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Business: Stop students taking studies to nowhere

Congratulations, everyone, on an increase in student numbers, says business lobby group the Danish Chamber of Commerce DE. But universities should be better at channeling students into programmes that lead to real jobs

Universities should stop channeling students into fields of study that don’t lead to secure employment.

This is according to the Danish business lobby group Dansk Erhverv (DE), writes Universitetsavisen. The statement comes in a press release reacting to new figures showing high numbers of Danish students entering university. The University of Copenhagen alone has increased its number of student places by ten per cent over the last two years. Five per cent more students, 361 more to be precise, will be starting at the University of Copenhagen this year.

»The most important thing is not that young people get a higher education. The most important thing is that they get the right higher education, which actually leads to a job at the other end,« writes DE in their press release (in Danish) from 17 March.

University: We want everyone to get a job

»We need to stop admitting the best of Denmark’s youth to university, only to give them an education that does not lead to a job,« says research-political director at DE, Jannik Schack Linnemann.

»As a society we can not afford to waste our intellectual ressources, because too many young people systematically educate themselves towards unemployment year after year. You often hear the argument that you cannot foresee which study programmes will be useful in the future. But this is a myth. It is actually possible to point out the study programmes that create growth in society, and the study programmes that historically have led to unemployment and low salaries,« says Jannik Schack Linnemann.

Hanne Harmsen, vice director for education at the University of Copenhagen does not agree with DE. It is not easy to predict whether a study programme will subsequently lead to real work, she argues.

It is more about the economy

This said, she explains to our Danish section Universitetsavisen, that the University is, and needs to be, aware of what kind of work life graduates can expect, and »of course we would prefer everyone to get a job«.

»The University of Copenhagen is not in any position to be able to decide that an increasing part of Danish young people get a university degree, and then subsequently a secure job,« Hanne Harmsen says.

»And this in spite of the fact that the University’s new strategy is much clearer in having the labour market dimension in its study programmes. A real change in the employment situation, demands an improvement in the economy«.

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