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International students boost Danish economy

Attracting and retaining international graduate students pays off for the Danish economy, even when those students have been funded by the Danish government, a report from the ministry of education has shown.

A study, carried out by the ministry’s Danish Rational Economic Agents Model (DREAM) group, was published in a report on 12 March.

The group examined the impact of international students from both within and outside the EU who pursue masters and PhD programmes at Danish institutions. They found that attracting 1,000 students from abroad yields about 400-800 million Danish kroner (€53m-€106m) for public finances.

International students can supply skills that Danish companies need and also contribute by giving Danish students an international perspective, the group found.

They also pointed out that it is important for Denmark to retain students from abroad after they graduate. The government has so far implemented a scheme where international graduate students can obtain an automatic green card upon graduation, which is a permit that allows them to extend their stay in Denmark and look for work.

A policy to further develop the international aspects of the country’s higher education system and encourage foreign students to stay is also in the works.