University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Government offers cash for fast graduates

The Danish Government is ramping up a scheme to curtail the lengthy tradition of the Master’s thesis

In 2009, the Danish government introduced time-dependent completion bonuses for all Danish universities to propel candidate students through their degrees.

Prior to this, only 16 per cent of students country-wide completed their Master’s programme on time, shows a 2008 paper from the European Commission.

According to the University of Copenhagen’s 2009 annual report, 22 per cent of Master’s wrapped up on time in 2009. Neither the Government nor the University of Copenhagen was satisfied with this number.

Ambition: 167 million DKK bonus

To qualify for the time-dependent completion bonuses, the University of Copenhagen’s two-year Master’s students must complete their degrees within 27 months.

The University of Copenhagen’s winnings have climbed from DKK 131 million in 2009 to DKK 146 million in 2010.

This year, the University has set its ambitious sights on winning DKK 167 million in bonuses.

Maximum 6 months to write thesis

If anything, the University will be assisted in reaching its goal by a recent law, forcing students to complete their Master’s thesis within 6 months.

»This rule probably has the highest impact of all on lowering the completion time,« says Hanne Harmsen from the University’s ‘Educational Services’.

»Before that, students could spend as long as they wanted on their thesis,« she explains.

More guidance

On the softer side, the University has intensified student counselling, with several faculties creating mentor-ship programs and career-focused initiatives to spur students forward.

These new initiatives are expected to further improve completion rates and reduce the average period of study.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.