Delay the closing of English taught Top-Ups and AP degrees in Denmark.

Delay the closing of English taught Top-Ups and AP degrees in Denmark.

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Dāvis Vītoliņš started this petition to Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet and

Delay the closing of English taught Top-Ups and AP degrees in University Colleges and Business Academies in Denmark.

Ensure that already enrolled AP graduates of Business Academies and University Colleges can complete Top-Up in English taught study programs and acquire Bachelor’s degrees in Denmark in originally chosen study programs as originally planned.

Four generations of students' education are cut short leaving them with incomplete Bachelor's education or without a Bachelor's degree.

International students contribute positively to Denmark's cultural diversity and international relations in a market where a qualified and well-educated workforce exists both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, they play an important role in the Danish labor market and the economy as the internationals are filling the less attractive job positions during their studies.

One week before the summer holidays, The Government, the Liberal Party, the Danish People's Party, the Socialist People's Party, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Alliance decided to reduce the number of higher education programs offered in English at higher education institutions.

This means virtually all English taught study programs are closed in University Colleges (UC) and Business Academies (BA) throughout Denmark. The only exception is eight study programs where, as explained by the Ministry of Education and Science contribution to the Danish market is to be expected.

For many students, this decision means abbreviation to their education plans. Students who have started their Academy Profession (AP) degree this September, and three previous generations (Sep2021 Spring2021 Sep2020 Spring2020), will not have the opportunity to enroll in Top-Up / Bachelor’s, thus, do not have the opportunity to complete Bachelor’s as intended from the beginning. The last generation, that began their AP studies in September 2021, has been aware that their options after AP degree are very limited. The other three generations have not had this insight, and are now forced to change their life plans suddenly and without a warning.

An AP degree is typically offered from higher education institutions such as Business Academies and University Colleges. A Bachelor’s degree there will take 3-3.5 years and can consist of two parts; a business academy education, such as service economist and the like; and a top-up degree of 1.5 years, which makes the student a Bachelor. 

At present, the students are also trying to find other solutions to the problem themselves, for example, by examining how they can complete their current education elsewhere other than Denmark. Based on their current experiences, the opportunities outside Denmark are very limited. Unless they want to start all over again in higher education.

For example, students completing the “Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management AP degree” have very few opportunities to complete their education in other countries. 

Many students have established a life in Denmark, and like to live, study and work in Denmark. Many of them want to stay in Denmark after their studies and contribute positively to the Danish labor market and the Danish economy due to the opportunity that Denmark has given them.

The government's explanations for this sudden stop to education include considerations such as saving SU expenses for students from the EU as well as an argument that not enough stays in Denmark after graduation.

With this proposal, future spending on SU will still be reduced towards 2025 as the government wants as no new international students will be admitted. But this is still without affecting the current students' ability to complete the education on which many resources have already been spent, both from the students and the Danish state.

To receive SU, international students must work 10-12 hours a week in addition to their full-time study. This means that they repay a minimum of 33% of their earnings through tax. International students contribute 1 billion DKK per. year after costs for health care, benefits, education, etc., are deducted.

Instead of limiting the number of international students, efforts should be made to include and integrate them as they wish. An initiative from UCs and BAs is to introduce Danish language lessons to motivate and linguistically qualify students to remain in Denmark after graduation and thus contribute to the Danish economy.

The students themselves write: "We do not want to leave Denmark after our education, but we also do not want to stay, solely to work with lower-paid jobs, such as dishwashing and cleaning, when we have spent so much time in higher education".

International students contribute with their culture, their perspectives, and in this way bring new ideas and diversity to the study and work environment in Denmark. Precisely for this reason, having well-educated international students can function as an important contribution to Denmark's future.





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