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Half Danes, half non-Danes = success

Surge in international students to Master’s in computer sciences, has made every second student an international student, many from Greece and Romania. A success, says head of studies

The 50/50 ratio of Danish to international students is a good one. And it works at the Department of Computer Science DIKU, according to the Head of Studies for the Master’s programme Andrzej Filinski.

New admissions statistics show 33 out of 66 students are from outside of Denmark, according to DIKU. This is good for non-Danes and Danes alike, he says.

»50 per cent is what I would call a soft target, and it may indeed fluctuate in the future, but I think we are fulfilling our goals with this number,« he says.

Both Danes and non-Danes do well

Part of the attraction for international students is that all courses are in English. In 2009, the Department of Computer Science DIKU mandated English as a teaching language, and joined Copenhagen’s ‘excellence’ programme COME.

»All of the Master’s programmes in the Faculty of Science are now in English, but here in our department we have really taken this rule seriously. For example, all our permanent teaching staff are certified by the University’s Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use«, he says.

Fears that Danish students would suffer from being taught in English have shown themselves to be unfounded, Andrzej Filinski says, with both Danish and international students »doing well in class, in grades and in their careers,« he says.

Passed DIKU’s selection criteria

Danish students, who mostly enter the Master’s programme having done their Bachelor’s at DIKU, have not been scared away by the English-language teaching.

»I think that students do well from being integrated better into a larger international community,« Andrzej Filinski says.

Most of the international students are from other European countries, having passed DIKU’s selection criteria, accepting only students with specific minimal requirements in a number of core topics, such as computer programming.

Many Greeks and Romanians

This year, a large portion are from Greece and Romania.

»I don’t know exactly why we have always had a large number of Romanian applicants, but the higher Greek numbers could have something to do with the bad economy there,« he says.

DIKU is on the verge of a temporary move to new buildings in connection with the recent faculty merger, and a longer term schedule to move to the planned Niels Bohr Science Park.

Faculty treasure hunt

»So far, and at the moment we are not turning away applicants for lack of space,« Andrzej states.

Students will officially start their studies on 3 September. Before that the Faculty of Science has invited them to a number of social events, a treasure hunt, and has a canal tour lined up.

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