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There have been almost 80,000 applicants for a place in higher education: "I can fully understand if you find this number a bit surprising."

Tuesday 5 July, at 12 noon, was the deadline for this year's Quota 1 applications for a place in higher education. As was expected, the total number of applicants this year is lower than in recent years.

This is partly due to record admissions during the COVID-9 pandemic in 2021 and 2020 and to the current economic boom..

By the 2022 5 July deadline, there was a total of a total of 79,737 applicants for a place in higher education.

The number of applicants in 2022 is on a par with the number of applicants in 2012, 10% lower than in 2019, which was the last year before COVID-19. The total number of Ukrainian applicants is 177.

According to the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science, it is to be expected that the total number of applicants is lower than in recent years, as a record number of young people applied for and were admitted to higher education during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. In that context, a broad parliamentary majority found extra funding for educational institutions, allowing them in these special circumstances to create more than 6,000 more places to meet the historically high number of applicants.

Moreover, this year there are approximately 4,000 fewer places on higher education programmes conducted in English. This is the result of a broad political agreement in 2021 which aimed to bring Danish SU (State Educational Grant) expenditure under control, reducing grants to migratory workers.

At the same time, many students have chosen to postpone their application to higher education. This year, 27 % fewer students have applied directly for a higher education place in direct continuation of their upper secondary education.

The Minister for Higher Education and Science, Jesper Petersen, comments as follows:

- I would like to wish the many applicants every success. They are fewer than before, but what with the world opening up after COVID-19 and the economic boom, many young people are taking a break from their studies. A large proportion of the young people eligible to apply this year have completed their secondary education under difficult circumstances in the middle of a pandemic shutdown. This is 'Generation Lockdown,' who are now able to get out and experience the world.

That said, I can fully understand if you find this year's application figures a bit surprising. I know I did. The figures are significantly lower than in recent years. But fortunately, when you analyse the figures, there are several good explanations.

The Deputy Director of the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science, Mikkel Leihardt, comments as follows:

- As expected, the number of applicants is lower overall than in recent years. The explanation for this is partly to be found in the fact that last year and the year before many people brought forward their applications for a place in higher education, because the COVID-19 lockdown meant that their opportunities to travel abroad, for example, or to seek employment, were severely limited. This contributed to record admissions in 2020 and 2021, which conversely means that those applicants are not to be found in the application figures this year. This is a kind of 'COVID-19 effect' that will surely pursue us for a number of years.

- Now, however, we have employment, and better opportunities to travel, attend a folk high school and the like. In addition, this year there are fewer higher education courses conducted in English, which, as expected, has led to fewer applications from abroad. However, this does not change the fact that there are also some underlying tendencies in application patterns across the different sectors of education. Moreover, it is not unlikely that the numbers will be further reduced in the coming years, as the effect of the declining numbers of potential applicants kicks in.

Fewer applicants to courses connected with the welfare services. The Minister: "We share a common responsibility"

Once again this year, Social Education with 4,608 applicants tops the list as the most sought-after degree programme. Nursing is No. 3 with 3,373 applicants. These programmes have received 23 % and 32 % fewer applications respectively, compared to 2019.

Teacher Education, which is the eighth most sought-after programme, and Social Work, which is No. 10 on the list, have received 14 % and 20 % fewer applicants respectively than in 2019.

The Minister for Higher Education and Science, Jesper Petersen, adds:

- Although there are several good reasons for lower numbers of applications, I am concerned about the significantly fewer young people applying for the Nursing and Social Education programmes, for example. We have to take this seriously. These are the people who have to go out and improve the lives of children, young people, hospital patients, the socially disadvantaged - indeed, all of us in the end. There is a current tendency to think that the more academic an educational programme is, the more prestigious it is. This poses a series of challenge for us, so I intend to invite representatives of the educational programmes and the professional organisations for a serious discussion of these challenges. We have a shared responsibility; these educational programmes play a key role in the Danish welfare society.

A minor fall in the number of applicants for STEM and IT programmes

Two STEM programmes are among the top 10 of the most sought-after courses: Graduate Engineering and Civil Engineering. This year, there are respectively 8% and 5% per cent fewer applicants than in 2019.

The total number of applicants for non-regulated STEM programmes has fallen less than the overall decrease. Applications for these programmes are thus 6 % lower than in 2019.

Number of applicants 2011-2022:

2022: 79,737
2021: 93,388
2020: 94,604
2019: 88,754
2018: 89,700
2017: 91,539
2016: 94,744
2015: 93,924
2014: 91,231
2013: 88,040
2012: 80,766
2011: 75,161

Admissions, 28 July 2022

On 28 July, all applicants will receive an answer to their applications, and on 1 October the total admission figures, including post-admissions, will be announced. The overall picture of this year's admissions to higher education programmes will therefore not be clear before this date.

For further information:

For more information, please contact the Ministry of Higher Education and Science press line: +45 7231 8181 or email: presse@ufm.dk.