HomeDanish PoliticsRising Interest in STEM Education, Decline in Professional Programs

Rising Interest in STEM Education, Decline in Professional Programs

The interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs is increasing, while professional education programs are struggling with declining numbers of applicants. There has been a significant increase in the number of applicants for technical and scientific programs, while professional education programs continue to experience a decrease in the number of applicants. According to a new report from the Ministry of Education and Research, the civil engineering bachelor’s program received a total of 4,467 first-choice applications in 2024, which is an 11 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Overall, 85,152 individuals have applied for higher education this year, representing an increase of 1,079 applicants compared to last year. Particularly, STEM programs have seen a significant growth, while interest in welfare-oriented professional programs has decreased. Education and Research Minister Christina Egelund expresses concern over this trend, which she describes as a clear imbalance in the educational landscape. “It is my task to view the educational landscape as a whole, and there is a clear imbalance,” the minister stated in a press release.

Medical studies are the second most popular education program, and in third place is the pedagogy program, which has experienced a 10 percent decrease in applications compared to last year. The diploma engineering program is in fourth place. The declining interest in welfare professions, such as teaching, pedagogy, and social work programs, and the stagnation in applications for the nursing program concern the minister. “It is concerning when we are heading towards a time where small youth cohorts will lead to a shortage of students and workforce across sectors and in many industries,” says Christina Egelund.

Professional colleges are calling for a comprehensive and ambitious reform of professional education programs to address the issue, a need that the minister acknowledges. “This confirms the need for reforms that ensure balance in the educational landscape, and at the same time, open up for more international students to study in Denmark,” she stated.

Applicants will receive notification of their acceptance into programs on July 26th.

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