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Action plan to increase number of Danes studying abroad

Denmark’s Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education finally published the English version of the government’s new action plan entitled Enhanced Insight Through Global Outlook. Launched in June 2013, this new plan aims at boosting the internationalisation of Danish higher education and builds on three key objectives to do so, namely:
  • increasing the number of Danes studying or taking a work-practice abroad;
  • strengthening the international learning environments of Danish higher education institutions, and
  • enhancing local students’ competences in foreign languages that are in labour market demand. 

To accompany these objectives, four measures are outlined in the action plan, to be achieved by 2020:

  • the proportion of Danish students abroad (studying, or taking an internship), should  increase from 17% to at least 50%;
  • in 2011, 563 Danish students went to growth countries like Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Korea. By 2020, this number should increase by at least 15% per year;
  • collaborative projects (e.g. double or joint degrees) between international and Danish higher education institutions should increase by 20% compared to 2012;
  • more Danish students need to study in a non-English-speaking country (2 167 in 2011), with an annual increase of minimum 15%.
In order to achieve these objectives, the action plan includes 31 individual initiatives, such as mobility windows (i.e. a study period abroad integrated into the study programme) or the automatic recognition of credits. The plan also proposes a loan scheme through which each student could borrow an extra DKK 100 000 (ca. EUR 15 000) to cover tuition fees abroad. Danish students should also be offered the possibility of having their international grades converted to Danish grades, and not just attached as an annex to their diploma.

Some of these initiatives will require new legislation, which will be introduced to the Danish parliament in the spring term. A new webpage will also be set up by the Ministry to act as information portal and motivate students to study abroad.

Action Plan