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Twelve Per Cent More New Students at Universities

July 30, 2009
Today, 20,263 young people were admitted to a university education. This is an increase of 12 per cent compared to last year. Four out of five students now begin at the university after no more than two sabbatical years.
– This morning's mail will tell about 20,000 students that they have been admitted to one of Denmark's eight universities; this will be the second highest intake ever, and when their studies start next September, I am not in doubt that we will see a record, says Science Minister Helge Sander.
– This is because there are nearly 4,000 vacant slots for about 180 study programmes, and I hope that those who get a refusal today – about 7,500 – will immediately seek other educational options.

The fact that we see so many refusals this year is chiefly due to the record high number of applicants. This year, no less than 29,507 have wished to contribute to developing the knowledge society. Refusals have also been given because people have applied for the same universities and the same study programmes.

– This means that many disciplines have so many good applicants that all those actually qualified for being enrolled cannot be accommodated. So I would recommend that the rejected applicants should consider some of the many interesting study programmes where places are still available, says Helge Sander.
– Young people in Denmark need to be better at seeking opportunities on a wider scale – both geographically and educationally. For example, the Copenhagen Business School has filled all its study places, while the School of Business at Aarhus University – which offers a similar education – still has some vacant slots. Geographically, Denmark is so small that distances should not keep young people from seeking education all over the country, says Helge Sander.

For study programmes requiring a relatively high grade point average at the University of Copenhagen there are also vacant slots elsewhere in the country. This applies for instance to physical education and sport, comparative literature, religious studies and public health.

The vacant slots will be allocated according to the first come, first served principle – but all applications submitted before Sunday 9 August will be regarded as "first come".

For a large number of scientific and technical study programmes, the total intake for the year shows a positive trend. The intake for engineering science has risen by 6.6 per cent to a total of 3,090 compared to last year, which was the record year up to now. It is also positive that this year sets a record in the number of women admitted to graduate engineering studies. Women now represent 31 per cent of new engineering students.

Also IT education is a discipline admitting more students than ever before. Altogether, 1,358 new students are admitted this year –corresponding to an increase of 11 per cent on last year's figure.

– The Government has focused particularly on strengthening the intake for IT and engineering studies in recent years. So it is gratifying to see that more and more young people find this field of education attractive and full of interesting and creative job opportunities, says Helge Sander.

The age of students and the number of sabbatical years have fallen again this year. For example, two out of three of those admitted are 21 years or younger, and only 20 per cent of them have had more than two sabbatical years. In 2001, 34 per cent of the new students had an exam that was three years old or older.

– It is very satisfactory that young people in Denmark now start on a university education earlier. This will be of benefit to the young people themselves as well as society at large.

Owing to the shortage of doctors, the Government has decided that an additional 200 study places will be offered this year at the universities in Copenhagen, Odense and Århus. This means that about 1400 young people have been offered a place for medical studies.

The number of Swedish students has risen from 14 per cent last year to 16 per cent this year, but this is far from 2006, when the Swedes took up as much as 27 per cent of places at the three universities. The total number of Swedish students is 227, which is 60 more than in 2008.

Science Minister Helge Sander can be contacted via the Ministry's press officer, Charlotte Holst, phone +45 22 11 02 00 or chhh@vtu.dk.

For further questions, please contact Jens Storm, Chief Analyst, Danish University and Property Agency, phone +45 72 26 55 94 or jst@ubst.dk.

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