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Government: Danish students to work more

More work and more hours is what has come out of negotiations between Danish universities and the Ministry of Education

A new agreement obliges students to work almost 100 hours more per year reports our sister media Discussions between Danish universities and the Ministry of Education have resulted in pressure for students at the University of Copenhagen to obtain 3.6 per cent more ECTS credits per year.

It takes students at UCPH an average of 7.1 years to to finish their degrees and surveys have shown that despite high levels of public support they study less than in countries such as Portugal. Both the Danish Chamber of Commerce and politicians have complained about the burden this places on public finances.

»Unfortunately, it seems that students are immersed in a leisurely culture that has devalued the value of hard work« claimed Emilie Wedell-Wedellsborg, a political consultant at the Danish Chamber of Commerce last month.

Targets ‘ambitious’

The extra effort means that students doing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (almost all Danish students) will enter the workforce five months earlier. Hopefully reducing the amount of time spent studying to 6.6 years.

The University had aimed for a maximum five per cent rise. But ministry officials desired to use the development contract as »a political tool to generate growth in the community« claimed the Rector’s report to the board. This has resulted in the demand for higher targets.

Departments have already taken action by removing many of the so-called ‘ghost’ students from the systems i.e. enrolled students who neither attend courses or take exams. The Faculty of Humanities has gone the furthest by requiring a 30 ECTS minimum per semester to stay as an active student.

Not easy

The target has been labelled »extremely ambitious« by Rector Ralf Hemmingsen and UCPH’s vice-president of education Hanne Harmsen.

Hanne Harmsen says there are no easy ways to achieve the goal.

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