The Danish government has been accused of robbing Peter to pay Paul in its draft national budget for 2020.
The severely criticized two percent cut of the higher educations’ budgets, also known as ‘the reprioritization contribution’ is set to stop from 2020, instead of 2022 as the previous government had announced.
This will result in a DKK 12 million increase in CBS’ education funding in 2020.
According to Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, the University Director of CBS, this is “good news”. But the draft budget is not all good news.
From 2020, it would seem that the temporary rise to the taximeter funding for humanities and social science educations will be discontinued. For CBS, the extra taximeter funding has resulted in an additional DKK 50–60 million per year.
“If the taximeter funding is discontinued, CBS will lose out on DKK 55–60 million, which is equivalent to around 10 percent of our education funding This will ultimately reduce the quality of CBS educations in the form of lower research coverage of the educational programs. This will mean that the students will meet even fewer researchers during class,” she says and continues:
“Furthermore, opportunities for developing and upgrading methods of teaching will be significantly reduced. And it will certainly lead to fewer lessons altogether.”
However, as bad as that seems, CBS actually based its budget on the risk that the extra taximeter funding would be discontinued, explains Kirsten Winther Jørgensen, who has not lost all hope that, ultimately, the final national budget will continue the taximeter funding.
“I’m not surprised that the taximeter funding isn’t part of the draft budget. We didn’t expect it to be, so CBS’ budget for 2020 is based on that scenario. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s out for good. As described in some newspapers, there’s discontent among some of the government’s supporting parties that the taximeter funding is not being continued. So, it’s going to be thrilling to follow the negotiations over the coming months,” she says.
The proposal to discontinue the taximeter funding has made various organizations rush into print with objections.
The chairman of the organization Danish Universities, Anders Bjarklev, says in a press release:
“It’s worrisome that on the face of it, a big part of our funding for the studies in humanities and social science seem to be dropped from next year despite promises from the Social Democratic Party to the contrary. If the cuts are implemented, it will undoubtedly affect students who, for example, will get less time with their teachers during those educations,” he says.
I’m shocked that the government one day says that the cutbacks on education are over, but on the next day, 1-2-3, takes away tens of millions of Danish kronerCamilla Gregersen
The taximeter funding was introduced back in 2010 when an external report concluded that the educational area was underfunded. Danish Universities fear that the universities will once more become underfunded.
“The government has said that it wants to invest in education, which is why it’s so hard to comprehend that it wants to introduce a cutback that could exceed the previous government’s ‘top-slicing’. We hope that the government’s negotiations with the parties of the Folketing, as a minimum, will result in securing the educations’ present funding,” says Anders Bjarklev in a press release from Danish Universities.
The chairperson of the Danish Association of Masters and PhDs (Dansk Magisterforening), Camilla Gregersen is shocked by the Danish government’s draft for the national budget.
“I’m shocked that the government one day says that the cutbacks on education are over, but on the next day, 1-2-3, takes away tens of millions of Danish kroner from social science and the humanities,” she says in a press release from DM and continues:
“Both of these areas have been financially underfunded for far too long, and if the taximeter funding isn’t continued or made permanent, it will result in rounds of layoffs, the closure of subjects, and will generally result in major consequences for the quality of education.”