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More English written and spoken on Danish campuses

Nine out of every ten PhDs at Danish universities are now written in English. Report on parallel language offers new data on the international makeup of Nordic campuses

89 per cent of all PhD dissertations at Danish universities are authored in English. This is according to a report coming out of the Nordic language network that has just published results.

The data in the report compares and documents just how much the English-language is used at Nordic universities.

The number of English-language Master’s courses at Danish universities has increased by half to 165 in the period 2007-2011. And one out of every four Master’s level courses is now taught in English at Danish universities, according to the report which was authored by language policy researcher Anna Kristina Hultgren,

More external funds, more internationals

Behind the large and increasing use of English at Danish universities, are a number of factors, such as – for research publications – a funding mechanism that rewards international publication, according to the report.

For example, since 2010, Danish universities have been given public funds based on bibliometric research indicators that reward universities with higher numbers of international English-language publications.

Public funding which in turn is itself based on externally-granted funding numbers also favours the hiring of internationals as postdocs.

One out of every six is international

An increasing uptake of international students at Danish universities is also changing their language makeup towards more English.

“The number of international students is relevant for this report, because you have to surmise that the more non-Danes there are, the greater the use of English. English is typically used as a common language between people who do not share a mother tongue. This, even though two non-Danes with different mother tongues don’t always speak in English,” the report writes.

If you define a non-Dane as someone who does not hold a Danish citizenship, 16 per cent of all students at Danish universities are now non-Danes. This figure includes 5 per cent who are at a Danish university on a short term exchange or guest programme like Erasmus, while the remaining 11 per cent are doing a full degree.

Science subjects recruit most internationals

There is more data in the report.

9 per cent of all professors, 11 per cent of lecturers and 26 per cent of assistant professors are non-Danes at Danish universities.

The biggest recruiters of foreign staff at Danish universities are the science and engineering types of faculty.

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