Danish News Round-Up: Worrying slide in pedagogical education applicants

Elsewhere, the efficacy rate of the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine in the face of the Delta variant has fallen from 94 to 64 percent, according to an Israeli study

Some 93,388 people applied for a place in higher education this year, according to the Education and Research Ministry – a slight dip on last year.

An all-time record of 94,604 applied for one of the estimated 70,000 places last year – a huge level of interest attributed to corona.

“Even though this year there is a very small decrease in the number of applicants, it is still good that so many want to take a higher education,” commented Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, the relevant minister.

Most applicants should know whether they have been successful by July 28. 

Pedagogical worker shortage looming
However, while few exact details have been revealed, it has been reported that there are again fewer applicants for courses that will lead to public sector jobs such as nursing, teaching, childcare and social work – a trend observed since 2016.

In fact, since then, the number interested in a pedagogical education has fallen by 22 percent from 7,195 to 5,644 applicants.

With new staff/infant ratios in place (one adult per three kids at nurseries, and one per six at kindergartens), this is a problem.

The pedagogical workers union BUPL estimates 14,000 extra pedagogical staff will be needed nationwide by 2030 to cover the new requirements.

Israeli study concludes that Biontech/Pfizer is less effective against Delta
The Biontech/Pfizer vaccine is less effective at protecting people against the Delta variant than other strains, according to an Israeli Ministry of Health study reported by the Financial Times  Its efficacy level falls from 94 to 64 percent for fully-vaccinated people. However, it still has a 93 percent success rate at stopping serious cases that require hospitalisation. 

Security workers’ safety compromised by mobile data sales
TV2 reports that public service employees working for the military, police, intelligence services and the country’s prisons are having their safety compromised by a third party selling details regarding their movements. The report details how the exact movements of 60,673 Danish mobile phones have been put up for sale abroad, and  media and analysis company Kaas & Mulvad has confirmed that most are personnel working hard to keep this country safe. “We are familiar with the problem and work continuously with security issues of this nature,” Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste, the intelligence unit of Danish Defence, acknowledged to TV2.

Fraudster’s battle to hold onto pensions to head to Supreme Court
In May, Østre Landsret (the Eastern High Court) overturned a Copenhagen City Court verdict that convicted fraudster Britta Nielsen should lose her pension. But now it has been confirmed that the case is heading to the Supreme Court. At Østre Landsret, it was successfully argued that creditor protection of pension funds should not enable the authorities to seize her two accounts, regardless of the origins of the 900,000 kroner sitting in them. The prosecution’s case, like at the City Court, argued that the payments into the pension used cash defrauded from the state (wholly or in part) – an estimated 117 million over 25 years, of which only a small sum has been recovered. Nielsen, 67, was sentenced to six and a half years in February 2020, meaning that should the Supreme Court case go her way she will be released from prison no later than 2026 with the 900,000 at her disposal. However, it is further argued by the defence that none of the payments into the pension were ever huge sums: just relatively normal amounts 

More heavy rain expected today: it could be sudden and severe
More cloudbursts will hit Denmark over the course of today, with local flooding a possibility. DMI has issued a weather warning for the Copenhagen area from 15:00 to 20:00, and 8 mm of rain is forecast for 20:00. Weather warnings are also in place across the whole country with the exception of Bornholm (generally from 14:00-22:00). Similar weather hit the country yesterday, and again the source of the rain is the southwest. As things stand, the Norwegian forecaster yr.no predicts that Copenhagen has a warm week ahead, starting with 26 degrees today, followed by 24 every day until Friday, 23 on Saturday, and then 24 or 25 until next week on Wednesday (July 14). DMI is less optimistic.

Henrik Larsen’s Euro 1992 winning shirt remains missing, presumed stolen
The hunt goes on for the shirt donated by Euro 1992 winner Henrik Larsen, which was taken from Ofelia Plads on June 13. Larsen donated the shirt to a DBU exhibition about the triumph, but the misappropriation was only reported on June 30.

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