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Denmark: Government reshuffle brings new minister for higher education

With seven government reshuffles within 28 months, Denmark’s Social Democrat-led government has had to go through some turmoil in its recent tenure. The most recent government reorganisation has also had an effect on the minister post for science, innovation and higher education with Sofie Carsten Nielsen replacing Morten Østergaard, who became now minister for taxation. First action, name change – the ministry will from now on be called ministry of higher education and science (Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet).

Sofie Carsten Nielsen, parliamentary group leader of the Danish Social Liberal party since December 2012, studied political science at the University of Copenhagen and, as Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, EU affairs at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. Nielsen started her career as a political advisor at the European Parliament, followed by a position as deputy manager at the Danish ministry for equality. From 2009 till 2011 she was head of the Danish Society of Engineers. Nielsen and Østergaard are both members of the Danish Social Liberal party and it is unlikely that she will follow a particularly distinct path, notably concerning current issues such as the upcoming implementation of the Danish grant scheme reform or the issue of employability of Danish graduates (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, January 2014a & January2014b). 

Folketinget - Sofie Carsten Nielsen (in Danish)

Ministry of Higher Education and Science - Sofie Carsten Nielsen (in Danish)