Denmark could cut back on university programmes

Denmark could cut back on university programmes
File photo: Martin Dam Kristensen/Ritzau Scanpix
A task group formed by Denmark's government says the number of university degree programmes must be reduced.

The number of Bachelor's degree programmes available in the Scandinavian country in 2017 was 386, a figure considered by the government-appointed committee to be too high.

202 such programmes existed in 1995.

The committee set up by the government to look into the issue has now recommended universities “review their options in order to make the educational landscape clearer”.

“We have an entire forest of university degrees,” Ministry of Higher Education and Science department head and chairperson of the government's committee Agnete Gersing said.

“Quite enough programmes currently exist. When we ask students, they say it is difficult to make the right choices,” Gersing added.

The committee recommendations were presented to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science on Monday.

According to the group, universities should review their current range of Bachelor's as well as Master's degrees in consultation with the ministry.

Similar programmes at different universities should also be given the same name, the committee recommended.

Minister for Education and Research Søren Pind declined to comment on the type of degrees that would be cut back.

“I would prefer not to go into detail and say, 'this has to go, this has to go',” Pind said.

The minister also declined to give an exact figure for the desired number of degree programmes.

“On one hand we will see a scaling down of the humanities. On the other hand, it is important to retain strong academic environments,” he said.

The work of the committee is part of a forthcoming proposal aiming to “modernise the entire Danish education system,” Pind added.

Universities, industry and trade unions were all represented on the committee.

But students protested outside the ministry, expressing their frustration at not being included in the process.

A total of 37 recommendations were made by the task group. Other suggestions include more extensive use of I.T. and one-year programmes as alternative options to two-year Master's degrees.

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