19 October 2017 Register to receive our free newsletter by email each week
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Universities to stop admitting foreign students

Copenhagen University and the University of Southern Denmark have announced they will not sign the annual ‘development contract’ with the Education Ministry, effectively refusing to enrol new foreign students.

“If the government is reducing the number of Danish students to be admitted, there are no places for foreign students,” the universities said. The development contracts with the universities were made to increase internationalisation and boost the number of foreign students at Danish universities, Ritzaus said.

At Copenhagen University, prorector Lykke Friis said the universities had no other choice when more than 60 master’s degree programmes would have to reduce their intakes of Danish students in 2015 and onwards.

Lykke Friis told the Information newspaper it was difficult for Copenhagen universities to fulfil the internationalisation strategic plan of the Ministry when there were not enough study places available for local bachelor’s candidates who had graduated and had a legal right for further education.

“If the government carries out this plan we can only enrol bachelor’s degree students because the law says we have to, but no international students to our master’s programmes for the next three years, and most likely beyond,” Maja Horst, head of the department of media, cognition and communication at Copenhagen University, told the University Post, CU’s newspaper.

“The department last year accepted 44 full degree international master’s students on film and media studies, 18 in philosophy and 65 exchange students, but none in the years to come because of the cutbacks,” Horst said. “This will be a hard blow to internationalisation but I don’t think the Minister fully understands the consequences.”

She said her department had started development work to promote the study of Scandinavian film and media. This would now be put on hold in spite of massive international interest.

Education Minister Sofie Carsten Nielsen said she realized the dimensioning plan for reductions in student intakes might imply there were fewer study places available for foreign students for a period.

But she said that “Denmark is not going to educate for unemployment”.

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