International DTU graduates are a goldmine for Denmark

Friday 06 Oct 17


Anders Overgaard Bjarklev
+45 45 25 10 00
DTU's international MSc Eng graduates contribute with many millions to Danish society concludes a study from the consultancy firm Damvad Analytics.

Most of the international students who come to Denmark to become engineers at DTU, stay in the country after graduation and contribute significantly to the Danish economy. An analysis from the consultancy firm Damvad Analytics shows that 800 international students who graduated from DTU in the period 2007-2011 each has contributed with DKK 1.2 million to the national economy.

Just like other Danish universities, DTU has many international students and staff. The analysis is based on the discussion which at regular intervals crops up in the media and the political debate on foreign students. They are often seen as a socio-economic burden, partly because many of them receive the Danish SU state educational grant, partly because it is assumed that most of them leave Denmark again after completing their studies.

"we ought to be thrilled that many foreigners want to study in Denmark."
Anders O. Bjarklev, President of DTU

But DTU's analysis shows that almost 60 per cent of the international students are still in Denmark one year after graduation, and 72 per cent of them are in full-time employment. Through the eight years that the analysis covers, the graduates' presence in Denmark gradually decreases, so that after eight years, 40 per cent of the graduates are still in the country. However, by then, 85 per cent of them are full-time employees.

The socio-economic accounts show that the 800 students on average each has contributed with DKK 1.2 million while in Denmark. On the plus side, we have the payment of wages, taxes, VAT and excise duty. On the downside, we have public spending on social security, unemployment benefit, healthcare, the SU state educational grant, and the cost of the education itself.

“In fact, we ought to be thrilled that many foreigners want to study in Denmark. And not just because we as a society profit from them, but because they also add value to society in other ways,” says DTU's President Anders Bjarklev.

“Myths about foreigners typically die hard. But I hope that our study can contribute to making the debate on foreign students more balanced.”

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