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New law will allow satellite campuses

Proposal will let Danish universities branch out and grant degrees from overseas. No Copenhagen plans at present

University of Copenhagen graduates may soon be able to take an entire degree without setting foot inside Denmark.

A proposed change to the Danish University Act means that universities will be able to offer degrees from campuses abroad.

This is according to the Danish newspaper Information.

Will strengthen brand

The change to the law would make it possible to set up a satellite campus as a private corporation.

It will also get rid of the existing rule requiring students at Danish universities to take one third of their courses in Denmark.

By setting up private corporations abroad, universities could strengthen their brand, and earn money.

Taxpayers will not foot the bill

The law proposal also suggests that only a limited amount Danish taxpayers’ money should be spent on such projects.

A ceiling of DKK 5 million would apply. This is around three per cent of the total yearly public funding given to Danish universities by the University and Property Agency (Universitets- og Bygningstyrelsen).

Jens Oddershede, chairman for the umbrella organisation Universities Denmark calls the proposal »interesting«.

»It may allow us to make our mark abroad, and because of the private corporation structure, Danish taxpayers will not contribute significantly to this,« he says.

Copenhagen: No current plans

But the National Union of Students in Denmark (Danske Studerendes Fællesråd) greets the proposal with less enthusiasm. Universities should not focus on earning money, says chairman Mikkel Zeuthen.

»We are also worried that money will be taken out of universities and be transferred to private corporations instead. Even though there is a ceiling for how much, it is a matter of principle,« he adds.

The University of Copenhagen Communication office says to the University Post that the university currently has no plans to establish private campuses overseas.

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