Sign up

Have some pie!

Danish minister calls for international student u-turn amid labour shortages

Denmark’s higher education minister has called for more university spaces to be opened up to international students, two years after the country capped student numbers on English-language courses. 

Denmark faces labour shortages that are costing the country billions. Photo: Pexels.

Denmark faces labour shortages that are costing the country billions

The u-turn comes as Denmark faces labour shortages that are costing the country billions, according to the Danish Chamber of Commerce

In 2021, Denmark’s Social Democrats and several other parties entered into an agreement to reduce the number of courses offered in English at higher education institutions, after concerns that spending on overseas students was getting “out of control”. 

But now the country’s education and science minister, a member of the Moderates party, has called for a policy reversal.

“The competition for qualified young people and labour is fierce”

“We should be grateful when a young person from abroad looks Denmark’s way. Our need is great, and the competition for qualified young people and labour is fierce,” Christina Egelund told Danish press

Earlier this year, news reforms were introduced which allow universities to open 1,100 English language places each year until 2029, but Egelund believes these don’t go far enough. She stopped short of indicating how many places should be opened. 

Rasmus Stoklund, leader of the Social Democrats party, commented that international students choosing working in Denmark is good for the country but that international education should not be used to “circumvent” immigration policy. 

Egelund added that the focus should be on where labour is required most urgently.

Multiple labour associations have called for the government to change its policy on international students. 

A report released by the engineering association IDA earlier this year found that international graduates contribute on average more than two million DKK (USD $282,312) to the Danish economy in the 13 years after they graduate, including those who leave Demark after studying. 

Similarly, research by education think-tank DEA found the proportion of international graduates in Denmark working in STEM-related fields, where it is generally difficult to recruit talent, has “grown significantly” over the past ten years. 

“There’s room for a concerted national effort to both attract and retain top-tier students, especially given the intensifying global competition for international students,” said Tobias Høygaard Lindeberg, deputy director of DEA. 

He added that there is an “ambition” to encourage international students to take part-time four-year vocational Master’s programs designed for working professionals (known as “erhvervskandidater”). 

“This would mean that international Master’s students would need employment, likely part-time, with a company while studying,” he said. “The feasibility of this arrangement remains a point of uncertainty in the proposed reform.”

Related articles

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

4 Responses to Danish minister calls for international student u-turn amid labour shortages

  1. I think this publication or general notice is helpful. I am currently in Poland as a student in year 2 of my master’s program which ends in June, next year. Is it possible to get a job with ease in Denmark with my background in finance both academic and experience?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.

To receive The PIE Weekly with our top stories and insights, and other updates from us, please