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Danish reform commission recommend: Finish your master in half the time and do it without a grant

After a year of waiting, the Danish reform commission presented its recommendations for how to make the Danish education system fit for the future. The Danish government have asked the commissions to work on three themes: better education for all, more people in jobs, and more and better jobs. This spring, the education recommendations were ready. 

They include ideas about making the education system more “relevant to the labour market and provide students with necessary skills for employment”. This would happen by making one-year masters of 75 ECTS and limiting the current number of 120 ECTS 2-year masters. A more “job-relevant” curriculum was recommended in the humanities and social science. Additional, continuous education for adults would be made free. Financing would come primarily from ending the student grant to master’s students, which meant the rest of the recommendations depended on this happening.    

The media focused on the financing and asked whether this would be the end of access to education for all. DSF strongly critiqued the idea of making students even poorer, dependent on student loans and forced to deprioritize their education to work. The universities critiqued the idea of top-down restructuring. The business community expressed scepticism of whether the recommendations would even have the intended effect.     

Seven minutes after the recommendations were revealed, the Ministry of Higher Education published a press release stating that the idea of eliminating the master student grant “was not an idea that had grown in the minister’s garden”. That becomes the end of the story. The media focus shifted, and the future of the recommendations is still to be determined. 


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