Denmark’s initiatives to tackle the new challenges of higher education post COVID19

The higher education institutions in Denmark are slowly opening up and extraordinary measures have been taken to support both the current and future students. The purpose of the measures is to foster the enrolment of students in the Universities. The Danish Government, through the Minister of Children and Education and the Minister of Higher Education and Science, sent a letter to all upper secondary school graduates advising them on the steps to take when considering applying for higher education.

There are both immediate and long term measures foreseen.

The immediate measures include:
 
•    An extra one-time grant of DKK 1,000 for all students receiving public grants in April 2020.
•    Possibility of obtaining additional state loans under certain conditions Ministry of Higher Education and Science.
•    Free access to library facilities at higher education institutions during the summer.  
•    Establishing 5,000 extra student places in higher education in 2020 and 2021.

On the deadline of 5 July 2020, applications to higher education had increased by 5,850 when compared to last years’ figures and on a par with the record set in 2016, when there were 94,744 applicants.

Applicants will receive a response on 28 July 2020, when the key figures from the Coordinated Admissions System (KOT) are published, stating the number of applicants, the number of admissions and the grade point average for the different programmes.

As for the long-time measures, even considering that higher education institutions are slowly opening up to a presencial form of classes, it is clear that online education methodologies will endure post COVID19. Institutions will to have to, in some extend, proceed with classes online. In this context, the Ministry of Higher Education and Science initiated a project to gather the experiences with online education in the spring of 2020. The aim is to aggregate knowledge and best practises in regarding the teaching strategies, the learning outcomes and the relationship between students and teachers.

The project is led by University College of Northern Denmark and is a cross institutional project among all higher education academia. The results are expected to be available by the end of the year.

Source: European Commission

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.