Does Denmark have too many academics?
As the school year starts the number of students entering universities, grammar schools and vocational institutes in Denmark has been made public. Politicians must take action to address the imbalance between academic and vocational training, Danish media demand.
We need plumbers as much as we need historians
Greater emphasis should be put on the merits of vocational training, Kristeligt Dagblad stresses in view of the high number of students enrolled at universities at the start of the autumn semester:
“In Grundtvig's [Danish philosopher and pedagogue] homeland of all places, we should remember that light doesn't only shine on the learned. The sun also rises for mechanics and bricklayers. These sectors are suffering from labour shortages. It would be much better to point more young people in this direction so as to counteract the social imbalance, than to go on churning out masters students and leading them to believe that it's more genteel to study art history than to become a plumber. No one is served by academic snootiness, not even the academics who risk going straight on the dole with degrees that are being handed out like flyers. Professional pride must be fostered once again, in everyone's interest.”
Make vocational schools more attractive
Vocational training and schools are suffering the consequences of austerity policy and a lack of political interest, Politiken criticises:
“In these times of cutbacks, schools are certainly not going to invest in interesting programmes to attract more young people. If the government had grasped how serious the situation is, it would have long since come up with an initiative for reforming the educational system. Tenth-grade students could be transferred to vocational school [in Denmark school attendance is mandatory only until ninth grade - tenth grade and beyond are voluntary]. Vocational training and grammar schools could be jointly run. Or a limit could be put on the number of grammar school pupils. Where there's a will, there are many ways.”