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The Minister welcomes the reopening of higher education - the students involved will be informed directly by their educational institution

In the wake of Thursday's political agreement concerning the second phase of a controlled reopening, activities at institutions of higher education that require in-person attendance are to be reopened from May 18.

May 09, 2020

On Friday, the Minister for Higher Education and Science discussed reopening with the higher education sector, which will pass on further information to students and staff in the coming week.

With few exceptions, all activities at institutions of higher education have been shut down since mid-March 2020, due to COVID-19. There are about 250,000 students and 40,000 employees in higher education, and almost all of them have been affected.  

In the wake of Thursday's political agreement concerning the second phase of a controlled reopening, it has been decided to reopen activities at institutions of higher education that require in-person attendance.  

The majority of students at institutions of higher education will still be able to continue their studies from home - making use, for example, of online teaching and digital tests and exams. However, in the case of a number of study programmes, students need physical facilities such as laboratories, clinical facilities, or workshops in order to complete, or to avoid delaying, their studies. The same applies to a number of PhD students and researchers at educational institutions.  

- Students and staff in higher education have shown great social responsibility. Despite considerably altered conditions, in the time to come, many of them will be able to continue studying, teaching and researching without personally attending their educational institutions. However, there are some groups within this sector of education - for example, engineers, nurses and marine engineers - who need access to facilities if major delays and dropouts are to be avoided. For this reason, I am really pleased that on Thursday a large majority of the Danish Parliament prioritised those institutions requiring in-person attendance, says the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.       

Each individual educational institution will decide what courses of study, which students, staff and researchers will require in-person attendance. This could, for example, be a matter of:   access to facilities that simulate real life events for student nurses;

  • workshop training for marine engineers, plumbers and engineers;
  • access to physics laboratories for student teachers;
  • access to laboratories for students of the natural sciences; and,
  • access to advanced technology for students following IT and technical courses.  

Students and staff will be notified in the coming week

Over the past few weeks, educational institutions have done a very thorough job identifying those areas where in-person attendance is most needed. Preparations for the second phase of the reopening, which starts on May 18, have thus been underway for a while. The students and staff involved can look forward to receiving more information in the coming week, comments the Minister of Higher Education and Science, who today discussed the reopening with the rectors of the educational institutions involved.

 - This educational sector has done its homework and knows who requires in-person attendance. So, in the coming week they will be able to directly inform individual students and staff. I am deeply aware that there are many thousands of eager students who want to know whether they are going to be able to resume their studies. I would therefore urge them to contact their educational institution from next week, says Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen.  

Third and fourth stages of the reopening  

In the first phase of the reopening in April, a number of health science programmes were opened to students, and there was a partial reopening of critical research in university laboratories.   If the overall infection rate in the population is kept under control, the political agreement concerning the third and fourth phases of reopening will permit a further reopening of higher education and research.  

This will include, for example, the full reopening of research activities that require in-person attendance from June 8, and the full reopening of all higher education from the beginning of August, ready for the intake of large numbers of new students after the summer holidays.


 

For further information, please contact:

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

 

last modified May 09, 2020