Video from HEPP/CHEF webinar: More cuts to English-medium education? What is the future of international higher education in Denmark?

On 4 December 2020, members of HEPP-SIG hosted a meeting on a press release from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, regarding the need to do something about the rise in European students receiving Danish student grants. A recording of the meeting is now available.



The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science recently announced that ‘interventions are necessary to limit spending on SU (student grants) for EU students’. In 2018, such an intervention resulted in cuts to study programmes with ‘English-speaking’ students. Does this herald further cuts to English-medium higher education? The Higher Education Policy and Practice, HEPP section of DUN is convening this discussion with the aim of understanding the situation from various perspectives and to see if we can find common ground.

The reason for the Minister’s concern is a projected rise in the number of European students receiving financial student support (SU). The political parties have agreed a ceiling of DKK 449 million (2019 prices) for SU expenditure on Non-Danish students from the European Union. Currently, the expenditure is DKK 619 million and the ministry forecasts that the amount may increase to DKK 650 million by 2023. This would be DKK 201 million above the politically agreed maximum. However, it seems that this would still only be 3% of the total Danish SU expenditure (which was DKK 21,059 million in 2019).

The questions addressed included:

  • What would further cuts to English-language courses mean for the higher education landscape and the economy in Denmark and for the opportunities available to Danish, let alone international, students?
  • How do courses differ in terms of their understanding and practice of ‘internationalisation’? How to engage policy-makers in the discussions of the ‘what, why and how‘ of internationalization, rather than blanket numbers?
  • Is there a threat of hastily closing more well-established international programmes? What can we do to ensure least damage?

Members of the panel

  • Jesper Langergaard, the director of Danske Universiteter
  • Sandi Rizvić an international officer of Danske Studerendes Fællesråd
  • Hanne Tange, a researcher of international and intercultural education
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