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Denmark’s recently appointed Minster of Higher Education and Science, Søren Pind, revealed at the end of March governmental plans to cut the student intake in English-Taught Programmes (ETPs) at vocational academies and professional colleges by 25%. The desion was reportedly taken following recent governmental analyses showing that only 21% of graduates from vocational academy ETPs and 17% graduates of professional Bachelor ETPs are in employment in Denmark two years after graduation. This compares to 57% and respectively 76% of graduates in Danish in the same two types of programmes. The studies also point to the indication that Danish graduates in such ETPs are at a higher risk of unemployment than in the similar Danish-taught programmes.
Of those students graduating with a professional degree, 57% left Denmark within two years, while 31% of graduates in vocational academies did so. At the same time, 27% of the same vocational academy ETPs graduates continue to further education. The English-speaking students represent 19% of all students at vocational academies and 8% of students in professional colleges.
The ministry plans to cut roughly 1 600 less study places compared to 2015. Putting a ceiling on the number of study places in English language programmes is, according to Søren Pind, to mitigate an increase in recent years in ‘’the number of foreign students who come here to get an education paid for by the Danish taxpayers’’. The measures intend to reduce spending on these students and focus on higher education that generates graduates for the Danish labour market and economy. The decision will be implemented in cooperation with the respective instutitions, it is stated.
A recent ACA study on English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education showed Denmark to be the European country with the highest proportion of study programmes fully offered in the English language – 38% - in 2014. The top place was however help by the Netherlands at that time, when other indicators like the proportion of institutions offering ETPs and the enrolment of students in ETPs were taken into account.
Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science – Press release (in Danish)