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Change of direction away from Danish 'knowledge society', says Rector after Danish government's budget for 2016 deal which includes cuts to education and research. University of Copenhagen to shed jobs
Finance Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen (Lib.) presented the 2016 government budget on Thursday, according to seven59.dk and other media. It marked the culmination of lengthy negotiations between the Liberals, the Danish People’s Party (DPP), Liberal Alliance (LA) and the Conservatives (Cons.).
The budget includes substantial cuts to education and research.
Mr Frederiksen asserted that the cross-party agreement will improve healthcare services and services for senior citizens: DKK 2.4 bn are earmarked for healthcare services, and the DPP has secured a so-called ‘dignity billion’ to ensure a dignified life for senior citizens.
The budget will also make life easier for both car- and home owners. The land tax was frozen to remain at its current level in 2016 – a key issue for both LA and Cons – while the vehicle registration fee has been lowered from 180 per cent to 150, which is considered a major win for LA.
The budget settlement was achieved after a week of several other large agreements, including the recent police bill, the asylum deal, and the reintroduction of the cash-benefits limit.
The budget means serious pain for the University of Copenhagen.
According to ku.dk the university can now expect a reduction in government income of DKK 690m in 2019, corresponding to eight per cent of the university’s total turnover. This will mean a halt to many development projects and will include a reduction of several hundreds of jobs.
“This budget will mean less education and less research. It will lead to a large round of redundancies. In the end it will influence Denmark’s ability to manage in the face of international competition. It is complete change of direction in relation to Denmark’s attempt to turn the country into a knowledge society. And it will weaken research and innovation environments that have put us into the top international league,” says Rector Ralf Hemmingsen of the University of Copenhagen.
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