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Minister on new application figures: 'Several positive trends cannot outweigh a fundamental problem'

July 05, 2023
The trend towards too few applications for the major welfare-related degree programmes continues, as revealed by the new application figures for places in higher education.

According to the Minister for Higher Education and Science, several positive trends cannot outweigh a fundamental structural problem in society.

This year, 84,073 people have applied for a place in higher education. This became clear after the deadline for Quota 1 applications expired at 12 noon today. In general, there are more applicants for places in higher education than in 2022, but for several major degree programmes, such as Social Education and Social Work, the trend towards fewer applicants continues.

Applications to the Social Education and Social Work programmes have fallen by 4% compared to last year. On the other hand, there has been an increase in applications for the Nursing and Teacher Education programmes. Moreover, there have been significant increases in the number of applications for IT and Engineering programmes, largely due to an increase in applications by international students.

 Furthermore, even though some programmes have seen increased applications this year, we are facing the prospect of smaller cohorts of young people in the coming years, which will mean fewer applications for these programmes. Therefore, according to the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Christina Egelund, society is facing a fundamental structural problem, as many fields of employment may find it difficult or more challenging to recruit new staff.

According to the Minister for Higher Education and Science, the solution should be sought by examining the entire higher education sector as a whole, as already proposed in the broad political agreement on the reform of university education. One of the agreed measures is the establishment of a national skills or stakeholder panel that can provide input and contribute to assessing the future skills that will be needed on the labour market.

In addition, the parties agree that there is a need to reform and strengthen professional and vocational higher education programmes. Additionally, more education slots need to be created for international students at universities.

The Minister for Higher Education and Science, Christina Egelund, comments as follows:

- I think it's a very positive sign that more people have chosen to apply for a place in higher education this year, and I hope they all find a course that suits their interests and their aspirations for the future. As Minister for Higher Education and Science, I am also concerned about the general balance in applications across different programmes, so that the study programmes chosen align with the needs of the business community and our welfare society. This requires us to think innovatively. For this reason, a broad majority in Parliament has reached an agreement which includes opening the door to more international students. I am pleased to see that the application figures reveal an untapped potential in this regard. As far as the welfare-related programmes are concerned, ambitious reforms are called for, including a review of the Social Education programme.


84,073 people have applied for higher education through Quotas 1 or 2 this year.
This is a 5% increase compared to 2022.
On July 28th, all applicants will receive a response to their applications, and the total number of admissions, including supplementary admissions, will be revealed after 1 October. Only then will we have a complete picture of this year's admissions to higher education programmes.

Applications 2013-2023:

2023: 84,073
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

For further information:

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

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