4 August 2015

New study preferences and high grade points in this year’s intake


On 30 July, 7,641 applicants were offered a place at the University of Copenhagen. The number is at level with last year but covers a slight change in applicants’ study preferences with more students admitted to social science and science studies and fewer to the humanities.

“We have admitted fewer students to the mainly humanities programmes that have been affected by adjustment of intake and a decline in applications. But then we have admitted more students to the social science programmes and some of the natural science programmes not included in the adjustment,” says Pernille Kindtler, Area Manager for Guidance & Admissions under UCPH Education Services.

By tradition, Rector Ralf Hemmingsen shakes hand with each new student

Bonus inflates grades artificially

Topping UCPH’s ever rising grade-point list again this year is Molecular Biomedicine with 12.1, while Psychology, Medicine and Anthropology follow suit with GPA requirements of more than 11. Nationwide, a GPA of 10 or above is required at 38 undergraduate programmes, 12 of which are at UCPH.

The increase in GPA requirements is due in part to a special bonus, which allows applicants to multiply their GPA by 1.08 if they enrol at university no later than two years after their graduation from school. According to Pernille Kindtler, there is no reason to maintain this bonus system: 

“The bonus inflates the grades artificially and we have no evidence that the applicants are better qualified if they start their university education early. And anyway, in our experience, most young people do not want to take more than one or two gap years between school and university.

Prorector Lykke Friis welcomes the new students in 2014

6.0 as a minimum GPA

The University would rather work with grade-point averages as a tool to raise the admission requirements for study programmes with little or no admission limit. This can be done by setting a minimum GPA of 6.0 for admission to undergraduate studies, however only in quota 1.

“Setting a grade requirement in quota 1 – where we only have the grades to go by – would help reduce both dropout rates and completion times. Our own analyses and those of the Danish Evaluation Institute point to a clear connection between students’ qualifying exam results and their likelihood of completing their studies without much delay,” says Pernille Kindtler.

This year, 30 study programmes at UCPH have no admission limits, so all students meeting the requirements have been admitted.  UCPH has applied to the Ministry for permission to use a 6.0 GPA requirement in quota 1, leaving quota 2 aside. However, this is not possible under the current rules of admission.

Intake adjustment will hit in the years ahead

UCPH has offered 7,641 places this year, 25 down on last year but 86 up on the record intake in 2013. That the intake has not really been reduced in 2015 despite the regulatory adjustments can be explained by two factors:

1) The need for adjustments in 2015 was limited because already last year the University reduced capacity by 100 study places to accommodate the changes up front. 2) The reduction of student intake at certain undergraduate programmes has been offset by a rising intake at other programmes not included in the adjustment. Put simply, students have sought other preferences.

The intake adjustment continues nonetheless and will result in greater annual reductions in the years ahead.


Amidst adjustments and rising GPAs, UCPH still has a few open places available.

“With the right subject combination, students can apply for admission to one of 303 openings at 29 studies – primarily at Science or the Humanities,” says Pernille Kindtler.

The openings can be seen at studier.ku.dk with deadline for application being 6 August at 12:00 noon.


Pernille Kindtler
Area Manager, Guidance & Admissions
Education Services at University of Copenhagen
Mobile: + 45 51 20 18 93
Mail: pki@adm.ku.dk