Senior management team’s comment on the agreement on the master’s committee

 Dear employees and managers at Aarhus University

The seven political parties behind the Master’s reform have now agreed on a mandate for the Master’s committee tasked with “shaping the new Bachelor’s and Master’s degree landscape”. This was reported in a press release from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Based on the framework set out in the reform announced in June, the Master’s committee has been asked to present recommendations for:

  1. new Master’s degree programmes
  2. improving the quality of Master’s degree programmes
  3. administration and teaching organization
  4. further education and lifelong learning
  5. possible research tracks for graduates on Master’s degree programmes worth 75 ECTS
  6. sector resizing

This is a major task for the committee – and an even larger task for Aarhus University and the other universities who will have to implement the restructuring requested by the political parties.

The mandate states that all main subject areas will be required to convert some of their current Master’s degrees to the new Master’s degree programmes, and the negotiating parties have agreed on approximate percentages for how this will be distributed between academic fields: 35 per cent for humanities, 40 per cent for social sciences, 30 per cent for natural sciences, 10 per cent for health sciences, and 15 per cent for technical sciences.

Aarhus University has repeatedly pointed out that, with the exception of health sciences, this unequal distribution between subject fields is highly inexpedient and will make it difficult to meet the restructuring targets set out by the reform. This is not changed by the fact that the percentage of Master’s programmes subject to restructuring has been significantly reduced since the original reform proposal. For Aarhus University, which offers programmes within all main academic fields, this would demand major changes to programmes at Aarhus BSS, Arts, Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences. This is something we must all respect when we begin the process of finding the best possible solutions.

According to the mandate, the reform committee will be made up of the eight university rectors and two student representatives as well as the permanent secretary, director, director general and deputy director at the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Ministry will chair the committee and the director of Universities Denmark will be appointed as observer.

The committee has its first meeting in autumn 2023 and must present its recommendations by the end of October 2024.

Once again we would like to underline that Aarhus University is an outstanding university with high quality degree programmes. And we will continue to be in the future. We are facing a difficult task – but we will approach it constructively in order to find the best possible solutions with respect for our high academic standards, our employees, and, not least, our students. Here at AU, we have now begun the process of exploring these solutions.

Yours sincerely

Senior management team

Rektor Brian Bech Nielsen

Pro-Rector Berit Eika

University Director Kristian Thorn

Director of Enterprise and Innovation Lone Ryg

Dean, Aarhus BSS Thomas Pallesen

Dean, Faculty of Arts Maja Horst

Dean, Faculty of Health Anne-Mette Hvas

Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences Kristian Pedersen

Dean, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Eskild Holm Nielsen

Link til nyhed fra UFM (In Danish)

Link til kommissorium for Kandidatudvalget (In Danish)

Link til kandidatreform (In Danish)