Increasing number of Danish students going down with stress

They have to deal with a lot of internal and external pressure, says expert

A growing number of students in Denmark suffer from stress, reveals a new study from the trade union Djøf.

As many as 59 percent of university students studying social sciences and business economics says they are under a lot of stress in their everyday life.

Meanwhile, the same was true for 47 percent of students in 2012 and for 53 percent of students in 2014.

Some 21 percent had to even seek medical help, according to Djøf’s survey that was carried out among 1,000 students in November 2016.

READ MORE: Copenhagen opens five stress clinics

Worrying trend
The study also found that of the 59 percent who feel stressed, some 63 percent experience memory and concentration problems.

Wenche Quist, the head of the education and policy department at Djøf, has called the trend “worrying and very unfortunate”.

“Students are under a lot of pressure. Firstly, the reform puts them under great time pressure [to finish quickly] with a very strong focus on exams and less focus on learning for learning’s sake,” Quist told Metroxpress.

“Secondly, students are under a lot of internal and external pressure to build super-CVs with top marks, have a study job, study abroad, and do internships and volunteer work, so they are well-prepared for the job market.”

READ MORE: Government proposes amendments to much-maligned university ‘progress reform’

It’s about balance
According to Sana Mahin Doost, the chairman of the Danish Students’ Confederation, students in Denmark have to deal with an unhealthy and counterproductive high-performance culture, which is to a great extent created by the education institutions and the government reforms.

Venstre’s spokesman for education, Jakob Engel Schmidt, disagrees that politicians are responsible for the situation.

“The reform [that aims to speed up study time] makes it clear that studying [at a university] is a full-time job of 37 hours, which we think is quite reasonable considering we, as a society, provide free education and SU,” Schmidt told Metroxpress.

“I don’t want to interfere in how people live their lives. I can only say that I myself would become stressed if I, next to a full-time job, should have a perfect life with a girlfriend, leisure activities and a study job. It is about finding a balance in which the main focus should be to study when you are a student.”