q New language school contracts accused of prioritising low price over quality - The Copenhagen Post

New language school contracts accused of prioritising low price over quality

A shake-up of the system for teaching foreigners Danish in Copenhagen Municipality has led to at least one of the language schools crying foul

The decision made recently by Copenhagen’s employment and integration committee to award the tender for Danish language tuition to foreigners to only two schools has come under fire.

One of the schools previously supplying tuition, IA Sprog, has decided to appeal the decision, reports Politken.

Tenders were submitted by eight schools and the committee was charged by Copenhagen’s politicians to give 70 percent weight to cost and 30 percent to quality.

Defeated on points
UCplus and Clavis were the winners in the bidding round, which was based on a points system.

Although UCplus and Clavis ended up with a total score of 6.69 and 6.60 respectively, quality-wise on a scale of 0-8 the committee only awarded them 3.33 and 4.67 points.

Jørgen Jespersen, the rector of IA Sprog, points out that despite a quality score of 7.0 points, his school ended up losing out, with a total points score of 6.34.

“It’s going to be a major task for the municipality when 14,500 student have to switch to new schools when the rest of us close,” he said.

“Foreigners will get what has been paid for. The will get a significantly lower quality.”

Appeal in the pipeline
The decision to tender language tuition came as a result of a change in the law that reduced the amount of money the state refunds to the municipality.

“There is a myopic and unnecessary focus on costs. The committee could have said to us ‘Your price is a bit high, but so is your quality. Would you be willing to lower the price?’, but they didn’t do that,” added Jespersen.

In addition to IA Sprog, tenders from Dansk Flygtningehjælp, A2B AS and Københavns Sprogcenter were also rejected. They scored 7.33, 5.33 and 4.33 respectively for quality.

IA Sprog has now decided to appeal against the decision.