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Information about the financial situation of the University

On the basis of an overall assessment, the management of SDU has decided to make new adjustments to the University’s finances.

SDU’s overall economy is under pressure. In recent years, the University has seen a decline in the number of students admitted as well as uncertainty in the economy, resulting in rising prices, interest rates and costs.

Since the autumn of 2022, SDU’s management has provided regular updates on the University’s financial situation and on managerial measures to handle the situation and contain costs. In order to mitigate the negative effects on the University’s finances, the management has decided to reduce rent costs by terminating a number of leases in and around Odense. At the same time, the University’s costs have been curbed by introducing a ‘disposition limit’ (reduced spending cap) of DKK 36 million throughout the University. The disposition limit is effective in 2023.

Quota 2 applications

SDU’s management has also waited for the application figures for quota 2 as of 15 March 2023 to get an indication of the intake of students in 2023. On a positive note, first-priority applications to SDU have increased by 12% compared to the applications received as of 15 March 2022. It is also positive that the forecast for admissions in 2023 indicates that the overall decline in admissions in recent years looks set to slow down in 2023. 

However, the forecast for student admissions in 2023 also indicates that SDU will not regain the level of annual student admissions in the period 2017–2020 in the coming year, and that the University will thus not regain the previous years’ expectations for educational revenue. Compared to expectations in October 2021, the forecast of March 2023 shows that SDU stands to lose approx. DKK 88 million in educational revenue in 2024.

The forecast encompasses large differences across the individual study programmes, faculties and campuses.

Assessment of the University’s financial standing

SDU’s management has assessed the University’s overall financial situation in light of the significant shift in the University’s educational income level, increased costs and current budgets. 

After careful consideration, the management has decided to make adjustments to the University’s finances totalling DKK 95 million annually from 2024. 

The adjustment need corresponds to approximately 2.8% of SDU’s total revenue in 2022.

The need for adjustment is distributed differently between the faculties and Central Administration, as they are facing different situations in relation to the reduced educational revenue, increased costs and current budgets. 

In addition, towards 2027, several faculties and the Central Administration need to find further operational optimisations and transition measures to increase revenues and/or reduce costs to eventually ensure a sustainable economy. These operational optimisations are beyond the annual adjustment needs in 2024. 

The need for adaptation in 2024 is to such an extent that management unfortunately cannot rule out that it will be necessary to make adjustments in the University’s activities as well as implement unsolicited redundancies of employees.

Offer of voluntary resignation

Under the auspices of the Central Liaison Committee (HSU), management and union representatives have entered into a framework agreement for voluntary redundancy, seeking to prevent the number of unsolicited redundancies. The framework agreement gives managers and employees the opportunity to enter into an agreement on voluntary redundancy. Voluntary redundancies can reduce labour costs from 1 January 2024 onwards.

From 23 March to 14 April, employees at SDU will therefore have the opportunity to seek a voluntary redundancy agreement.

On behalf of SDU’s Executive Board

Best regards,

Jens Ringsmose, Rector

Helle Waagepetersen, Pro-Rector

Thomas Buchvald Vind, University Director

Editing was completed: 23.03.2023