University faces building cost legacy

Expensive new buildings and increased rental fees could end up costing the University of Copenhagen (KU) up to 50 million kroner annually beyond 2020, reports Universitetsavisen.

Leif Søndergaard, the union representative at KU, worries the extra bills will be paid at the expense of salaries for researchers.

Lack of money
According to records from the university’s board meeting on April 27, the pricey new buildings will increase KU’s construction expenses from the current 20.5 percent to 23 percent of the university’s total budget in 2019.

Combined with the governmental budget cuts in the higher education sector, the university will not have enough money to pay salaries, fears Søndergaard who projects more layoffs will come in the future.

KU has recently laid off some 500 employees.

Core responsibilities
“It’s not the building that drives research, but the scientists who work inside,” Søndergaard told Universitetsavisen.

“That’s why we shouldn’t take resources away from our core responsibilities, so that KU is left with a number of fine, prestigious buildings, but with not enough manpower to carry out the research.”

The university is currently in the process of building several new research centres, including the Niels Bohr building and Maersk Tower in Nørrebro and a museum of natural history at the Botanical Garden.