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More classes in English at Danish universities

Minister's response to Danish People's Party query reveals increase in English-language programmes at Danish universities: 26 per cent of Master's level programmes are now offered in English

Good morning students! A much more likely phrase to be heard from your lecturer at Danish universities, according to new statistics.

More higher education study programmes are being offered in the English language at the Master’s level. This is according to a response from Danish Minister of Education and Science Morten Østergaard to a query from the parliamentary Committee of Research, Innovation and Higher Education.

The numbers were given on request from Alex Ahrendtsen, a parliament member from the Danish People’s Party (Dansk Folkeparti). The Danish People’s Party is nationalist in outlook.

‘Balancing’ rule enforced

From 2007 to the end of 2011, there has been a six percentage point increase in Master’s classes from 20 to 26 per cent of all classes. There has been no increase in Bachelor’s degree classes, the report outlines.

Both parliament and institutions like the University of Copenhagen are trying to understand how the market for education in English has developed in recent years.

This numbers come just as the University of Copenhagen and other universities are forced to restrict the increases in international student numbers to uphold a controversial rule that balances international exchange student numbers with Danes.

English language contested

Offerings of classes in English is one of the reasons institutions like the University of Copenhagen are attractive to international students.

The call for more English classes has been ongoing at many faculties, such as at the Life Sciences faculty since 2010.

Although the decision to expand remains a highly contested debate, it is argued that more English offerings will internationalise the University and give graduates better chances of spreading their research findings to other academic communities.

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