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Record university intake – especially in natural sciences

July 30, 2011
There was yet another historical intake at Danish universities in July this year, with significant increases in science and technical education. There was also significant interest in Aalborg University and the University of Southern Denmark.

This year saw a record increase of 11 per cent as 25,548 students were granted a place on the university course of their choice.

Aalborg University and the University of Southern Denmark saw particular interest this year as the number of new students increased by 31 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

– We know that we will need many highly-educated graduates in the future. As Science Minister, I am therefore delighted with the new figures. Knowledge will increasingly be crucial in the future, both for the individual and society, says Science Minister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.
– This year's intake gives hope that we will see a better match between student's wishes and the demands of industry. It's good for young people who will find it easier to find a job and good for businesses, which will have easier access to qualified employees, says Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.

Fewer rejections

The number of applicants rejected has fallen this year. There were 7,733 1st priority applicants – equivalent to 21 per cent of the total – who did not get a university place. Two years ago, that figure was 25 per cent.

– It is of course regretful when qualified young people aren't accepted to a course. But we're on the right track. We're educating more and fewer are being rejected. This is primarily because young people are widening their search, but also because universities have agreed to increase the number of available places, says Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.
– I encourage all young people who were not successful the first time to consider one of the courses where there are still available places. Even within fields such as natural and technical sciences where there has been much interest this year, there are still available places, eg. In civil engineering, informatics, chemistry and mathematics.

Everyone can apply for a course with available places.

Increased popularity of natural sciences, technology and theology courses

More and more students have been attracted to courses within natural sciences and the technical field. Previous years have seen many available places on these courses, but this year sees a huge demand for the courses. Natural science has seen an intake increase of 21 per cent while technical science has increased by 15 per cent.

The science minister expressed satisfaction with the high intake in courses that were previously not highly sought after. The minister was also pleased to see significant interest within fields where there is a demand for graduates from the labour market.

– The Government has worked towards increasing the student intake, increasing the numbers applying to universities outside of Copenhagen, encouraging students to begin their studies earlier and to have more students within the technical and natural sciences fields. The 50 per cent objective is close to being reached, Aalborg University and the University of Southern Denmark have seen significant intake increases, natural science and technical courses have seen similar increases and since the Government took office, the number of sabbatical years has fallen – now more than 80 per cent of students begin their studies within two years. The development on all four parameters is very positive and as Science Minister, I am incredibly pleased with this year's intake, says Charlotte Sahl-Madsen.

Fewer Swedes studying medicine and increase in male applicants

The number of male applicants has increased this year. Men now account for 47 per cent of the collective intake compared to 44 per cent in 2009.

Women are still overrepresented in the health sciences and humanities courses, while men lean towards technical courses. There is a more equal gender distribution in the natural and social sciences.

It is also notable this year that there are significantly fewer Swedish students in medicine and veterinary courses. The percentage of Swedes accepted to medicine has fallen from 12 per cent in 2010 to comprising 5 per cent this year – the lowest percentage since 2000.

Science Minister Charlotte Sahl-Madsen can be contacted via press officer Charlotte Holst, tel: +45 2211 0200 or email: chhh@vtu.dk.

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