DSF: Cutbacks on student grants in Denmark
On 30th of August, the Danish Government announced its 2025 plan, officially stating the policies they will push for during their time in government. In the field of higher education further cutbacks were announced, this time in the area of student grants. If the bill is passed in parliament, from the year 2019 students in Denmark will receive 800 Danish Kroner (equivalent to 107€) less every month and will have a right to receive the grant for 5 years instead of the current 6.
The objective of the Government is to slowly move towards a more loan-based system and the official motivation given is that there is a need to stabilize the system after what they phrased as an “explosion” in the numbers of non-Danish students receiving the grant, especially Eastern European ones.
The arguments given by the Government are clearly false and have the objective to scapegoat a minority within the student population. We can see that the amount of international students receiving the grant is approximately only a 1% of the total student population receiving the grant and the numbers have gone down in between 2015 and 2016. This cutback will have a negative impact in the lives of students in a country where the living costs are very high and the current grant amount is mainly used to cover housing expenses.
A cutback of 800 Danish Kroner a month, represents at least 48.000 Danish Kroner (6.443€) less per every student who is taking a 5 years-long full education. To put that amount in perspective, it could approximately fully cover housing expenses for 1 year and 2 months or food expenses for 2,5 years. The National Union of Students in Denmark (DSF) is against this grant cutback and is currently working together with local student councils and other stakeholders to stop it. The actions will culminate with a national demonstration on the 13th of October that will take place in the four major cities in Denmark.