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Denmark: Only Students Who Stay

VU International News and Reviews No. 119 September 10 2018

July 2019

The Danish government has attracted wide interest with its plans to limit study place for international students in programmes with lower retention scores: students staying in Denmark after graduation. Their complaint that “4 out of 10 leave the country” is remarkable in the light of the earlier study by i.a. CIMO and DAAD on “The Financial Impact of Cross-Border Mobility on the Host Country” (discussed in this Newsletter in February 2014). That study calculates considerable financial gains for the host country if less than 7 out of 10 leave the country after graduation.

The Danish government may have a point in zooming in on study programmes with significantly lower ‘binding’ results than others. But it should also be aware that studies calculating financial gains from international students generally don’t take into account what economic ties – and financial gains – stem from international graduates who leave, but set up business with the host country.

The impression remains that the Danish government is lending its ear to the populist wave that is still flowing over our academic pastures – making them less and less pastoral and idyllic.

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