Majority wants to end grade bonus system for students taking fast track into higher education

A scheme intended to speed students through higher education and propel them towards the job market is up for re-evaluation

Since 2009, Danish students embarking on a higher educational course within two years of finishing high school have been able to multiply their average final grade from their high school by 1.08.

It was thought that as well as getting them more quickly through the system and out onto the employment market, the bonus would also enable students to compete favourably for courses with high entrance level requirements.

However, a parliamentary majority comprising Dansk Folkeparti, Enhedslisten, Alternativet, SF, Socialdemokratiet and Radikale Venstre now wants to change that, reports TV2 Nyheder.

Something for nothing
“There something rather illogical in the fact that you receive a grade for something you’ve been examined on and then you can increase it because you do something specific that has nothing to do with educational qualifications,” said Jens Henrik Thulesen Dahl, education spokesperson for Dansk Folkeparti.

On top of that, figures from the ministry of education and research show that the bonus hasn’t even been effective in getting students started on higher educational courses quicker.

The new minister for education and research, Tommy Ahlers, expects to start discussions on the future of the bonus scheme after Parliament’s summer recess.

READ ALSO: Increasing number of Danish students going down with stress

On the government side, Venstre is also willing to take a look at the scheme.

“It appears that the scheme is a major source of stress to the students, so we’re looking to see whether this is something we can do away with,” said Mads Fuglede, education and research spokesperson for Venstre to Altinget.

Pay as you go – or not
There are other ways to bump up your grades, though. A number of internet firms have been offering to write essays for students – for a fee. Back in 2017, FixMinOpgave could write an essay for you for only 350 kr per hour.

FixMinOpgave touted different packages that could cost up to 7,900 kr for a paper that would give a grade 12 – even offering a money-back guarantee if the student didn’t attain the required grade.

But that is now a thing of the past. The consumer ombudsman has ordered the company to cease its activities immediately and also reported the firm to the commercial court Sø og Handelsretten, reports DR Nyheder.

If the company defies the ban it could unleash a fine or at worst, up to four months imprisonment.

A number of politicians wanted to ban the company last year, but minister of education Merete Riisager would not go along with the ban. But in January this year she changed her mind.

“When I see the increasing amount of activity that FixMinOpgave has, I have to admit that this is so serious that we will have to see whether we can institute a ban,” said Riisager.