Danish students have high completion rates

Skrevet af Jannick Friis ChristensenMia Mathilde HansenJesper Snedker Adamsen, (versioning) - Foto: Julian Nielsen - 12. januar 2016 - 10:390 kommentarer
80 percent of Danish university students complete the programs they initially enroll in.

According to policy-makers in the Danish Parliament, Danish university students take too long to finish their degrees. But although they might take a little longer, compared to students in other European nations, the share of Danish students who actually complete their degrees is at the top of the charts. 

Other ways to measure academic success

In terms of education, the most debated subject of 2015 was overwhelmingly the implementation of the provisions of the Study Progress Reform, which controversially included ambitious targets in terms of curtailing students’ average completion time.

The provisions were implemented after members of the Danish Parliament heavily criticized Danish students for having unacceptably high average completion times compared to their European counterparts.

However, a new report released by the European Commission in December shows that Denmark’s European neighbors use a variety of ways to measure universities’ success in relation to current education policies, and in this regard the average completion time of students is merely one way to measure the level of success.

The number of students that drop out is another benchmark, and the number of students who actually complete their degrees is another and if you use the latter, it turns out that Danish students are at the very top in Europe.

Danish students better than their European neighbors

According to the European Commission’s report, Danish students are much better at completing their degrees than their European neighbors. The general level of completion in Denmark, i.e. including both students who complete their degrees in accordance with the standard program duration as well as the ones who do not, sits above 80 percent.

In comparison, the general levels of completion in Norway and Sweden are 60 percent and 65 percent, respectively.

According to the report, the only country that sits above Denmark in terms of general completion levels is Austria at 85 percent. And contrary to Denmark, Austria uses general completion levels as the criterion for success, while Denmark – after the implementation of the Study Progress Reform – uses average completion time.

You can read the European Commission’s report in its entirety here. Please notice that the numbers in the report are not directly comparable due to varying information gathering methods between the countries.