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Education Government The Almighty Buck

Massive Layoffs Hit University of Copenhagen 173

jones_supa writes: University of Copenhagen is cutting deep into its staff to cut operation costs. Even though a great deal of the savings are aimed at administration and service, they are expected to affect the quality of education and research many years ahead. More than 500 teachers, researchers and employees in service and administrative jobs will be leaving. This corresponds to 7% of all staff. 209 employees can anticipate being laid off, while 323 jobs are either discontinued or terminated via voluntary redundancy. In addition to this, the university will have to reduce its PhD intake by 10% in the coming years. This is the outcome of the government's 2016 budget which imposes huge savings on research and education. As you might remember, we just heard about a similar situation in University of Helsinki in Finland.
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Massive Layoffs Hit University of Copenhagen

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    They can all learn to code and find new jobs!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wish they'd have massive layoffs at liberal arts universities. Those types need to see the real world.

  • Just send all the Muslim refugees to college for free. Enrollment will spike. Problem solved.

    You're welcome!

    • by benjymouse ( 756774 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @01:45PM (#51457451)

      Just send all the Muslim refugees to college for free.

      Oh, we will. You can count on it.

      If they are accepted as refugees, after a few years they will be eligible for the same benefits as other citizens. Danish education - including college education - is free. Not only that, but we will even pay students scolarships of around DKK 5100 a month (apx $9200 per year) to cover living costs.

      Universities have admission criteria, however. You'll have to be accepted. Most citizens with muslim background seeking higher education tend to go for the types of education that traditionally have high status in their culture: Law, medicine, dentists etc.

      I have a high wage. I pay a *lot* of taxes. Do I mind that refugees seek education in Denmark and receive benefits? No, I do not. Any qualified young man or woman seeking higher education is *exactly* what we need. If they're qualified, I'm happy with paying my taxes so that they can receive an education even if they come of circumstances very unlike mine.

      Right now we're receiving both refugees and migrants. We are well aware that the generous welfare systems in the Nordic countries and the economic opportunities (and welfare system) in Germany is attractive. Obviously, the Nordic countries cannot open the borders and let in every needy person in the world.

      Bit the ones we *do* let in considered needy. And they *will* be eligible for the same benefits as the rest of us. And I'm kind of proud of that. And yes, I pay my high taxes with pleasure. Makes me feel good about it.

  • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:20AM (#51456793) Journal

    This is the outcome of the government's 2016 budget which imposes huge savings on research and education.

    You seem to have misspelled "cuts".

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:34AM (#51456839)
    That's another part of the Nordic Model: when the state demands stuff from you, you comply; budgets get balanced; union power and concerns are secondary to social and budgetary concerns; you go to university and get a Ph.D. at the discretion of the state. It also means that you accept this conformity willingly [thelocal.dk] and impose it onto your fellow citizens.

    If you want to read more about the flipside of the Nordic Model, read "The Almost Nearly Perfect People" by Booth. Then think about whether you really want to live in a society like that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      WARNING: I was invited as a "guest worker" because dk lacked engineers. Treated like a slave, like a refuge, subjected to every fine fee penalty, 'arranged' to get the boot when I married a non-dane. We lost everything, dk will back-assess taxes and penalties to strip you of all your assets when you leave. There is no recourse since dk doesn't join the EU on money+justice+discrimination.
      Do not go there, it is a trick.

    • "you go to university and get a Ph.D. at the discretion of the state"

      Actually, being a Finn, I see the problem more like being that people hang out at the university at their discretion until they're 30, and they might either get a Ph.D. or not... some cuts may be in order.

      • Actually, being a Finn, I see the problem more like being that people hang out at the university at their discretion until they're 30, and they might either get a Ph.D. or not... some cuts may be in order.

        People hang out at university until they're 30 because they don't have a lot of other options when governments raise labor costs too high. "At the discretion of the state" doesn't just mean that they tell you you can't go if you want to, it also means giving people "free" university education after polic

        • I am not really sure what exactly the "entry-level jobs" would actually be in our economy... there is only so much need for burger-flippers. This is also the reason why I am very skeptical of in particular the less-educated refugees/immigrants ever becoming gainfully employed. If we have issues with nonskilled youngsters of our own, how are we going to employ nonskilled grown-up foreigners?

          Norway has had an interesting experience along these lines, by the way. Their own young people pretty much just refuse

          • I am not really sure what exactly the "entry-level jobs" would actually be in our economy... there is only so much need for burger-flippers.

            There are many jobs for unskilled labor if it is cheap and flexible enough. They have been largely eliminated in Europe, but they still can be found in the US (albeit rapidly disappearing with new minimum wage and employment "protection" laws). Nannies, porters, drivers, delivery, pet and child sitting, cleaning, etc. But when you have to pay minimum wage, benefits, t

  • About time (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They have an insane amount of lecturers, who creep along in acedemia always close to full unemployment, running seminars which are barely visited by students. Less PhD students is also a good idea, it's time to stop throwing a PhD out to anyone who writes something that superficially resembles a book without any real quality control. Half of all theses are not worth the paper they are printed on.

    However, to fair, I'm pretty sure the current fascist government does it for all the wrong reasons and certainly

    • Re:About time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by paradigm82 ( 959074 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:55AM (#51456943)
      This! It used to be only the brightest of a class that got offered PhD's but thanks to the more than tripling of PhD's over the past 10 years you routinely see very "ordinary" students who study PhD. In fact, it seems to even be an attraction to some of the lazy ones so they can hang around with their friends at uni at 3-4x the income they had as students, compared to - say - going to the private sector where the salary might be higher, but the actual productivity requirements even more so. The Danish PhD instutition is a disaster - having a PhD in Denmark is at best a neutral indicator of ability, and probably bordering on the negative.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I don't know about Denmark but I know that when I got finished up my Ph.D in 1991 one of the comments that I had was about how difficult it had been and how selective the program had been. There were a lot of smart people who wanted to get their Ph.D from the same institution and a very limited number of slots. I was extremely grateful that I'd been allowed in but thought that there were others who were equally qualified and that they might have room for a few more. I touched on that and a few other similar

        • When I started in University I thought PhD was way out of reach. After all those who got it were all straight "13" students or close to it and when talking to them you could immediately tell they are not just smart... More like geniuses or something close to it. That's how it was in math and comp sci circa 2000. I gave up on the ph d thought when I got my first bad grade. Well 5 years later I got my masters. By them Ph.D.s were already much easier to get and I even got offered one. Turned it down due to lac
          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I'm constantly given reasons to be grateful for my circumstances. I'm retired and happy for it. My Ph.D is in Applied Mathematics and, I've gotta be honest, it was so tough I thought I'd not make it at times. I suspect that where my degree comes from (MIT) hasn't gotten much easier, but I have to remark that I really don't see a whole lot of intellect being displayed by people with newer degrees. I assume they've got domain knowledge, I mean they must. Surely, they've done their defense and they're publishe

            • I definitely see where you are coming from and as you can see I have the same concerns. I have thought about this Plato quote as well. It seems to always come up when the subject of grade/Ph.D./education inflation is discussed. While I will be the first to acknowledge that equivalent concerns may have been voiced since ancient times and that such concerns today may seem to have be unfounded, I also think We should not be bound by whatever observations Plato or others made. It could just as well be this tim
              • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                I understand. I am insulated to the point where it doesn't even matter who gets elected. The entire US economy could collapse and I'd be fine. Hell, the world could go to hell in a bucket and I'd be fine. Literally, I'll be fine. My kids will be fine. I didn't want to have irresponsible jackasses for kids so they do have trust accounts (managed, market based) but those don't provide them with a lot of income. Yes, they could not work - if they really wanted to. But, they'd be pretty unhappy. Well, sort of?

                M

  • by paradigm82 ( 959074 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:52AM (#51456923)
    A 7% reduction (where over half are voluntary meaning only 3% actually get sacked) doesn't seem so unusual and by no means massive. In all companies I've been there has been cuts that were both bigger in absolute and percentage terms, hardly raised a headline. But now it's the public sector so it is somehow a disaster not only nationally but also news-worthy internationally?!
    It seems in the past year, some danes have figured out that whenever the government does something they disagree with they can run to the international media with "Oh look how evil they are!" stories and easily have them printed. Even though the actual news content is utterly trivial, and in fact many other countries have been doing the same "evil" thing.
    There has been a massive upsurge in hiring at University of Copenhagen in recent years. A tripling of PhD students over 10 years. Any half-decent grad student gets routinely offered 2-3 PhD positions if they finish, and can easily get research assistant and PostDoc positions after they finish, and then teachers, asisstant professors and what not after that. Everyone knows they are not all top scientists - quite far from it. In fact many of them couldn't make the cut at a private company, but yet consider themselves superior just because they got a trivial PhD degree.
    So on balance, it seems only in order with a little clean-up - just as many other companies have to from time to time. By the way, the actual cut in funding was only 2% so it can't explain why they now have to fire 7%.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Gotta pay for more "diversity" coming into the country.

      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Gotta pay for more "diversity" coming into the country.

        I thought the other way around.

        That the teachers of both Copenhagen and Helsinki university was all welcome to Sweden to help educate all the arriving orcs who need to be taught to become proper elves here.

        (Of course Copenhagen and Helsinki scientifically but not value-educated personal may not be seen as correct co-workers at a Swedish university nowadays. Feminist anti-white Marxist Islamist or GTFO.)

    • A 7% reduction (where over half are voluntary meaning only 3% actually get sacked) doesn't seem so unusual and by no means massive.

      As a one-off it's not so bad. But is it, or will this continue year-on-year?

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Hmm... I have no idea but I have some tangentially related experience. I'm a bit old and I've had the chance to travel quite a bit. In all those years and in all of those places, I've only personally been in one place, at one time, where a government did, without referendum or pressure from the citizens, remove an actual profitable tax when they said they would - and I was only there on vacation.

        I didn't yet live in Maine and was up on vacation. Maine's government had raised the sales tax from 5% to 5.5% fo

    • It works in Finland all the same. We got the absurd "civilization being destroyed in Finland due to university budget cuts" story on Slashdot for the exact same reason -- the politically lefty types want to create a negative sentiment abroad that they can then point to, and demand that we must do something to fix our emerging bad reputation. As if we'd been seen as some shining beacon of everything great and good before...

      • Exactly... it is almost like children tattleing to the adults when something doesn't go their way. The bad thing is that some people take it seriously. As if the opinion of some foreign media, who haven't spend 5 minutes to figure out what the story is about, is more important than a democratic, informed decision in the country itself!
      • by aliquis ( 678370 )

        It works in Finland all the same. We got the absurd "civilization being destroyed in Finland due to university budget cuts" story on Slashdot for the exact same reason -- the politically lefty types want to create a negative sentiment abroad that they can then point to, and demand that we must do something to fix our emerging bad reputation. As if we'd been seen as some shining beacon of everything great and good before...

        Mean-while the Swedish left know that Sweden was the shining beacon of everything right in moral and society, until the RACISTS came and ruin it all thanks to the oh so aggressive and hateful right-wing media (You may not know Swedish media but it's rather full of denial, "taking responsibility" for not letting out the truth or post negative news or opinions about immigration and an enormous share of relativism when it comes to immigrant criminality vs events which involve the horrible Swedish white men.)
        If

        • I have this impression though that your people are coming to their senses a bit, aren't they? Which would be great, as Sweden is being held as the moral beacon and example for Finland, so we always have to wait for "permission" from you to do things, otherwise the left complains that we are "no longer a civlized Nordic country".

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @12:21PM (#51457045)

    All these continents are yours, dear tourist. Except Europe. Attempt no landing there.

  • Denmark lost Russian market due to sanctions.

    I wonder if the new economical divisions in Europe start to manifest themselves at the West too?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the last couple of decades I have seen educational institutions acquire prime real estate, charge students through the roof for tuition and books exponentially, place credit card booths hither and yon, situate food outlets that charge more for food and beverages than outside said institutions. Schools are a business, not a place of education and it is appalling. What else are they going to do but operate like the heartless corporations they are. Somehow, educational institutions lost touch with their man

  • ...is what they used to call this.

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