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Faster processing and new loan opportunities for students heading abroad

November 01, 2012
The conditions of the law governing state educational support (SU) will be changed to provide students with more opportunities to avail of a loan to study abroad, while also reducing case processing times.

At the start of November, Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard is submitting a draft of changes to the SU law for consultation.

Changing the SU law’s conditions will provide Danish students with the opportunity to apply for a State loan to cover programme fees while studying abroad.

The proposal stems from the evaluation of the study abroad scholarship scheme and the SU action plan on reducing case processing times.

The new loan opportunity will help those students who have to financing a portion of study fees on their chosen foreign course themselves because the study abroad scholarship doesn’t fully cover the costs.

The Government is intent on providing even more students with the opportunity to pursue their dream education abroad. The new study abroad loan puts words into action. The loan will be a helping hand to young people who otherwise may not be able to go abroad, says Morten Østergaard.

The proposal sees a maximum loan limit of DKK 100,000 per student. The loan scheme will be cost-neutral for the State, except for the costs of administration and defaulted repayments.

Simplifying case processing

Changing the SU law will also reducing the case processing times for students wishing to pursue a full Master's programme abroad.

- It benefits the individual and society in the long-term when Danish students study abroad and bring new knowledge and international competences home with them. Therefore the Government is working to strengthen outward mobility among students and remove those barriers that can hinder some from studying abroad. The change of the SU law will also simplify case processing and make it more efficient, and thereby making it easier for young people to add an international dimension to their education, says Higher Education Minister Morten Østergaard.

Under the current system, a student's application for a study abroad scholarship has to go through two different approval processes. First, their choice of education programme abroad has to be approved to receive their SU and then approved to receive the scholarship, which covers education costs at the foreign institution. The proposed law change will remove the latter step, meaning an approval of the programme for SU will automatically lead to a scholarship approval.

This simplification will remove the five education lists, which until know have been key to determining which international Master’s programmes could be approved for the scholarship. The only exception will be the list of international artistic and cultural programmes which will be maintained for the purposes of graduation requirements of Danish programmes.

In June 2012, the application procedure for obtaining SU and the scholarship for many Master's programmes abroad was simplified by the help of the Fast Track list, which reduced case processing times down to 14 days. The change to the SU law will further streamline the application procedure and reduce the case processing times for other programmes down to around two months – where previously there was a wait of up to four months, and six months during the busy period.

The draft for changing the SU law foresees the proposal being adopted on 1 July 2013. Due to the necessary associated IT development, the date for when students can apply for a study abroad loan will be announced a later point.

For further information please contact:

Head of division Mette Ring Rossing, Danish Agency for Higher Education and Educational Support, tel:+45 7231 7950

Press officer Ingeborg Nielsen, tel:+45 2211 0200

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