5 years ago the Danish parliament passed a law targeted against diploma mills. Under the new law only state accredited schools on friendly term with some officials in the Department of Education in Denmark had the right to call their school a university. Others had to close down, move their activities abroad or simply rename their schools.
Schools like Arabic Open Academy in Copenhagen was not targeted because the called their school an academy. They are still able to provide diplomas on higher education despite the fact that they are not accredited by the Department of Education. Among those who were targeted was a middle school in Copenhagen who had University as part of their name and a group of Artists who published their art using the term “University” as part of their name. European Management University International will move to another country so they can continue their activities. Knightbridge University has sieged their activities which are a huge problem for politicians from third world countries who all have to have a doctor degree to earn respect. Denmark’s reputation as a country that is aiding political stability and education in third world countries has been questioned as result of the new law.
But if you really want the highest education standard in the world you also have to ensure that the students don’t leave the country and return with a diploma from a foreign diploma mil. Evil rumors speak of Copenhagen being mismanaged regarding architecture and city planning because most of the employees in the office responsible for planning and constructing from 1950 to about 1990 all took their education in Sweden during the Second World War but couldn’t prove it due to damages which occurred during the war. If they ever passed their exams remains an open question.
So just to avoid a possible scandal every student is checked very carefully during a year-long process. In fact most have to wait until sometime after they have returned to learn whether their stay abroad is accredited. It is not acceptable seen from the point of view of the student who often has borrowed the money from the family or from a bank. A lot of students give up when they learn of the paperwork they have in front of them.
But what is the alternative? Chaos short to say! Everyone wants to have a paper which state that the final exam is from a Danish University and it has its cost when they have to put their name on such a paper. If you allowed everyone to study the last 6 months in Denmark after they have rested on a beach somewhere and paid for an exam with no academically effort would it not be cheating on a Lance Armstrong level?
Of course and that is why they have to check every single paper – even the one the students use for number two have to be multi-layered so it can be checked so we can keep the reputation of our education system intact.
This page doesn’t focus on higher education. Our purpose is to keep those Danish Exchange Students who take a gab year after passing the elementary school exams before they start their high school years. We have been asked many times why Danish exchange students cannot get credits from their year abroad. Again the answer is: Denmark has a higher education standard. Abroad they don’t take the social aspect of the students into consideration. Can you point at one country beside Denmark who has Friday bars in their high schools where the students can drink a beer of two after school? No, properly not. It is only one example of how important the social aspect is when it comes to education. In Denmark we don’t have school shootings because we don’t allow our students to isolate or marginalize themselves. Of course we have marginalized groups but they are not found in high schools or in universities. They are so to say sorted out from the youth population so they end up in Mcjobs job or on welfare benefits until they learn how to integrate themselves in our society.
We believe that other countries could learn from Denmark. Strict control limiting the number of students going abroad combined with soft social “control” securing that the students learn each other under friendly and relaxed terms lower the number of bullying cases and lonely students with the potentials of going amok.
Until the other countries catch up with implementing Friday bars on their high school campuses we will continue to deny exchange students credits for their time abroad. It is a question of maintaining a high education standard and our country’s good name – nothing less.
- En kamp mod fupuniversiteter og diplomfabrikker (Dagbladet Information - In Danish)
- Merit-kaos sinker danske studerende (Politiken - in Danish)