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Minister to face down critical students on Wednesday

Students to confront Minister of Education on SU grants Wednesday. Student Council chairman hopes the Minister will listen to students' arguments

The debate on Danish student grants is moving out of parliament and onto university campus. Minister of Education , Morten Østergaard, will meet University of Copenhagen students to discuss upcoming reforms this Wednesday. Student Council chairman is hopeful.

An upcoming SU-reform has already been the cause of great debate and the government is soon to present the details of its plans to cut DKK 2 billion. The decision has been met with anger among students. The students claim that the cuts will be detrimental to their education.

»The government is investing massively in education to reach the goal of having the most talented and qualified generation ever. It is the government’s ambition to ensure that we can afford to give future generations the support of one of the world’s most generous student grant systems«, says Morten Østergaard on his website.

Student Council: Hopes minister will learn

»But in a time of financial hardship, we expect that students take responsibility to ensure the healthy progression of their studies. And we have to look at the student grant system – just as all other areas of society. We are more generous here than the principle of universal education in Denmark allows«.

During the one hour meeting, Morten Østergaard will answer the concerns and questions of the students. »We hope that he (the Minister) will listen to us because we, as students, know about student life« says Gwen Gruner-Widding, chairman of the Student Council.

Currently, it seems that the majority of the DKK 2 billion will be found in the sixth year of student grants. Degrees should be worth 5 years of grants, the government says. However, the Student Council argues that the money can be found in different ways. »We have to look at why the students are delayed in their studies.«

Minister on road show

She says that it is often due to administrative barriers such as not being able to transfer credits from exchange programs or internships. Or not passing an exam and thereby being stuck for a year until the next. Or the so-called ’bachelor fence’, where students lacking just a few credits have to wait a semester or two to continue to their Master’s.«

The Minister will also be travelling to other Danish campuses to debate with students. The events are open and free to all.

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