15 December 2011

University of Copenhagen creates new super faculties


University of Copenhagen has decided to merge four of the University’s eight faculties into two. This is done to create better synergy between research and education.

Photo af cell fusion: Mnolf Wikimedia Commons The basis for the mergers of the faculties is to create stronger academic environments, better education and research, for instance in the areas of energy, climate, sustainability, food sciences and health care. The plan is to convert 35 departments into 24 new, larger departments, which will impact a total of 14,000 students and about 7,000 employees. The new faculties will have an annual budget of approximately DKK 2.5 billion of the University of Copenhagen’s total budget of DKK 7.5 billion.

“The University must develop an even stronger commitment to society as well as the challenges that lie ahead in areas such as climate, health and lack of resources. That is why we are creating a new framework for the development of research and education, which staff, students and co-operative partners now must help build upon. We have faith in the fact that the new faculty structure is more coherent and to a larger degree combines basic research with applied research in the business sector,” says Chairman of the University Board Nils Strandberg Pedersen.

The Board will follow the processes behind the organisational changes closely, and staff and students will continue to be involved in a number of specific action plans.

Major investments in strategic research areas

The Board has decided to merge the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) and the Faculty of Science into one super faculty with over 3,400 full-time equivalents. Similarly, 3,200 full-time equivalents will be joined together by merging the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Faculty of Health Sciences and the veterinary field at the Faculty of Life Sciences.

One of the aims is to strengthen the co-operation between basic research and the way that it is applied in society. The research is therefore to be better linked with the energy sector, agriculture, medicinal industry and the hospitals. By for instance coupling together research from pharmacists, veterinarians and doctors, it will become easier to cross borders and create synergy in closely related fields. The research in medicinal drugs can be linked to clinical pharmacy and the development of new animal models for testing medicines.

The new organisation will be followed up by new investments in research. There will be put aside DKK 175 million over the next five years to establish five so-called academic “lighthouses” with recruitment of top researchers. The faculties will also be given an expanded loaning limit of up to DKK 100 million for new investments over the next four years. The money will amongst other things be used to strengthen the academic development, build bridges between the different scientific cultures and to build up relationships between staff and students.

It is also a goal to develop new academic programmes. There is for example a plan to create an academic programme focused on sports sciences and human nutrition.

Presentation of plans

The merger has been approved after an internal consultation process at the University during the autumn. This has been an open process both internally at the University, but also with input from external business partners.

The faculty deans will present the Board’s decision at mass meetings. The new organisation will not affect the other faculties at the University.

Contact information

Director of Communications
Jasper Steen Winkel
Phone: +45 28 75 42 62