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Removing the right to enroll in a master programme (Denmark)

In Denmark, all students who complete a bachelor degree are guaranteed a place in a corresponding master programme if they apply immidiately after completing their bachelor. However this right has come under attack recently, with proposals to remove it entirely and making masters degrees only available to a select few students. This is linked with a desire to create a labour market for bachelors, something that is at the moment non-existent in Denmark.

Removing the right to take a master degree will mean that many students are prevented from finishing the education that they want, thus both damaging the lifelong possibilites of those students and also leading to a less educated population on the whole. Additionally, the admission and selection systems will lead to more unhealthy competition between students, and like all other admission systems favour people from advantaged backgrounds and thus damage the social dimension of education.

The 3+2 model of bachelors and masters was implemented in Denmark as part of the Bologna proces. That model is now being used directly as an argument for removing the right to take a masters degree, stating that a bachelor should be a finished education in itself, and not necessarily linked to a master. Structures from the Bologna proces are thus being misused as arguments for preventing access to education.

The right to enroll in a masters programme should instead be extended to five years after completion of a bachelor, thus giving students the flexibility to decide for themselves if they want to continue directly with their education or take a break to apply their knowledge on the labour market or otherwise become more certain about the focus they want for their masters.