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As the student grant debate rages on, new estimates show the state can save DKK1.2 billion, if students were to, on average, finish their education 6 months faster.
The minister of education, Morten Østergaard, believes the main point of the student grant (SU) reform should be to incentivise students to graduate faster. Estimates showing the state can save DKK1.2 billion if the average student graduates within five and a half years, is why the reform needs to proceed, Østergaard asserts in a written statement to parliament.
»The government’s ambition to save DKK2 billion from the student grant budget, is not unreasonable, if more than half that amount can be raised by halving the delay with which students graduate, which is currently a year«, the minister said to dr.dk.
The government expects to raise DKK2 billion overall from SU reform. The estimate of DKK1.2 billion is made by taking into account that SU will be dispensed to fewer students, and students which graduate faster are likely to enter the job market, and therefore start paying taxes sooner.
A part of the expected savings will still likely come from cuts in SU, however, Østergaard admitted to Berlinske last Friday. One rumored solution, which is quite controversial amongst students, involves cutting SU after 5 years, though so far officials have refused to comment on specifics.
»I will not comment on specific suggestions. The question of how to make students complete their education within the regular time, will be the main focus of the reform«, Østergaard tells dr.dk.
»Those figures demonstrate why the SU- and education-system need to be examined closely. The money can be used to educate more people, spur growth, or improve the welfare system. This is why students need to consider looking at the bigger picture and realising they also have a responsibility to society.«
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