Entry requirements for upper-secondary school ‘unambitious’

October 29th, 2013

This article is more than 11 years old.

Students will need to achieve a minimum standard to be allowed entry to upper-secondary school, but there is disagreement over where to set the bar

The government wants to introduce entry requirements for upper-secondary school in order to encourage more young people to choose a vocational education instead.

The plan is to require students to achieve a score of two – the third-lowest score on a seven-point scale – in Danish and mathematics before being allowed to enrol in upper-secondary school.

But according to figures from the Education Ministry, this will only prevent 900 out of 45,000 possible students from entering upper-secondary school, leading experts and politicians to argue the proposal is unambitious.

READ MORE: Criticism of vocational school revamp abounds

Little effect
“It will have zero effect,” Dansk Folkeparti’s education spokesperson Alex Ahrendtsen told Politiken newspaper. “We need to go up to a score of at least seven [the third highest grade on the seven-point scale] if we want fewer young people to go upper-secondary school and instead take a vocational education.”

Niels Egelund, a professor at the University of Aarhus and the chairman of a politically-independent education commission at the think-tank DEA, also agrees that a score of seven in Danish and mathematics would have a greater effect.

This would exclude 40 percent of potential upper secondary school students and funnel far more young people into vocational education.

READ MORE: Students give failing marks to current grading system

“The reform doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t even plug the hole in the sinking ship,” he told Politiken.

Opposition party Venstre agreed that a score of two was too low, but wouldn’t commit to asking for seven, while government coalition party Socialdemokraterne said a seven was too high.


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