Admissions to CBS to be reduced between now and 2030

The universities are to cut student places by up to ten percent in the larger cities by 2030. The plan for a reduction in student intake in Frederiksberg is now due to be sent for internal consultation.


Foto: Jakob Boserup
Photo: Jakob Boserup

Following the political agreement of June 2021 on increasing and improving opportunities for education throughout Denmark, CBS, along with the other universities, was asked to devise a plan for implementing the political decision to reduce student places. The plan, which is to be submitted to the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science before the end of the year, is now ready for internal consultation within CBS, explains acting president Inger Askehave.

- We have been tasked by policymakers to reduce student intake in the larger cities by up to 10%, which in our case translates into 628 fewer student places in Frederiksberg. This essentially means that a ceiling has been placed on admissions right up to 2030. This is a huge change, and we have now drawn up a number of principles for the best way to tackle the reduction so that we meet the needs of employers and safeguard the characteristic breadth of CBS’ research and degree programmes as far as possible, says Askehave.

The plan for a reduction in the number of student places is in two phases: an initial phase where about half of the required cuts are made by discontinuing certain degree programmes from 2023. The remaining part of the reduction will have to be delivered in the second phase from 2025.. The degree programmes we envisage closing down are:

▪    HA Erhvervsøkonomi og filosofi
▪    MSc in Business Administration and Philosophy
▪    Cand.Soc. Politisk Kommunikation og Ledelse
▪    MSc Soc - Management of Creative Business Processes
▪    MSc Soc - Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship
▪    MA International Business Communication

These programmes had a total intake of 334 students in 2021, which leaves a remaining 294 places to be cut in phase 2.

Unemployment and finances are key factors

The needs of the employment market are a decisive factor in our assessment of how to implement the reduction in admissions.

At the same time a 10% reduction will also have negative financial consequences for CBS to the tune of DKK 45–55 million per year, which is why the plan in phase 1 envisages the closure of whole degree programmes rather than blanket cuts involving 10% reductions on all the programmes. Closing down programmes is a more effective way of achieving the necessary reduction in costs than the use of a blanket approach.

- Owing to an expected decrease in activities due to the reduction in student places and a resulting decrease in income, we unfortunately cannot rule out the possibility at present that we may need to let go of staff. However, we will do everything we can to avoid this scenario. It is also important to stress that the extent of the imminent reduction in student places is still unclear and will remain so until the final sectoral plan for reduction in the larger cities is presented in the Danish Parliament to the parties behind the agreement, presumably in spring 2022, adds Askehave.

Next step

Senior Management’s plan for implementing a reduction in the number of student places was presented to CBS’ Board of Directors on 12 November 2021 with a view to aligning the plan with the Board’s expectations regarding how to tackle the cuts. At the meeting the Board endorsed the principles underpinning the plan.
The Board also recommended that Senior Management wait until 2025 before determining the extent of reduction in phase 2 so that its decision can be based as far as possible on the needs of the employment market as they are then.

- We look forward to feedback from the organisation and their comments on the plan before the Board reaches a decision at the next meeting on CBS’ response to the Ministry, says Askehave, who adds that the Board will be meeting again on 2 December 2021.

After the Board meeting the plan will be sent for consultation within the internal collegiate bodies. Senior Management looks forward to a constructive dialogue during the consultation round; ideas and input will be gathered and passed on to the Board ahead of its meeting in December.


The page was last edited by: Sekretariat for Ledelse og Kommunikation // 07/11/2023