International students who stay in Denmark contribute to the Danish economy, according to a recent study, but some parties have taken objection to it being publicised that the Danish economy contributes to international students.
Jyllands-Posten reports that a Facebook update by the Danish cultural institute in Rio de Janeiro has come under fire, particularly from opposition party Dansk Folkeparti (DF), for ostensibly encouraging students to study in Denmark and informing them that most students in Denmark receive financial aid from the state.
DF: “We have enough problems as it is”
The institute is funded by the Ministry of Culture and, in a written question to the minister of education, DF has asked for an explanation of the notice. “The update was drawn to our attention by a Dane who lives in Rio,” Alex Ahrendtsen, DF’s education spokesperson, said.
“The thing that offends us a bit is that it’s waving how easy it is to get some money and a free education in Denmark. We are so proud of our country, our welfare and our free SU, but there’s no need to wave the flag. We have enough problems as it is with eastern Europeans and others who come and educate themselves for free.”
Institute claims misunderstanding
The institute replied that the message had been misunderstood. “The text notice on the Facebook site was just intended to inform [our readers] about Danish society and Danish culture for inspiration in Brazil,” it said.
“It’s not the cultural institute’s objective to encourage Brazilian students to apply to education programs in Denmark. We acknowledge that the introduction can be misunderstood in this way."