Demo arranged against cutbacks on international study places

Students are protesting against what they see as primarily xenophobic political concerns rather than educational ones

On April 17 a group of university students from all over Denmark will come together to protest against government cutbacks on international study places.

The #EduForAll student organisation is calling for a reversal of what it says is legislation based on xenophobic politics rather than on the integrity of education or the interest of students.

The cutbacks were announced last August to try to resolve the problem of too many international graduates leaving Denmark once they had completed their studies.

Negative consequences.
“The cutbacks will affect the quality of education. We’re living at a time when we need to talk and work together across borders more than ever to solve global issues. Reducing that possibility means that everyone seems to lose,” said Julian Lo Curlo, a student of global development at the University of Copenhagen, which is co-operating with the National Students Union in Denmark.

According to CBS Wire, the in-house magazine of Copenhagen Business School, CBS student president Mikkel Nielsen was “tremendously sad about the decision to cut down on the number of international study placements. International students are a huge part of CBS and create diversity in the pool of students. So we fully support this demonstration”.

“If we want our graduates to get on in a global world, it’s important they meet people from cultures other than their own. Yes, you can read about how they do things differently in other countries, but interacting with people helps you to understand their culture much better,” he added.

#EduForAll further argues the legislation will lead to job losses for professors, administrative chaos, and an overall loss of funding for universities that offer programs for international students.

Additionally, it says the new policy will decrease diversity in Denmark, damage the quality of higher education, and prevent Danish industry from having access to much-needed international talent.

Calling the ministry
The protest – and the movement as a whole – is calling on the Ministry of Education to remove the limit imposed on international courses at institutions of higher education.

It wants to see free Danish courses for international students in order to encourage higher retention rates and to create better possibilities for international graduates to stay and work in Denmark. The protestors also want to stop ministerial micro-management of educational institutions.

Where and when
The demonstration is due to take place at 16:00 on April 17 at Børsegade 4 in front of the Education Ministry building.

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