20 September 2011

Deans present rough outline for larger faculties


The University of Copenhagen Board has given Rector Ralf Hemmingsen and the University’s deans a mandate to explore the possibilities to reduce the number of faculties. The aim is to create an even stronger academic environment and better education and research within the areas of energy, climate, sustainability, food science and treatment of patients.

After a proposal from the deans, the University Board has asked management to identify the prospects of merging the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) and the Faculty of Science. Similarly,management will also explore the possibility of merging the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences. An analysis will be made as to where the veterinary areas of the Faculty of Life Sciences (for instance veterinary medicine) will be placed.

The potential mergers will affect 14,000 students and over 6,000 employees, the last of which amounts to 2/3 of all staff at the University of Copenhagen. 

A potential merger will affect 14,000 students and over 6,000 employees“The University must have a stronger engagement with society as well as those challenges that Denmark is currently facing, such as environment, lack of natural resources and development of medicine. Therefore, there is a need for a more cooperative academic and educational structure, which to a higher degree combines the applied research in the business sector with basic research,” states Rector Ralf Hemmingsen.

The background for the deans’ proposal is the great academic overlap at the four faculties – for instance within the research and educational areas of plant sciences, biotechnology, molecular biology, chemistry, biophysics, health sciences, immunology, nutrition and pharmacology.

Official hearing in the autumn

The deans for the four faculties have prepared a rough outline of the possible organisation for two faculties. The proposal will be sent into a broad hearing process with staff and students during the autumn with the purpose of receiving improvements and input from the academic environments. During the process there will be great focus on involving all parts of the University, and relevant external partners in industry and agriculture will also be heard.

Once the hearing process is complete, the University Board will treat the proposal at a meeting before the end of the year. If the plan is approved, it could be put into effect in 2013, with 2012 being a transitional year.


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Jasper Steen Winkel
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