University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Deal struck on reform of Danish universities: Here are the details

Study programmes — Ten per cent of master’s study programmes will be shortened. The number of admitted bachelor students is to be cut by eight per cent. Up to twenty per cent of all admissions need to be on a business master's degree. A temporary increase in the government’s funding to the humanities and social sciences degree programmes is to be permanent.

The Danish government wanted to shorten up to one half of all master’s degree programmes at Denmark’s universities. Now, after difficult negotiations with supporting parties in parliament, a mere ten per cent of master’s degrees are to be shortened from two years to one year and three months.

The Danish coalition government presented the compromise on the university’s degree programmes on 27 June, and it was signed by the Socialist People’s Party, the Denmark Democrats, the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative Party. The master’s reform that the Minister for Higher Education and Science Christina Egelund (Moderates Party) presented at the press conference is a long way away from the government’s original proposal.

‘Why have you given up so much in the negotiations?’ was the question from one of the attending journalists.

»It is a major reform, and it is a good political tradition in Denmark that we strive to achieve a wide agreement,« replied Christina Egelund.

Fewer students and shorter study programmes

The reform entails that the majority of master’s degree students should continue to study on a master’s degree programme for a second year. Some of the students, however, need to be enrolled either on a new master’s degree programme lasting 1.25 academic years or on a new vocational business master’s degree, in which students work and study part time.

The parties to the deal will regulate admission to the new master’s degrees in three stages. The ambition is that ten per cent of master’s students in 2028 will be enrolled in a master’s degree programme of 1.25 years of study, while ten per cent are admitted to the vocational business master’s programme. A further five per cent are in 2030 and 2032 respectively to be admitted to a flexible business master’s degree programme.

The parties agreed to permanently increase the government’s so-called taximeter subsidy to the social sciences and humanities programmes from 2025.

The agreement will include a long term approximately DKK one billion prioritization of funding to universities.

To solve other problems

The reform does not just regulate master’s programmes. Fewer are to be admitted to bachelor’s degree programmes in the future, and universities have to cut student admissions by eight per cent.

The parties to the agreement hope that this will lead to more people opting for bachelor’s degree programmes in professions like f.ex. as nursery teacher, nurse and social worker.

The Red-Green Alliance, the Social Liberal Party and the Danish People’s Party had all withdrawn from the negotiations less than 24 hours prior to the agreement being closed, as these parties held that the reform would lead to a worsening of university degree programmes.