and that area.

The opposition: the government is stalling

The government is at fault, Morten Bødskov of the Social Democrats and Margrethe Vestager of the Social-Liberal Party agree.

»The government insists on underestimating the financial crises, the rising level of unemployment, and the massive deficit Denmark is in midst of,« said Vestager last week, prior to the negotiations.

Nevertheless, she seems surprised that the negotiations took the turn they did.

»I am shocked over the government’s inability to see that we’re moving away from the goal of 95 pct. of young people getting an education,« she says, and adds that it is time the government gets it together and takes action.

Government will not wait for a new meeting

According to Helge Sander, the Minister of Science, it is the centre-left parties’ fault that a DKK 700 million investment in the so-called GTS-institutes, and plans for modernisation – that would include new laboratories at Panum and Niels Bohr Science Park at the U of C – is falling through.

Minister of Finance, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, says the centre-left parties’ tactics has backfired.

»I am confused about the opposition stopping the negotiations that are to secure more young people an education, create more internships, better research, and generally prep Denmark for growth.« he says.

A date has yet to be set for a new meeting. Minister of Finance Claus Hjort Frederiksen says that there will be no time-out, and that negotiations now proceed with the Danish People’s Party.