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You are eligible to vote at the upcoming election at the University of Copenhagen. But this is the only information you will get in English
From 10 December to 15 December international students and staff have the right to vote for their preferred candidate for the board of governors, the academic board and for the staff-student committee. But they have no option of finding out who their preferred candidate is, or how to vote.
As an international, you can flip over your University Post and read the information about the election, in the insert of Universitetsavisen – in Danish.
But unless you understand Danish, you will find difficulties getting official information about where, and how, to vote and what the candidates stand for, as the university does not provide any official information in English.
The university does not have the resources to help non-Danish speakers make use of their democratic rights this year, as it is concentrating on getting the Danish students to vote, explains election secretary Preben Liljendahl.
»We have a larger, more general problem with a low electoral turnout every year, and last year’s poll had only a 10 per cent turnout. For this reason the university has decided to spend more resources on advertisements like posters and banners this year,« he explains.
This leaves out the non-Danish-speaking eligible voters. On the surface, internationals have not shown overwhelming interest in the election. Preben Liljendahl has only received one e-mail this year about the lack of information in English, he explains.
»Maybe international students do not have the tradition at their home university, or maybe it is because they are only here for a short time. But they are usually not interested in the university election,« says Preben Liljendahl.
He adds that with more international students staying their whole master’s at the University of Copenhagen, and with a new intranet coming up, the university will most likely prioritize producing information material in English next year.