Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

Here’s what you need to know about the master’s reform

Illustration: Ida Eriksen

Illustration: Ida Eriksen

The political parties behind the master’s reform have adjusted their original proposal to shorten or reorganize up to 50 percent of master’s programmes after pressure from CBS and the other Danish universities. Fewer shortened master’s and longer to implement changes are some important revisions to the reform. CBS’ president is pleased that the government and other parties behind the reform have listened to some of the critique given by the universities but raises concern about cutting more study places in bachelor’s programmes.

News |   15. Sep 2023

Ida Eriksen


How to educate new generations most efficiently and in a way that aligns with labour-market supply and demand in society is a puzzle that most governments in Denmark have tried to solve.

In March 2023, the newly elected three-party government outlined its initial proposal on how to improve options for learning throughout your life, how to attract more international students, and how to encourage students to attend more corporate part-time master’s.

Among their concrete ideas were shortening or reorganizing up to 50% of all master’s programmes at Danish universities. The new shortened masters were to be completed in one year and three months instead of two years.

In late June, the government, together with several other political parties, presented the final plan for the master’s reform. In the agreement, the parties still propose to reduce the duration of master’s programmes but they have settled on only shortening 10% of master’s programmes from two years to one year and three months (75 ECTS points).

This change pleases CBS President Nikolaj Malchow-Møller:

“CBS and the other universities have fought for a significantly smaller conversion percentage than originally proposed. We have now landed at a level which is much more realistic and responsible, and with a gradual phasing in from 2028 to 2032. I am very happy to see that our dialogue with the ministry and the parties behind the agreement has had an effect,” he says to CBS WIRE.

The newly accepted reform also promises to preserve the Rate 1 increase, which secures an additional DKK 300 million for the humanities and social sciences every year. This Rate was first effectuated in 2010 and has been prolonged every one to three years since.

“That the reform will make the Rate 1 increase permanent is indeed good news and means that CBS will not have to worry every year about whether we will or will not receive DKK 60 million in education funding,” says Nikolaj Malchow-Møller in an article on Politicians agree on a framework for the master’s programme reform.

Scepticism about cutting study places

Nikolaj Malchow-Møller is happy that the political parties are considering how to make lifelong learning more accessible through the Danish educational system.

“Society is changing. We live longer. We don’t necessarily retire at the age of 67 anymore. And the technological development is accelerating. In other words, we need to learn continuously throughout our entire life. This political agreement is the first small step towards an educational system that supports lifelong learning more,” our CBS President says.

Illustration: Ida Eriksen
Illustration: Ida Eriksen

However, he is not so positive about the fact that the parties behind the reform want to cut 8% of study places in BA programmes across the universities from 2025.

“I don’t believe the demand for university graduates will be lower in the future. Unemployment rates for graduates are generally low at the moment, and the number of study places are already being reduced due to a former political agreement,” Nikolaj Malchow-Møller says.

CBS students who are already enrolled in an education programme won’t have to worry, he underlines.

“We just welcomed 3200 new BSc students at CBS and they are enrolled in the traditional bachelor programmes and will have legal claim to the current two-year master programmes. It’s the students enrolled in 2025 who will be affected when they reach the master level in 2028,” Nikolaj Malchow-Møller explains.

Director of CBS Nikolaj Malchow Møller. Photo by Anna Holte

Which master’s and bachelor’s programmes will be reduced has yet to be decided by the newly appointed Master’s Programme Committee with representatives from the universities in Denmark together with students and representatives from the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

“We don’t know how much CBS will have to reduce yet. One of the tasks of the master programme committee will be to distribute the eight percent among the universities and the agreement states that when doing so the committee shall take unemployment rates into particular consideration,” Nikolaj Malchow-Møller says.

That could be good news for CBS, as the unemployment rates are generally low compared to other universities.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Here’s what you need to know about the master’s reformby

  • News

    Staff layoffs: What happens if you’re fired

    The clock is ticking. On Thursday morning (5 October), CBS employees will know if they are up for dismissal or not. But what will happen on the day? What emotional stages are you likely to encounter? And who will be there to pick you up when you are feeling the blow of being laid off? CBS WIRE has talked to HR and the consulting agency Actief Hartmanns to provide you with answers.

  • News

    Network, network, network – CBS graduates advise on getting your first job

    There are many approaches to finding your first job. Three recent CBS graduates talk about how they landed theirs. Their approaches were quite different, yet they all highlight networking as a key element.

  • News

    A-Z of the dismissals

    In these final days of September, the fate of a number of CBS employees is being decided. The final amount of money saved on salaries via voluntary severance agreements (aka redundancy packages, Ed.) and senior agreements will be known.  After this, the actual number of employees up for dismissal will be decided by management – and then the individuals will be selected.

  • News

    Layoffs break the crucial trust between organisation and employee

    CBS is laying off a number of employees soon, which will affect our university in different ways. When employees are fired without having done anything wrong, it shatters the trust between the organisation and employees, while also taking a toll on productivity, according to a CBS expert. Layoffs also affect the ‘survivors’, who are forced to adapt to a changed workload and the loss of cherished colleagues.

  • News

    Here to help – at the touch of a button and at Campus Desk

    Exam anxiety? Lost student card? I’ve wedged my car between a Fiat 500 and a lamp post, can you help? You never know what you’ll be asked next. But that’s just how the Campus Desk team like it. And if they can’t fix your problem, they’ll know someone who can. CBS WIRE asked the team about the whole range of topics they advice on every day.

  • Gif of the week
  • News

    CBS Quiz Time: Unraveling the success story

    A successful university environment such as CBS is often associated with academic pursuits, but campus life extends far beyond the classroom. At CBS Quiz Time, a student society motivated by creative thinking and social engagement, students join in a refreshing range of creativity, excitement, and social interaction. CBS WIRE talked to Celine Møller-Andersen to find out about the society’s vision, strategies and the factors that are driving its rapid expansion.

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected