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Minister: Three years to find job in Denmark

International students should be allowed to stay in the country three years after graduating to find a job, says Minister of Education

Finding a job is hard. It is even harder in the midst of an economic crisis. And for freshly graduated international university students, it might seem impossible. Today’s policy is: Find a job in six months or get out.

Minister of Education, Morten Østergaard, from the Social Liberal Party, wants to change this. He proposes a 3–year green card, which means that international students will have three years to find a job after graduation. He emphasizes the need for an international academic workforce in Denmark.

»The foreign students who stay in Denmark have a very high level of employment and are contributing to Denmark’s growth« Morten Østergaard tells Danish newspaper Politiken today Thursday, »So instead of trying to attract foreign high-skilled labour, it is natural to retain students, who are currently in Denmark. Let us give them a longer time, so they are able to put down roots« the Minister explains.

Read article: Tough to find student jobs in Denmark

Broad alliance

The Minister’s proposal has already got political support from the large opposition Liberal party and from lobby group the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Morten Østergaard, however, wants a broader alliance to secure the parliamentary vote. He believes many institutions are involved in successfully keeping international students in Denmark. Education institutions must help integrate Danish and international students, while Danish business and industry must help international students build a professional network, he explains to Politiken.

Read interview with the head of Master’s studies at Pharma, who also addresses this problem.

Head of research at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI) Charlotte Rønhof agrees with the proposal, pointing to her experience of international students wanting to stay and work in Denmark. However, both the Liberal party and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations, want to avoid the proposal ending in a short-cut for illegal labour.

Better service, better housing

Morten Østergaard also hopes to improve the process time for the Immigrations Office and for student housing. This is important, according to the Chairman of Danish Students Confederation, Magnus Pedersen.

»Every third international student does not get help finding a home and has no fixed place to stay when they start« He tells to Politiken today, Thursday.

Read article: Housing nightmare for Romanian couple.

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