University of Copenhagen prepared to educate refugees

Dean calls on government to make changes required to help

The University of Copenhagen (KU) has called upon the government to let them offer education to some of the refugees coming to Denmark.

Ralf Hemmingsen, the dean of KU, argued in an open letter to the education minister, Esben Lunde Larsen, that Denmark must usher in extraordinary educational initiatives in order to best handle the mass stream of refugees coming to the country.

“A proportion of the refugees coming to the country now are highly educated and will, with a quick and targeted effort, be able to become better integrated and gain easier access to the Danish labour market,” said Hemmingsen.

“Refugees who obtain temporary residence must be able to educate themselves from day one. Many of these people have competencies, educations and experience that can be put to good use, if they are staying in Denmark or returning to their home nations later on.”

READ MORE: A place … in history: Easing the refugee crisis by opening up their homes

Funding problems
Hemmingsen urged Larsen and the government to make the necessary adjustments to make it possible for refugees to begin their educations immediately.

The problem is that the refugees arriving in Denmark typically come from nations outside the EU and must, according to the current rules, pay full student fees in Danish universities – a sum that can run into hundreds of thousands of kroner. That makes it difficult to help educate the refugees.

KU suggests the government establish a new state grant scheme that will ensure free education possibilities for relevant refugees – an initiative that is currently being employed in Germany at the moment.