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Minister's statement on this year's enrolment in higher education: 'Several positive trends'

July 27, 2023
More students have been admitted to IT and engineering programmes, and there has also been an increase in the number of international students. The decline in enrolments for most welfare-related programmes has slowed down

This year, 61,382 students have been admitted to higher education institutions; an increase compared to 2022.

The rise in enrolments can be attributed, in part, to a significant increase in admissions to the so-called STEM programmes. Both IT and engineering programmes have seen higher enrolments compared to the last year.

Furthermore, there has been a substantial increase in enrolments for programmes taught in English compared to 2022. This increase is particularly noticeable in bachelor's programmes at universities, which were not affected by the closure in 2022 of study places in programmes taught in English, unlike vocational academy programmes and professional bachelor's programmes.

Once again, when applicants receive their responses on July 28, it will be seen that Social Education degree programmes have admitted the greatest number of new students. Enrolments in three out of the four major welfare-related professional bachelor's programmes – Nursing, Teaching, and Social Work – are at the same level as last year, indicating that the decline in enrolments for these programmes has been halted. However, this does not apply to the Social Education programme, which has experienced a 5% decrease in enrolments from 2022 to 2023.

The Minister for Higher Education and Science, Christina Egelund, takes a positive view of  the overall increase in admissions to higher education, especially given that this has mostly occurred in areas where Danish companies are in need of skilled workers. However, this does not fundamentally reduce the structural challenge that in the coming years there will be a high demand for new personnel in a wide range of industries and sectors, while the number of young people pursuing a course of education is decreasing.

Egelund points out that part of the solution lies in taking a comprehensive and long-term approach to supply and demand within the entire educational sector, as agreed upon by the political parties behind this summer's university agreement. The Minister also emphasizes efforts to strengthen professional and vocational higher education, including the development of a new and improved Social Education programme.

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

— I am pleased to see that slightly more people have been admitted to higher education this year compared to last year. Education provides opportunities for the individual student and plays a crucial role in shaping us as human beings. At the same time, it is essential that our education system maintains a balanced enrolment, taking into account the dynamics and needs of the labour market, both now and in the future. The increase in enrolments for IT and engineering programmes is particularly encouraging, as there is a high demand for skilled engineers and IT specialists in Denmark.

— Moreover, it is a positive sign that the significant decline in enrolments for such crucial fields as Nursing and Teaching appears to have been halted. However, I am concerned about the continuing decline in the number of students applying for the Social Education programme. All this emphasizes the importance of the broad agreement reached by a majority in the Folketing before the summer recess, where we committed to establishing a new and improved Social Education programme. The labour market and the educational landscape are experiencing seismic shifts at the present time. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that we continue on the path of reform in the coming years.


  • 61,382 students have been admitted to higher education programmes as of July 28, 2023.
  • This represents a 2% increase compared to 2022.
  • Enrolments in major welfare-related programmes (Nursing, Teaching, Social Education, and Social Work) are generally consistent with 2022, except for a 5% decrease in the case of the Social Education programme.
  • Enrolments have increased by 3% for bachelor's programmes and 6% for vocational academy programmes.
  • STEM programmes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) have experienced a 5% increase.
  • IT programmes have seen an increase of 10%.
  • Enrolments in programmes taught in English have risen by 21%.
  • Outside the four largest cities, enrolments in higher education programmes have increased by 6%.

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

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