University Post
University of Copenhagen
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20 facts about Danish students

Statistics — You can look forward to an annual salary of DKK 368,965. In class, a woman is sitting next to you. You get the Danish grade of 10 for your master's thesis. And you drink less than your parents - but much more than your friend the mechanic.

40 per cent: UCPH has the stress record

The surveys are not quite in agreement on how stressed Danish students are. But everyone is in agreement that things are bad at the universities. There are indications that 90 per cent of students experience stress in the course of a semester. For one third, the stress is through the entire semester, or a large part of it. Here, the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) has an impressive Danish record with a 40 per cent stress level. Congratulations to us!

This is how we did it

The data has been retrieved from a number of studies, mainly by the Danish trade unions DJØF and DM.

In addition, some statistics have been provided by the University of Copenhagen.

Some data comes from elsewhere – like DR and Uddannelseszoom.

The data is, in all cases, the latest available.


10 per cent experiment with drugs

Almost one in ten students experiment with performance enhancing drugs in the course of their studies. Some studies include caffeine pills. Others do not. But this said, setting up an IV line with coffee running through it is not to be recommended. You should, as a minimum, just check with your nearest medical student, before throwing yourself into it.

50 per cent: Congestion and hassle at uni

Do you find that it has become more difficult to get through the lobby? And have the queues for the coffee become suspiciously longer since last time? If so, you are not the only one. Half of students reckon that there is more congestion at their place of study over the past few years.

We want 10’s and 12’s as grades

Half of Danish university students find it difficult to be satisfied with anything less than two digits on their 12-scale Danish grade sheet. And there is, of course, nothing wrong with that. If it was not because it is also linked to increased stress indicators. It is also hard to take time off, and you might be reluctant to take part in class for fear of appearing stupid.

We drink a lot

Make no mistake, Danish young people still swim in beer and they are still European champions in alcohol consumption. But studies have shown that their alcohol consumption is declining rapidly. But students in longer and medium-length higher education programmes drink significantly more than other young people. This means that you drink more than your friends on the creative study programmes and in the vocational training programmes.

28.5 Chlamydia diagnoses

University cities (and Gentofte, and Kolding) take the prizes for the places in Denmark most plagued by the sexually transmitted chlamydia. If you want to avoid the itch, you can move out to Brønderslev in northern Jutland, which has the lowest number of chlamydia diagnoses. While Copenhagen has 28.5 chlamydia cases per 1,000 inhabitants, Brønderslev is laid back (likely with a condom on) on 13 cases.

An apartment costs 155 per cent of a Danish SU study grant

It is no secret that the Copenhagen housing market is both difficult and expensive. If you are not one of the lucky ones who have rich parents or a dorm room, you will have to take up the fight on the housing market. And this is no cakewalk. By comparing housing prices and the latest SU student grant payout level, one of the authors of this text has arrived at the conclusion that she – on average – would have to pay 102 per cent of her SU (after tax) for a room in Copenhagen. A one-bedroom apartment costs 155 per cent of the Danish SU student grants.

4 per cent of graduates actively apply to the public sector

When you after 5+ years finally have your master’s degree, the city council is not that appealing. Half of UCPH graduates want to get in to the private sector, and just under half are indifferent as to whether they end up in the private or public sector. This leaves an underwhelming 4 per cent graduates who actively seek a public sector job. Think about it.

73 per cent have student jobs

If you are a student, you probably have some kind of student job. 73 per cent of students have. And this is far more than just five years ago. The numbers also reveal, that this might be a good priority. Students who spend more than five hours at work a week, have a significantly higher chance of getting a job quickly after graduation.

You get 9.65 in your thesis grade

You probably get a 10. The average grade for a master’s thesis is 9.65, if you want to be exact. Well done, by the way. The female students generally get better grades than their male counterparts. Some things suggest that it is smart to continue on from your bachelor’s to your master’s, if you want to come out with an impressive grade. The thesis grades are higher than the bachelor’s grades. And I guess this makes sense.

The Faculty of Theology has the best study environment

4.52. This is how high the master’s students at Theology rank their programme on a 5-point scale. This means that Theology, closely followed by Italian (4.5) and chemistry (4.48) is the programme at UCPH where most students find their social study environment good. It is worth noting that while the natural, bio and health sciences programmes dominate the list of subjects leading to the highest salary, it is the humanities degree programmes that dominate the top 20 in terms of social environment (9 out of 20).

60 per cent female students

60/40 to the ladies: This is the gender distribution at UCPH. Only at the Faculty of Science are there more men than women enrolled, and men are overrepresented in subjects like economics, philosophy and musicology. Women, on the other hand, rule South Campus. At the Faculty of Humanities, the gender distribution is closer to 70/30.

10 per cent drop out

If you have (successfully) completed the first year of your course, give yourself a pat on the back. More than one in ten bachelor students drop out of their programmes in the first year.

37.6 weekly hours of study

37.6 hours per week. This is the number of hours that students spend on average on their study programmes. Well done! This is close to the 40 hours a week that the Ministry for Education would like to see us using. The number crunchers say that to earn one ECTS credit you need 27.5 working hours.

Love blooms on the study programme

Did you fall for your boyfriend during the last student revue or between a beer and a Fernet Branca in the dim light of a Friday bar? Then you’re not the only one! 11 per cent of all Danes reportedly met their partner on their programme of study. This happens when you spend many hours a day with like-minded people, who are beautiful, young, and who have the same interests as yourself.

You will get an annual salary of DKK 368,965.

Welcome to your new annual salary. When you’re done, you multiply your student grant by five. Graduates from UCPH get DKK 30,497 a month on average in their first five years in the labour market. Humanities graduates slightly less; the social sciences graduates slightly more than average.

35 per cent complete their studies in the prescribed time

Politicians struggle to push students through their studies within the prescribed time. But fear not! If you are one of those that is slightly delayed because you last spring spent your time on the political science or medicine student revue, you are not alone. The year before last, only 35 per cent completed their master’s degree within the prescribed time, while most, 76 per cent, were a year longer to finish their university.

4,7 per cent unemployment is not that high

Relax mate! When the media talk about high unemployment among university degree holders, they are probably talking about graduate unemployment. The real unemployment for academic degree holders is around 4.7 per cent. Graduate unemployment is volatile and it balloons out in August, September and October, when people graduate, and falls during the course of a year.

We are an average of 22.9 years old

A new student is currently an average of 22.9 years old. If you are considerably older, then chances you study Italian or Theology. Here the average age for starting the programme is 32.9 and 31.6 years respectively. The young guns you will find on the study programmes with high admission grade averages. Both molecular biomedicine and actuarial mathematics are places where people on average are younger than 21. Fortunately age is just a number.

Your parents are probably rich

UCPH is for the children of the privileged. Apart from recruiting most of the student body from secondary schools in the north of Zealand, UCPH is that university in Denmark which has the highest proportion of students who arrive with top grades from their upper secondary schools. At the same time, the old university has one of the lowest proportions of students from low income homes, so your parents are probably rolling in it.

Translated by Mike Young