University Post
University of Copenhagen
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Fees will scare off foreign scientists

A new proposed fee for residence permits will make it harder for universities to attract incoming international PhD's and Post Docs, warns Copenhagen's staff mobility office

Researchers and staff are more likely to avoid the University of Copenhagen or other Danish universities, and go do their research somewhere else.

This will be the outcome if a new fee on applications for a residence permit, and a series of other immigration restrictions, are implemented, warns Vivian Tos Lindgaard of the University of Copenhagen’s International Staff Mobility office.

According to the new proposal by the government and its supporting Danish People’s Party, first time residence permit applicants will pay DKK 1,750 as a student, and DKK 3,000 as a researcher.

Denmark not attractive

Changes to existing legislation, and the highly controversial new Immigration Package, are making the country less attractive to internationals, she says to the University Post.

While most of the public debate has centred on a new points system for non-Danish spouses, other new rules are biting foreign researchers harder, she says. The new fee on residence permit applications and the new Immigration legislation is finding its way through parliament as we go to press.

»Fees for a residence permit application will make Denmark less attractive to talented students and researchers from third countries, students and researchers that would contribute to Danish globalisation,« Vivian Tos Lindgaard, writes in a recent memorandum to the Danish University Association.

Universities can’t pay

The memorandum was passed on from the Danish University Association to the Ministry of Integration today Friday.

High tuition fees, taxes and living costs in Denmark are high already, relative to the rest of Europe, Vivian Tos Lindgaard says.

A private company would typically pay the cost of an application for their future member of staff: Not so for the universities, who as public-funded institutions cannot, and may not, do this.

»Good researchers will normally have several job offers from different countries, and it is not only the job that is relevant to the choice of country. A country’s reputation is also decisive, and the introduction of these fees will negatively impact Denmark’s reputation as a friendly and hospitable country for foreign nationals,« she writes in the memo.

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