The government has confirmed its plans to reduce a number of two-year master’s programs to a length of 15 months, according to DR.
Education Minister Christina Egelund described the current graduate system as “clumsy” and emphasized a need to make them more adaptable and labor market-oriented.
The government has not yet announced which programs will be shortened.
In addition to these reductions, some master’s programs will be extended to three years. This is most likely to happen in more ‘complex’ subjects, such as quantum physics and nanotechnology.
It’s not for the dosh, honestly!
Economy Minister Troels Lund Poelsen insisted that the changes were not a money-saving scheme. “It’s an investment,” he clarified.
According to DR, however, the Folketinget stands to gain over DKK 2 billion per year after the measures come into force.
Poelsen said the proceeds will go toward education and resources for youth.
U-turn in the Danish Parliament
Before the election, both the Liberals and the Moderates opposed plans to shorten master’s programs proposed by the one-party government of the Social Democrats at the time.
Asked about this change of heart, Egelund, a member of the Moderates, replied: “If you represent us as simply wanting to shorten courses without investing in quality education and without doing any further education – just shortening them – it is clear that you think that does not sound right as the best idea in the world.”
Egelund’s argument was that the reforms would lead to higher quality education.
General protests from other parties
The plans have drawn widespread criticism from both student unions and opposition parties.
The head of the Danish Students’ Council, Esben Bjørn Solomonsen, has questioned whether one-year master’s programs will provide enough time for internships – an integral part of many programmes.
“Academics are some of those who contribute the most value to society, and I think we should stick to that,” Solomensen added.
Enhedslisten and the Radicals are also worried. Mai Villadsen, on behalf of Enhedslisten, described the changes as “a violent attack on our education system and our welfare”.
In addition, Villadsen expressed fear of dividing the labor market into two groups with different prospects: “Young people risk facing a labor market with an A and B team, where those with the regular two-year master’s degree skip the B team with the one-year education in the job queue.”
Source: The Nordic Page