A strong focus on internationalisation


Studying abroad can have great benefits to students, and here the Danish Agency for Higher Education details how the Danish government has launched an action plan to increase internationalisation.

More and more Danish students are choosing to participate in an exchange or internship programme in Europe. In the 2012/13 academic year 31% more Danish students went abroad to study or undertake an internship in an international company compared to 2010/11 and the positive trend continues in 2014. By 2020, the Danish government has a target of at least 50% of all students studying or working abroad as part of their education. Thus, in 2013 the government launched an ambitious action plan for increased internationalisation.

Europe is becoming more and more appealing to Danish students – so much that a record high number of students decided to study abroad or undertake an internship with an international company as part of their education with support from the EU Erasmus programme in 2013. The Erasmus programme was replaced by EU’s new education programme Erasmus+: Higher Education in January 2014.

In the academic year 2012/2013, 3646 students received support from Erasmus to study abroad or undertake an internship in Europe. According to the European Commission’s Erasmus statistics that is more than a 10% increase on the previous year. And the increase in Danish students taking part in the Erasmus programme is greater than the European average which saw 6% more Erasmus students in 2012/2013 than the previous year. The University of Copenhagen, which is the largest higher education institution in Denmark, is also the institution that contributed to most Erasmus students in 2012/2013. Whereas University College VIA in 2012/2013 received more Erasmus students from other European countries than any other Danish institutions.

Encourage students to go abroad

The positive trend continues in the academic year 2014/2015 where more than 4800 higher education students are going abroad on either an exchange or internship with the Erasmus+ programme. That is an increase of 34% compared to the previous year.

The new programme has been very well received by Danish higher education institutions and students. The Danish National Agency for Erasmus+ strongly encourages students to study in another European country or to undertake an internship with an international company as part of their education, seeing that it enhances not only language skills but also cross national understanding. A new Erasmus Impact Study carried out by the European Commission shows that young people with international experience have much better chances on the job market and are less likely to experience long term unemployment. That is a good argument for going abroad.

Enhanced insight through global outlook

By 2020, the Danish Government has a target of at least 50% of all students studying or working abroad as part of their education. In 2013 15% of the Danish higher education students went abroad in order to study or undertake an internship. In order to reach the 2020 target the Danish government has launched a two-part action plan for increased internationalisation of the higher education institutions in Denmark.

The first part of the action plan was launched in June 2013 and focuses primarily on the effort to strengthen the international competences of Danish students and on the international learning environments that Danish institutions are involved in. In order to realise the vision of strengthening the internationalisation of Danish higher education, the first part of the action plan comprises 31 concrete initiatives aimed at accomplishing the following 3 objectives: more students studying abroad, stronger international learning environments and better foreign language skills. 1

In order to motivate students to study abroad, the Ministry of Higher Education, among other things, launched the website gribverden.dk (meaning seize the world) in 2013. The website serves as an information portal to confront the notion that it is difficult to organise studying abroad. The aim of the website and the accompanying Facebook page is to facilitate student debate and to provide students with knowledge of and inspiration to studying abroad via contributions from higher education institutions, private organisations and other students.

Denmark – an attractive study destination

The second part of the action plan was launched in April 2014 and focuses on how Denmark can attract and also retain talented international students in the future. Read more about the action plan for attracting and retaining international students: 2 Denmark actively promotes its Higher Education Institutions and their programmes by way of the study portal, studyindenmark.dk and its affiliated social media platforms. The portal aims at supplying potential future students with relevant information about e.g. what to study and where, whom to contact, where to live and how to thrive, student careers, job futures, rights and regulations.

An ongoing active dialogue with Danish Higher Education Institutions, international students, Danish Embassies and the Danish Innovation Centers keeps the information concurrent, and relevant for international markets. Each year about 900,000 users visit the webpage in order to find information about studying in Denmark.

In 2015 the studyindenmark.dk site plans to increase its current reach by investing one million Danish kroner in an expanded content and marketing strategy. The strategy will primarily be aimed at new and growing markets, but also European markets will benefit from the strategy.

For more information, please visit the website www.gribverden.dk and studyindenmark.dk

1 http://ufm.dk/en/publications/2013/files-2013/enhanced-insight-through-global-outlook.pdf

2 http://ufm.dk/en/publications/2014/files-2014-1/denmark-an-attractive-study-destination.pdf


Danish Agency for Higher Education

Tel: +45 7231 7800



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