Danish universities have to pay fines totalling 97.5 million kroner for accepting more foreign exchange students than they have sent abroad, according to freesheet metroXpress. The fines stem from the universities having broken regulations that state that the number of incoming foreign students must equal the number of Danish students that go to foreign universities.
“The goal is to get more Danish students to go out on foreign exchange”, the minister of higher education, Morten Østergaard (Radikale), told metroXpress.
Kristian Thorn, the deputy rector of Aarhus University, said that the punishment is self-defeating.
"It is very inexpedient that we are being punished for attracting students from abroad when the national ambition is to make Danish universities more international," Thorn told metroXpress. "Foreign students add great value to our universities and to the study environment.”
Aarhus University is facing a fine of ten million kroner.
Emilie Normann, the head of international affairs at Aalborg University, agreed with Thorn.
“It is important to accept international students," she said. "It is very frustrating that we must now limit the number we can admit because there has to be a balance.”
Østergaard admits that he is now considering revising the regulations.
“I’m currently considering if this is the right way to achieve our goals,” he said.