3 Reasons You Should Be Worried About Fremdriftsreformen
You must have heard something about the new study reform currently being implemented in Denmark. Regardless of how much you know, you must have noticed that a lot of students seem very frustrated about the whole thing. Why is that? The new reform contains several aspects, but in short, it aims at getting students at Danish universities to complete their degrees more quickly and smoothly.
For instance, until now a student could spend a total of five years completing their graduate degree at CBS. However, with the new reform a maximum of three years can now be spent finishing a two-year undergraduate program.
What are the main parts in this reform? How is it going to affect you as a student? The reform is, as it tends to be with politics, somewhat complicated. In the following paragraph we have attempted to make a simplified overview by highlighting three aspects from the reform. But keep in mind, some of these aspects may require more research if you want to know all details connected to what you are studying.
1. Taking supplementary courses between your Bachelor’s and your Master’s degree programme is NOT a possibility anymore.
From 1 September 2014, Danish universities are no longer allowed to include supplementary courses completed by a student when looking at this student’s application for a graduate program.
This is a big deal, as this can result in a lot of students only being able to choose their “natural” graduate program because their undergraduate program may only meet the requirements of a limited number of other graduate programmes or maybe no other programmes at all at CBS.
Previously, if you decided to take a step in a different direction and choose something else than your “natural” graduate program, supplementary courses was your way in. But those days are over. A third of the 3,500 Danish students accepted at graduate programmes at CBS every year, have until now gotten their Bachelor at another Danish university – with the new reform, a third of these coming from other universities won’t have a Bachelor which meets the admission requirements at CBS and won’t really be able to do much anything about it. Of course this is also the case for students who have gotten their Bachelors from CBS and who now wants to study their Master at another Danish university.
Don’t be like this guy! (source: sharingpostgrad.tumblr.com)
Is there really nothing you can do, if you don’t have the right courses at your current Bachelor to get into the Master of your dreams? With the reform, you can’t take supplementary courses after your Bachelor, but you still have the chance to take courses during your Bachelor, for instance, summer school courses.
As you see, because of the reform you now have to know in advance what you are going to study after your Bachelor. If you know in advance, you can choose appropriate electives at your fifth semester, which can help fulfill the requirements for the graduate program you want. Figuring out too late that you don’t want to study the graduate programme naturally related to your undergraduate programme may result in you having to start over by entering a new Bachelor’s programme, something which some students are already being “forced” to do at the moment.
Does this really make things run smoother as the politicians wanted? Was that a loaded question?
*UPDATE* : Since this article was published, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science has decided that the rules for supplementary courses will not take effect until after the admission in the summer 2016. As an applicant to a graduate programme in 2015 or in the summer 2016 all courses done at bachelor level will be included when CBS assesses whether or not you fulfil the specific entry requirements for the graduate programme you apply for – no matter if the courses have been done as a part of your bachelor degree or not. This means that it is again possible to do supplementary courses besides your bachelor degree in order to fulfil the specific entry requirements for a graduate programme. It also means that in most cases supplementary courses will be free of charge. (Source: Copenhagen Business School)
2. You now MUST to sign up for a full academic year if you wish to continue your studies.
The reform also focuses on wanting students to study full time. From September 2015 this means that you will be signed up for 60 ECTS points per academic year. The registration is compulsory and is meant to ensure active enrollment. These ECTS points belong to that particular academic year.
You will automatically be signed up for the ordinary exam and the retake (if you do not pass the ordinary exam, fail to show up, or fall ill). As such, you will have used two attempts if you do not show up for either the ordinary exam or the retake. That the registration is compulsory means that you cannot withdraw registration from an exam without having a special grant for exemption. Whether a reason is significant is decided entirely by CBS.
So in short: It is now mandatory to take the re-exam the same year if you fail an exam, and if you, sadly, are in the unfortunate situation that you have to re-do a whole course, you will automatically already have used 2 exam attempts.
3. Credit transfer from previous educations are now compulsory.
If you are starting a new bachelor or master programme in 2014 (or later) you now have to apply for a credit transfer for all courses previously passed on the same educational level. If you are switching from one programme to another in 2014 (or later) you also have to apply for a credit transfer for the courses you have taken in the programme you are switching from. You also have to apply for credit transfers for all other unfinished programmes you might have. The study board will then decide if you are eligible for a credit transfer.
It’s important that you notice that you cannot choose NOT to apply for a final credit transfer. Previously, if you had taken a course and wasn’t really satisfied with your grade, you had the chance to redo the course if it was in the programme you were switching to – this is not possible anymore as you are now forced to transfer the credits you have gotten for the course previously taken.
In short: Less options, less flexibility, less freedom.
Do you want to know more? Swing by e-campus here. You will then find a page divided in sections related to your year of enrollment and whether you are studying a graduate or undergraduate programme. If you have credits which you need transferred from previous programmes and you feel confused, I highly advice you to seek some student guidance services.
You could also go to the info-event hosted by CBS Students November 10th – you can find the Facebook event here.
Do you feel a little mad or frustrated after having read this? You’re not the only one.
- a CBS student has started a petition to change the reform, take a look here