After weeks of vigorous protests, opinion pieces in the media and an engaged contribution to an internal consultation, the vibrant student rebellion at CBS celebrated a small victory yesterday as the news broke that the CBS Management has adjusted its study place reduction plan announced earlier this month, and now proposes to close four rather than six programs. This sparked a split second of joy for the students – but not for long.
The Student Rebellion at CBS hopes that the Board of CBS will reject the proposed plan on Thursday until all other avenues have been explored. In the meantime, the protests will continue.
“Our protests might have saved two study programs from closure, but those students stand in 100% solidarity with the other programs affected. On Thursday, we are holding a large-scale election party for all members of CBS Students at Nexus, and will be waiting with great expectations for the Board to make the right decision – and vote against this plan. We cannot trust the CBS Management. Their handling of the process has been appalling and they are not taking their own principles seriously enough,” says Morten Levinsen, who is studying for an MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy and initiated The Student Rebellion.
A battle of numbers
According to its statement, the Senior Management at CBS is no longer proposing to close the BSc in Business Administration and Philosophy (HA Fil.) and the MSocSc in Organizational Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE). However, the MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy, Soc. in Political Communication and Management (Politisk Kommunikation og Ledelse), MSc Soc in Management of Creative Business Processes and MA in International Business Communication still face closure in the new proposal.
The Senior Management cites one of its main criteria for closing down the programs as the unemployment rates for graduates. The decision to adjust the plan proves, according to The Student Rebellion at CBS, that the figures have been miscalculated.
“The Management has admitted making mistakes. We see this adjustment as confirmation that their definition of unemployment was lacking. They overlooked other factors such as job creation and focused solely on unemployment. In other words, they have admitted that their own definitions of unemployment were far too narrow, so why stop here?” says Morten Levinsen.
He points out the case of unemployment numbers from Cand. Soc. PKL (political communication and management) in which one graduate on maternity leave caused the figures to be skewed.
“Is the Management really willing to cut an entire program because of one woman’s maternity leave?” he asks.
Need for a vision
Morten Levinsen also questions the Management’s decision to reduce study places by 10%.
“The politicians demand in their agreement that the universities should cut 5-10% of their admissions, yet CBS has committed to cutting 10%. To students, this sounds very unambitious. The Management should be fighting to save as many study places as possible. At CBS, we are best in class in terms of low unemployment rates, so we should only have to reduce our intake by 5%,” says Morten Levinsen.
Although Morten is pleased to see the student protesters’ hard work achieving results, he is frustrated by the process, and views the way CBS Management has acted as “unworthy of a university like CBS”.
“Our main criticism is still that we do not believe that the sort of ‘bookkeeping management’ CBS is practicing is worthy of a university of its reputation. The process has been disastrous. If it had included relevant partners from the start, this chaotic situation could have been avoided,” says Morten Levinsen and continues:
“It is beneath contempt for the Senior Management of a university, and bearing in mind the gravity of the situation, we still believe that the current Management cannot carry out this plan since it appears to lack the vision needed to manage 20,000 young people. We want to see a vision for the future.”