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SDU and RUC discontinue negotiations

More than six months of investigations, which were supposed to lead to Roskilde University taking over Campus Slagelse from the University of Southern Denmark, have unfortunately ended without a mutual agreement.

On 1 March, the University of Southern Denmark and Roskilde University signed a letter of intent for Roskilde University to take over Campus Slagelse on 1 September 2024.  

- On the basis of the letter of intent, a good, constructive and very thorough process was initiated. I would like to thank Roskilde University for an excellent collaboration where both parties have wanted to reach a good agreement. We have never doubted the good intentions of Roskilde University. However, despite the good intentions of both parties to achieve the goal of the letter of intent, we must now, after six months of investigation and dialogue, acknowledge that the negotiations will end without a transfer agreement,’ says Jens Ringsmose, Rector of the University of Southern Denmark.  

Challenged economy  

- The reason is that we unfortunately cannot find common ground when it comes to the economy. The demographic development with smaller and smaller youth cohorts has meant a significant drop in the number of students at Campus Slagelse in recent years – and thus less educational revenue. This poses a challenge to the economy. Based on this, we must unfortunately conclude that the negotiations have ended without a result – and that the good wishes in the letter of intent cannot be realised, says SDU’s Rector.  

SDU’s management will now consider various options for Campus Slagelse.   

- SDU’s management will now assess the situation and consider alternative solutions to a handover to Roskilde University, says Rector Jens Ringsmose.

The background to the letter of intent

Back in January 2023, SDU faced a dilemma. Despite the huge efforts of researchers, lecturers and administrative staff to develop and deliver quality education programmes in Central and West Zealand, SDU was refused permission not only to set up a new master’s degree programme in Public Health Science, but also to relocate its bachelor programme in Public Health Science from Odense to Slagelse. These programmes were the backbone of SDU’s plan to relocate, build and strengthen SDU Slagelse with socially relevant programmes – and they were included in the University’s institutional plan in connection with the political agreement on ‘More and better educational opportunities throughout Denmark’ from June 2021.  

The programmes would also help ensure a more sustainable economy in the form of more students on a campus that has been challenged financially due to a steadily declining number of students in recent years, as well as a generally rising cost of running educational institutions.  

Securing the education landscape in West Zealand  

- For SDU, these rejections meant that the University’s ability to address a regional educational need in Slagelse and throughout West Zealand was challenged, and we therefore considered a number of alternative options to ensure that Campus Slagelse would remain strong. Therefore, we were delighted with Roskilde University’s interest in initiating talks about taking over SDU’s programme activities in Slagelse, as expressed in the joint letter of intent.  

- The letter of intent sought to help secure and expand the educational landscape in West Zealand, now that SDU has found it difficult to do so, but unfortunately, we have not succeeded in reaching an agreement,’ says Rector Jens Ringsmose.  

Editing was completed: 20.09.2023