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Dramatic drop in applications to the Faculty of Science

Admissions 2018 — This year it is not only Humanities, but also the subjects of Science at the University of Copenhagen that have been hit by falling applicant numbers. Associate Dean points to the new grade requirements as an explanation. But she believes that the new students are better qualified for UCPH life.

Friday had thousands of aspiring souls getting responses to their applications to a higher education programme. This is the same every year at the end of July. But this year the Faculty of Science at the University of Copenhagen could send out 628 fewer responses than last year. The number of applicants has decreased significantly. Last year there were 6,191 applications in the pile for the Faculty’s approximately 2,000 study places. This year, there were only 5,563, a 10.1 per cent decrease.

… in fact, we have had slightly more applicants than we expected based on last year’s figures.

Grete Bertelsen, Associate Dean for Education at the Faculty of Science

Associate Dean for Education at Science, Grete Bertelsen, points to the new UCPH grade requirements as the reason for the drop in applications, but she is not worried about it. On the contrary, she expects that the faculty will get a student body that is better qualified. In fact she is positively surprised by the number of applicants for the year.

“We have made some calculations. In fact, we had slightly more applicants than we expected based on last year’s figures,” she writes in an e-mail to the University Post.

Still rejecting

The University of Copenhagen (UCPH) has received fewer applications than last year, with a 7.8 per cent drop for the whole university. Nationwide, there were 2 per cent fewer applicants for admission to a higher education programme. The decline in applications to the Faculty of Science therefore stands out when you browse through the list of application numbers.

This does not mean, however, that the Faculty will be thin on the ground. The Faculty of Science would still be able to fill all their places two and a half times over with the applications they received this year.

But not all study programmes are equally popular. Where computer science has been particularly popular this year, physics and agricultural economics are finding it hard to attract students. This is something that surprises Grete Bertelsen.

“It surprises us, since these are highly efficient and interesting programmes, where new graduates at the same time enjoy a high level of employment. For these study programmes and for other Science programmes, where there is a high level of employment, we are planning recruitment efforts to get even more qualified students in the future,” she writes.

Last year, all applicants were admitted to 12 of the faculty’s 20 bachelor programmes.

Humanities continuing to suffer

Once again this year, the Faculty of Humanities has to face a drop in the numbers of applicants. With a decrease of 15.05 per cent Humanities has received 1,133 fewer applications compared to last year. Between 2016 and 2017 the number of applicants to the Faculty of Humanities fell by more than 15 per cent. However, there are still more than 6,000 applications for almost 2,000 student places at the faculty.

The UCPH application numbers 2018

(change in per cent from 2017 to 2018):

Faculty of Humanities: -15,05%

Faculty of Law: -3.5%

The Faculty of Science: -10.1%

The Faculty of Social Sciences: 1,8%

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences: -2.8%

The Faculty of Theology: 1,2%

In connection with last year’s application round Laura Bech Hansen from the Student Council at UCPH stated that she believed that the decline was the combined effect of a number of factors.

“There are some things right now that amplify the effect. There is the government’s resizing of study programmes, which has really tightened things up. Then there is the cap on education programmes, which puts new pressure on people, as they can no longer make new study choices, and then there is the limitations put on SU study grant periods. At the same time, there have been some dramatic cuts to the humanities. People have heard about this in the media or through friends that are studying, with all the subject and library closures, and so on. So I think there are some things, which make it particularly bad right now,” she said to the University Post.

The only faculty that has seen an increase in the number of applicants is the Faculty of Theology. This year, the small faculty received three additional applications -corresponding to an increase of 1.2 per cent.

Predominance of women

For many years, UCPH has admitted far more women than men, and this trend will continue in all probability this year. There are almost twice as many women as men who have applied for admission to the university. And in connection with last year’s admissions 4,383 women and 2,888 men were offered places at UCPH.

In all the faculties except the Faculty of Science, more women than men were admitted last year, and this also holds true for the 2018 application figures. There are more female than male applicants in all the faculties, with the exception of the Faculty of Science (that received 145 more applications from men than women).

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