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International students keen on Denmark

Four out of five international students would recommend studying in Denmark, concludes new and extensive survey from the Ministry of Education

This year more than 5,500 international students in Denmark took part in a comprehensive survey, ordered by The Danish Agency for International Education. According to the survey, students visiting from abroad are more satisfied present-day than in 2008. Other European countries like the Netherlands, and UK lag behind.

The new survey compares international students in Denmark to the International Student Barometer. Being the largest annual study of international students in the world, it collects feedback from over 150,000 new respondents each year. The Danish figures not only represent the universities, but also university level institutions of the fine arts, academies of professional higher education, and university colleges.

The statistics of the Danish universities look quite good overall. 36 per cent of international students would actively recommend other people to study in Denmark. 47 per cent would recommend studying in Denmark only when asked, while 1 per cent of international students would actively discourage others in going here for studies.

Negative influences on the international experience

When it comes to overall contentment of visiting students, Denmark’s higher educations are way ahead of many others in Europe. Still, the new survey highlights some negative remarks influencing the international experience in the wrong way.

International students are happy with the academic levels, and teaching in Denmark. When it comes down to making new friends, and feeling socially included in general, they are not so pleased. Only 53 per cent of international students at Danish universities feel they have been treated satisfactory by hosting peers.

International students also find it difficult to earn money in Denmark. Part-time jobs for non-Danish speakers are hard to find. According to the survey the tricky job situation, and social exclusion are the biggest critiques of Denmark. Still, only 4 per cent of international students strongly agree to feeling isolated from the university community. 19 per cent agree to feeling isolated from the university community, while 48 per cent disagree, and 28 per cent strongly disagree with this feeling.

Content Minister of Education

Morten Østergaard, Minister of Science and Education, feels optimistic about his ministry’s new survey.

»The Danish educational institutions are on the right track, becoming more international. The efforts made in this area, in the recent years, are certainly reason for praise. It is important to maintain this strategy so we can attract the best students from abroad,« Morten Østergaard tells Berlingske Tidende.

»We still see some barriers for students who experience being isolated from their Danish peers. They do not really feel like a part of society. I will work to ensure that we break down these barriers and make everyday life easier. This could be done by making it more simple to open a bank account and participate in networking with Danes,« the minister answers Berlingske Tidende, when asked to comment on the more negative aspects of the new survey.

Download or take a look at the complete Danish International Student Barometer 2011 here. It’s on the bottom of the page where it says: Hent undersøgelsen og yderligere information.

anna.m.gaonkar@adm.ku.dk

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