UCPH: Task force needed for the education of refugees – University of Copenhagen

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23 September 2015

UCPH: Task force needed for the education of refugees

REFUGEE SUMMIT

The University of Copenhagen has been invited to the Danish Prime Minister’s summit on integration. At the summit, the University will suggest appointing a task force to bring to life the University’s initiative about education for refugees.

“We’re looking forward to our talks with the government about how we can benefit from the refugees’ skills and support them in their efforts to enter the job market. We need a fast-track task force to sort out the legal, financial and practical issues,” says Prorector for Education at the University of Copenhagen, Lykke Friis.

UCPH calls for a government task force to bring to life the University’s initiative about education for refugees. (file photo, UCPH)

Lykke Friis suggests that the task force should address where the screening of refugees’ skills is to take place, their resident status and the funding of their education (ordinary student funding versus government scholarships). The government should also consider how the intake of refugees tallies with the recent adjustment of student intake and the study progress reform where students have to complete their studies faster.

Moreover, universities must be given authority to exempt refugees from tuition fees and also exclude them when balancing the number of Danish students abroad against the number of international students in Denmark.

Social Democrats backing up, People’s Party vetoing

The conferences of rectors in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have already signed similar agreements with their governments, and to Lykke Friis it’s obvious that the universities should play a key role in the clarification of refugees’ skills, mentor programmes and specific study programmes.

Universities Denmark, an organisation representing the eight Danish universities, has announced full support for the initiative. The research spokesperson from the Social-Democratic Party, Mette Reismann, supports the initiative while the research spokesperson from the Danish People’s Party, Jens Henrik Thulesen Dahl, has said that they intend to veto the proposal to offer qualified refugees admission to complete or upgrade their education at Danish universities.

Contact

Director of Communications
Jasper Steen Winkel
Mobile : +45 28 75 42 62
Email: jsw@adm.ku.dk