A partnership for retaining international students in Denmark has been created through a co-operation between five Danish organisations.
The partnership has set a goal of increasing the percentage of international students working in Denmark two years after graduating there to 40% or more by 2025 from 35% today.
The organisations represent Danish university leaders, business leaders, university staff, and students.
The five organisations are: the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, the National Union of Students in Denmark, the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and Universities Denmark, the Danish rectors’ office.
The recommendations that these groups have published to aid retention of international students are largely directed at the member organisations, thus making implementation a collective task. Universities, businesses, unions, politicians and the student organisations all have responsibilities.
Factors identified to boost number of Denmark international students
Seven themes across the recommendations have been identified to guide Denmark to higher international student numbers.
It is recommended that Denmark should become a career destination for international students and that businesses should have goals to attract more international students. In line with this, it is also suggested that international students should have knowledge and relations with the Danish workforce.
The potential for starting up companies should also be further stimulated. Legal barriers for foreign students are also urged to be removed.
The group states that international students should have better opportunities to learn the Danish language and must also be included in academic and social environments.
Better access to Danish language education is key
The barrier posed by the language is currently being met with Danish language courses, for which international students are required to pay up to DKK12,000 (US$1,760).
The partnership is urging that this regulation, which was only introduced in 2018, is removed.
The timetabling of these language courses is also something that is being targeted for change.
The partnership is asking that these language courses be arranged at time periods outside the ordinary study terms of the universities, and for the universities to facilitate these courses through targeted information for international students upon their arrival in Denmark.
Professor Bente Stallknecht, pro-rector of the University of Copenhagen and Chair of the partnerships has said that the group are taking on a greater responsibility to ensure that international students find their way into the Danish workforce upon graduation.
Stallknecht also stated that she hoped that Danish society “gains from the unique competence and perspectives that students from an alternative background bring and which will enrichen the Danish working life.”
Pic: Markus Winkler
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