Procedure for closure and merger of degree programmes
Purpose of the procedure
This procedure describes the decision-making process leading up to the closure or merger of degree programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The procedure applies to all types of degree programmes at the Faculty. Programme evaluations and the annual programme reports ensure that decisions are made on an informed basis, and that initiatives are continuously implemented to ensure that degree programmes are revised and any problems addressed.
Basis for the procedure
This procedure must be understood in the context of:
- Guidelines for the Closure and Merger of Study Programmes
- University Procedure for Approval of Closure and Merger Study Programmes
The procedure below describes the part of the process that takes place at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The rector makes the final decision.
The dean is responsible for ensuring that the quality and relevance of all degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences allow graduates to find relevant employment. Moreover, the dean is committed to ensuring that the University of Copenhagen’s portfolio of social sciences degree programmes reflects society’s need for graduates of the highest calibre.
Any discussions about closing down or merging degree programmes are usually preceded by a process involving numerous initiatives and adjustments aimed at rectifying any problems associated with the degree programme(s) or changing their profile to better match society’s needs. Any deliberations concerning the closure of a degree programme are included in the annual programme reports.
Any serious problems with a degree programme will have been addressed in the programme evaluations and programme reports, and the senior management (the dean’s office) will have been involved if it has proved impossible for the problems to be resolved locally.
Proposals to close down a degree programme or merge two or more degree programmes can come from the study board, the head of studies, the head of department, the employer panel, the SAMF Advisory Board or the dean’s office. Such proposals are based on the ongoing systematic quality assurance work.
A proposal to close down a degree programme or merge two or more degree programmes must be discussed by the faculty management team, and the dean’s office is responsible for ensuring this. In connection with deliberations about the closure of a degree programme, the dean’s office and the faculty management team may request that additional written material be prepared. In the Guidelines for the closure and merger of study programmes at the University of Copenhagen, it is described what must be considered prior to a decision to close or merge study programmes and who should be involved in deliberations about the closure or merger of study programmes.
The head of studies, the study board, the SAMF Advisory Board and the Heads of Studies Forum are informed that the faculty management team is considering closing down or merging degree programmes, and must be allowed to comment prior to the consideration of the question by the faculty management team.
The dean’s decision
The dean’s decision is based on the programme reports and programme evaluations, any additional written material and the faculty management team’s dialogue about the proposal.
The following questions have a strong bearing on any decisions to close down or merge degree programmes:
- Are there relevant employers for the graduates?
- Does an academic environment exist that can provide research-based teaching?
- Is the degree programme attracting applicants? And is the degree programme attracting international applicants?
- Does offering the degree programme make financial sense?
- Are the necessary resources available for the degree programme, e.g. classrooms and administrative staff?
If a decision is made to close down or merge one or more degree programmes
If a decision is made to recommend that a degree programme be closed down or that a number of degree programmes be merged, the dean’s office asks the responsible head(s) of studies to write a plan for the closure of the degree programme or the merger of the degree programmes. In the Guidelines for the closure and merger of study programmes at the University of Copenhagen, it is described what the plan must include.
The dean’s office forwards the recommendation and the plan for the closure of the degree programme(s) to University Education Services.
The department is responsible for informing of the decision to close down the degree programme. In the Guidelines for the closure and merger of study programmes at the University of Copenhagen, it is described who at least must be informed of the closure or merger of the study programmes. The department informs the students of the time limit for completing their studies.
The dean is responsible for ensuring that this procedure is complied with, and revised as required.