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Government: No grants to foreign students

Foreign nationals with Danish residence permits should no longer be eligible for student grants. This is the new statement of policy from the government and its supporting Danish People's Party

Foreign students living in Denmark should no longer be eligible for student grants to help them go through a Danish university or college. This is according to the Danish centre-right government and their supporting Danish People’s Party.

As it is now, students living in Denmark for longer periods, with a permanent residence permit, have the same rights as Danish citizens in applying for the government study grant SU. The proposed change in legislation will remove this right.

In 2008, a total of 15,000 non-Danish citizen students either got a grant for university or for intermediate-level colleges and secondary schools.

World’s most generous grant

»At a time when we are forced to make priorities, we must ask ourselves whether it is our task to give the world’s most generous study grant to people who are not Danish citizens,« says study grant spokesman of the governing coalition Liberal Party Sofie Løhde to the newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

»As a rule, the regulations should be so strict, that foreign nationals are not eligible for a strudy grant,« she emphasises.

Both its coalition partner the Conservative Party and the rightist supporting party the Danish People’s Party support her. The Danish state should not be financing the education of foreign nationals, they say.

Socialists: Same for all

University spokesman of the Socialist People’s Party Jonas Dahl does not agree. He counters that all students who are permanently resident in Denmark should follow the same rules. But he then adds a stipulation:

»If you move to Denmark to get a free education and then go home, you should have to pay some of your grant back,« he says and continues:

»When you get a free education and a study grant, you must contribute back to society again. But this also goes for all students, Danish nationals too.«

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