The final application deadline for students who wish to apply to attend university in Denmark is March 15. But why should Leaving Certificate students care about such a deadline?
Our young people, or Generation Y, are the most globalised generation ever. As citizens of the EU, our young people have the opportunity to study anywhere in Europe, including in universities ranked as high as, or higher, than Irish universities.
Students may gain access to courses similar to those to which they may not get an offer in the Republic of Ireland, where entry requirements can be much higher than in Europe. Students can experience life in another European country and may study in their chosen area completely through English. There are hundreds of courses all over Europe taught exclusively through English.
While there are exciting opportunities all over Europe, Denmark is of particular interest. There are currently 12 institutions offering courses through English in Denmark. Courses are offered in a range of areas such as business, science, robotics and information technology (IT).
Aarhus University in Denmark is ranked in the top 200 universities in the world, just below Trinity College. They offer courses in business, marketing and global management. These courses cater for students from all over the world who speak English, including Irish and English students. There are no tuition fees for courses through English in Denmark. In addition, every Danish student in higher education is entitled to grant support. This support is related to the duration of the course. Since EU citizens may apply for equal status in educational support, they can receive the same support as a Danish citizen.
Danish student grants can be as much as €750 a month. Students must take a part-time job in order to be eligible for this grant. If an Irish student qualifies for a SUSI grant, the means-tested support from the Irish Government, they may also claim this support for their studies in Europe.
Student accommodation in Denmark ranges from €270 to €350 in most areas, however rent can be as much as €500 in Copenhagen. This all means that choosing to study in Denmark may be financially easier than studying in Ireland.
Entry requirements for these courses tend to be lower than their Irish equivalents. This is because entry is based on the number of passes at Leaving Certificate and not CAO points. Students need to present with at least six subjects and should also achieve at least two higher level C3s and a minimum grade D3 in the others. Ordinary level A and B grades will also be considered.
For more information on studying through English in Europe see www.eunicas.ie.
*Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin.