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Science Minister Encouraging International Student Exchange

April 02, 2009
There are more international students on exchange visits in Denmark than Danish students on exchange visits in other countries. But this trend covers large differences between the individual universities.

In the academic year 2007/2008 there were 5,013 international students on exchange visits at Danish universities, while the number of Danish students on exchange visits abroad was 3,678. This appears from statistics prepared by CIRIUS (Centre for Information and Consultancy on International Educational and Collaborative Activities) under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

– The fact that so many international students choose an exchange visit to Denmark tells us something about the quality of Danish universities. This is also supported by a new survey showing that three out of four international students would recommend Denmark as a country of study, so Denmark has a good reputation abroad, says Science Minister Helge Sander.
– However, I would like to see more Danish students on exchange visits abroad. As new graduates, they will increasingly enter an international job market where a stay abroad is a definite plus. Denmark needs graduates with global experience, says Science Minister Helge Sander.

Figures for individual universities

The Science Minister notes in particular the relatively large variation existing between the Danish universities in this area.

For instance, the Copenhagen Business School is sending well over seven per cent of its students on exchange visits abroad, while the share of the IT University is below one per cent. Similarly, the Technical University of Denmark is the institution receiving most international students, representing nearly 13 per cent of the total number of students at the university. The corresponding shares of the University of Southern Denmark, Roskilde University and the IT University are all below three per cent.

– It is remarkable that the universities should have a difference in international mobility of this magnitude. The figures would seem to indicate that the individual institutions should look further at each others' experience in the area, says Science Minister Helge Sander.

The Minister also points out that the Government has been the initiator of the so-called international scholarship, which enables Danish students to get support for a study visit or a full master's programme abroad. During the period 1 July 2008 to 1 January 2009, 467 students were granted this international scholarship.

For further comments from Science Minister Helge Sander, please contact Communications Manager Niels Hovmand, tel.: +45 40 82 89 58, nho@vtu.dk.

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