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Jarl Feyling, representative of the social democratic party Frit Forum, talks about what needs to be done at the University of Copenhagen, as he prepares for the elections
Encouraging the development of a better study environment for both Danish and international students, Jarl Feyling believes that the University needs good student organizations, more careful planning of expenses and, if possible, getting things digital.
1) In a few sentences, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
»My name is Jarl, I’m 22 years old and I study History (I’m in my third semester). I am the vice-president of the Frit Forum, which is a social-democratic student organisation«.
2) What are your main agendas?
»We have several agendas. One of them is to make sure people get through and education. We also think about the number of hours per week students need. The departments of Humanities and Social Sciences have the least hours, so another problem we want to take care of is bringing more support into the Humanities and Social Sciences.
»There are several areas where the University could cut expenses, for example their commercial budget (around 3 millions) which is also an important topic. And another point on the agenda would be an increased digitalisation in study – it would be a great tool to be able to watch lectures recorded and have the possibility of watching them again and again, or if it would be possible to have digital homework«.
3) The University of Copenhagen is increasingly seen as an international university, with half of Master’s programmes in English, and a large international student and staff community. Do you believe in internationalisation? And if so, do have any specific policy ideas in the area?
»Of course it is very important and we certainly have to do something about it. It’s very important that we have international students and English courses, as well as Danish students going abroad to study. Certain students are having a hard time being a part of the community, but international students should be involved with Danish students. We need student organisations, for the network, for the bond and to develop a good student environment«.
4) International students have been particularly hard hit by Copenhagen’s housing bottleneck. Any comments?
»This is a problem that Danes also have, for example when they have to move from Jutland to Copenhagen , but the University should be more committed to helping the international students. The housing issue is in fact part of a bigger political problem, which the University of Copenhagen cannot solve alone«.
5) International students everywhere, not just in Copenhagen, say in surveys they have a hard time making friends with people from their host country when on exchange (Danes). Any ideas?
»I think that the University of Copenhagen ’s mentor programme is a very good idea. It should be improved if possible. On the other hand, cultural differences are sometimes hard to handle, i.e. foreign students have a hard time adapting to the drinking culture«.
»I think all students should have the opportunity to be part of good student organisations. That would assure that students also meet outside their studies and it would create a greater student environment, for both international and Danish students«.
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