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A further reopening of higher education

In the wake of Wednesday's agreement concerning a further reopening of Denmark, a full opening of research in the public sector that requires in-person attendance will now be effectuated.

May 21, 2020

At the same time, higher education will again be able to conduct both oral exams and teaching activities that require in-person attendance. 

The government and the other parties in the Danish Parliament have reached an agreement about the further reopening of Denmark. The reopening means that all research in the public sector that requires in-person attendance will again be open. It will also be possible to conduct oral exams at the educational institutions in question. Finally, the reopening will apply to all public employees, except those in the Capital Region and Region Zealand. All these measures come into force from May 27.

The further reopening of phase 2 follows on the reopening that has already been initiated, including teaching, and other exams that require in-person attendance.

The Minister of Higher Education and Science, Ane Halsboe -Jørgensen, welcomes the further reopening of institutions of higher education.

- Research is crucial to creating the knowledge we need to meet major societal challenges. This is all about knowledge and about the future, so it is really good news that research requiring in-person attendance will now be fully open. I am delighted that our wish that researchers should return will now become a reality, says Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.

Large sections of higher education will still remain closed - presumably until the beginning of August. Each individual educational institution must assess what is needed and practicable in terms of the physical presence of students and staff.

A lot of courses are at present in their final stages, and in the present semester many exams are already scheduled to be conducted online. In many cases it will still be the best solution for students to take these exams at home. The Ministry of Higher Education and Science is consulting with the institutions about the practical details of the reopening.

- We are reopening higher education step by step, and this is great news. Teaching that requires in-person attendance has already been resumed, and now there will be a further opening for oral exams. But there will still be a lot of students who will have to finish the semester at home, and to them I would like say: I am simply so impressed with the way they have been able to adapt and continue to make an effort, even if their course of education changed completely in just a few days. They have shown great social responsibility, and have demonstrated to the outside world that here in Denmark we have students who are able to take responsibility both for their own studies and for society, comments Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.

With some exceptions, all activities at higher education institutions have been closed since mid-March 2020 due to COVID-19. In the first phase, students following a number of selected socially critical and health science programmes were allowed to be physically present at teaching and exams. The extended reopening of the first phase also included a partial reopening of the country's research laboratories, while in the second phase of the reopening on May 18, a large number of higher education courses requiring in-person attendance were opened. From May 27, therefore we will be opening up for more research, more employees and wider opportunities to conduct exams with in-person attendance.

In the fields of higher education and research, the agreement entails the following:

  • Much research has already been reopened. The full reopening of research in the public sector requiring in-person attendance will take place from May 27. This applies in principle to all researchers, though educational institutions must assess the specific need for physical attendance in the light of health authority recommendations.
  • Higher education may conduct oral exams and teaching activities that require in-person attendance. It is expected that many exams still have to be conducted online.
  • All public employees, except in the Capital Region and Region Zealand, may return to work on May 27.
  • The full reopening of further education in phase 4 it is expected to take place at the beginning of August.

For further information, please contact:

The Ministry's press telephone , tel.+45 7231 8181

last modified May 21, 2020