14 July 2009

Record number of University of Copenhagen applicants

A national trend that has seen an increase in the number of young people applying to higher education programmes this year can also be seen in University of Copenhagen admission figures. This year, the university received 20,619 applications compared to 13,858 in 2008 – an increase of 49 percent and the highest number in 30 years.

"An increase of 49 percent is extremely high. But as 2008 was characterised by a decline in the number of people seeking admission, it wasn’t a very typical year," said Claus Nielsen, from University Education Services. "We get a more realistic picture if we compare the figures with those from 2007. But, even then, we've had an increase of 12 percent."

Several factors at play

"Several factors can explain the increase. One of them is the new bonus rule that allows applicants to multiply their grades by 1.08 if they seek admission within two years after completion of their qualifying examinations," said Nielsen. "This could have led applicants who fall under the rule to wait until this year, when it takes effect, to apply. Similarly, last year’s smaller quotas and the poor economy could have also encouraged more to apply this year."

More applicants for some programmes

The increase in applications is a general trend for all academic programmes at the University of Copenhagen. One of the university's new programmes, Communication and IT, has also received many applications. However, certain programmes, such as Natural Resources and Nanoscience, have received fewer applicants. One clear trend in the application statistics was that programmes with the fewest number of openings remain those that attract the most applicants. Applications for health sciences programmes, for example, increased 70 percent.

"That means, unfortunately, that despite the larger number of applications there will also be many applicants who are rejected because they do not have a high enough academic grade average," said Nielsen. "We have also received many requests for exemption for specific entry requirements. This suggests that many applicants do not yet have a realistic picture of the importance of the specific admission requirements or the requirements for supplementation."

Second chance applications

On 30 July applicants will receive a decision on their application and admission quotas will be made public. At that time the university will also publish a list of those programmes that still have openings available. The university accepts students to programmes with openings until courses begin.