Danish universities suffering from too many weak students

Massive applicant increase in recent years has only increased the problem

Several Danish universities are struggling with poor students, increased absenteeism, a lack of motivation and a lower quality of education, according to a new report by the Danish Evaluation Institute (EVA).

The results are a consequence of students with lower grade averages congregating at the same universities and thus creating a widening gap of quality between Danish universities.

“The mapping shows that the group of students with high grades gather at certain universities,” said EVA Bjarke Tarpgaard Hartkopf, an EVA evaluation consultant.

“Meanwhile, other universities have experienced an increase in the share of students with low grades. In other words, the universities are not on an equal footing when it comes to offering a good education.”

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Widening gap
The report revealed that the best students tended to go to universities in Aarhus and Copenhagen, while the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and IT University of Denmark (ITU) also attract better students.

Meanwhile, there are far fewer top students at Aalborg University (AAU) and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) – a problem that has only really got more pronounced over the past 13 years as the number of university students have doubled.

At the University of Copenhagen, the share of applicants with a grade average of over 9 has risen from 23 to 42 percent since 2000, while the share has increased from 19 to 33 percent at Aarhus University during the same time period.

At SDU, AAU and Roskilde University there has also been an increase, but not nearly as high, with just under 15 percent of the applicants having a grade average of over 9.

Meanwhile, the share of applicants taken in with grade averages under 4 is drastically higher at the three universities.