University rankings editor: Cuts threaten Denmark’s strong performance

Danish institutions currently ranked highly in Europe, according to Times Higher Education

Six Danish universities were ranked among the top 200 in Europe, with three in the top 100, in a league table published yesterday by the British educational publication Times Higher Education. However, the editor of the rankings warns that funding cuts could threaten the country’s strong position.

READ MORE: Danish government to cut billions from education 

Denmark: strong performer
The University of Copenhagen came in at number 33, making it the highest-ranked Danish university. Aarhus University was rated 46th, and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) also made it into the top 100 at 82nd.

The other Danish institutions on the list were Aalborg University, Copenhagen Business School and the University of Southern Denmark.

Under threat
Denmark was given a special mention in the rankings as a “strong performer relative to population size”, but Phil Baty, the editor of Times Higher Education, sounded a note of caution.

“I believe that a warning comes with this ranking: Denmark’s current strong position in Europe is threatened if the funding of these universities is cut too drastically,” he told Jyllands-Posten.

“The Danish universities are highly dependent on public funds, which I think is a great strength, but at the same time a potential weakness if the economic circumstances or the politics pursued change. That makes the universities vulnerable.”

The government announced plans last year to cut 8.7 billion kroner from education budgets over four years, which has already resulted in job losses at universities.

READ MORE: University of Copenhagen cutting 500 jobs

Times Higher Education has produced global university rankings since 2004. Institutions are measured according to their teaching environment, research environment, research influence, industry income and international outlook.

The overall top-performing universities in Europe, according to the rankings, are Oxford University, Cambridge University and Imperial College London.