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Denmark: Government green paper on a reform of the master’s degree programmes at the universities 

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Denmark: Government green paper on a reform of the master’s degree programmes at the universities 

28 March 2023
degree
Country news

The Danish government has presented a green paper on a reform of the master’s degree programmes at the universities. The proposal is part of a comprehensive reform plan for the whole education system. 

The objective of the reform proposal is to future-proof the Danish education system.  

Presently, the focus is on reforming the master’s degree programmes at the universities. Later on, the government will present green papers on a reform of, among others, the primary and lower secondary education, the vocational education and training programmes and the professionally oriented education programmes, including the welfare education programmes (that is the programmes training nurses, social workers, teachers and pedagogues). 

New and more flexible master’s degree programmes 

The government proposes new and more flexible paths through university with varying lengths, different degrees of specialisation and new opportunities for further education. 

The government proposes the following four new master’s degree programmes: 

  1. Master’s degree programmes with a duration of one year and three months with a clear labour market focus; 

  1. Master’s degree programmes with a duration of two years with a higher degree of specialisation; 

  1. Master’s degree programmes with a duration of two and a half years to three years with a high degree of specialisation; 

  1. Flexible part-time master’s degree programmes with varying lengths where the students are employed alongside their studies. 

The new master’s degree programme with a duration of one year and three months are to be offered within all branches of study. The majority of the new study places is to be offered within humanities and social science, whereas a lesser part is to be offered within natural science, health science, and technical studies. 

Improved opportunities for further education 

In addition, the government wishes that more people participate continuously in education throughout their work life.  

To ensure this, the government proposes developing new continuing education and training courses at master’s level, which are organised so that the students’ life situation is taken into consideration. For example, the courses can be organised as evening classes or take place during weekends. The government also proposes improved opportunities for further education for graduates from the new master’s degree programme with a duration of one year and three months. The government proposes the following: 

  • Graduates can return to university and participate in subjects, modules, special master’s courses or a new master’s degree programme; 

  • Significantly lower tuition fees within the existing adult continuing education and training system; 

  • Graduates can complete a second master’s degree programme on full-time after two years at the labour market. 

More international students 

Furthermore, the government proposes to increase the number of international students in areas where the Danish business world calls for a highly educated labour force. The government proposes the following: 

  • The universities establish 1,100 English study places every year from 2024 to 2028 and 2,500 study places every year from 2029; 

  • The universities establish part-time master’s degree programmes in English within areas where it is possible to recruit highly qualified foreign labour. 

The development of the master’s degree programmes will take place in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, including the universities, the artistic higher education institutions, the students, and the business sector. 

More information (in Danish) 

 Forberedt på fremtiden I

Source: Euridyce Unit Denmark 

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