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Danish students get the highest study grants in Europe - by far

Chamber of Commerce says Danish students should 'stop whining', as new study by the European Commission proves that they get the highest study grants in Europe

Danish students not living with their parents receive DKK 70,068 every year in SU (state grant for education). This is more than 50 percent more than in the second-placed country, Finland, where students receive DKK 47,960 if combining both student grants and housing benefits.

Read more: SU for international students – how to apply

Where all Danish students, and almost all Finns, get student grants, only 58.3 percent of Norwegians and 67 percent of Swedes receive state funding. And they receive considerably less than their Danish counterparts – DKK 34,513 in Norway and DKK 21,916 in Sweden.

Tuition is free in all of Scandinavia, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. In Scotland, all undergraduates can study for free too. The remaining European countries have tuition fees ranging from as little as DKK 150 (Turkey) to as much as DKK 80,000 (England).

Danish business: Scrap the last year of SU

“Stop and consider how privileged you are, and how much society invests in you. Accept that you also some times have to live up to the expectations of society. And stop whining. There’s a lot whining and demands coming from Danish students.” says Mette Fjord Sørensen, head of research and education politics at the Danish Chamber of Commerce.

Read: Danish business: Students are spoilt rotten.

Mette Fjord Sørensen stresses that the Chamber of Commerce does not currently believe that SU should be scrapped entirely. Instead, they would like to see the sixth (and final) year of SU scrapped, and instead invested in raising the overall quality of education.

Fees ‘discourage potential students’

Chairman of the University of Copenhagen’s student council (Studenterrådet) Alexander Thorvaldsen, disagrees:

“It’s not whining. It is taking into consideration the reality of things instead of being blindly pre-occupied with the SU rate. The study doesn’t consider living costs. New student housing costs upwards of DKK 6,000, and books and materials are expensive. And taxes here are higher than in many of our neighbouring countries,” says Alexander Thorvaldsen.

“We certainly are happy to have the SU we have today. If being a student means hefty loans and tuition fees it’s much riskier to get an education. That could discourage many potential students,” he adds.

Read: the study by the European Commission.

See more information in fact box upper right.

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