Country makes a U-turn on strict policy
Denmark cannot do without international students after all
In 2021, the Danish government decided to drastically reduce the number of English-taught programmes offered by its universities. The measure was expected to save costs and keep higher education accessible to Danish students. Now, it is announcing a U-turn. Last Week, the Danish Minister of Education, Christina Egelund, called for the policy to be reversed after employers complained about having an increasingly hard time finding highly educated manpower, according to The Pie News.
Earlier this year, Danish universities were allowed to offer 1,100 first-year places in English-taught study programmes, but Egelund now feels that even more spots are necessary. “We should be grateful that young people from abroad want to study in Denmark”, she told the Danish press.
The Netherlands is going through a similar debate to the one that led to the 2021 restrictions in Denmark. The anglicisation of higher education and the number of international students are among the most prominent topics in the political debate. In a recent bill, the outgoing Minister of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf offered institutions a number of tools to restrict the influx of students from abroad, while also acknowledging the requirements of the local labour market.
However, there are many people who feel that this bill does not go far enough. Pieter Omtzigt, an MP who just started a new party called New Social Contract, proposes to reduce migration drastically, which includes reducing the number of international students. In his view, Dutch should become the main language of instruction at higher education institutions. He also feels that European students should be unable to apply systematically for the Dutch student financing system.