November 28, 2022

Graduates like Bulgarian Nikolina are a win for Denmark

The Danish state wants to remove 3 900 international study spots for economic reasons. A new study though shows that Denmark profits greatly from international students. Software developer at Systematic Nikolina Chalakova is a shining example of that.

In an article on Ingeniøren’s website, you can read how an analysis of international graduates’ contribution to the Danish economy has renewed the debate about whether we should close more English-speaking study spots in Denmark.

In June 2021, several political parties agreed to minimize the state expenditure on education grants for foreign students. This resulted in 3 900 international study spots having to close.

A study done by Damvad Analytics for the Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, shows that international master’s students after graduation have contributed with 26,8 billion DKK to society in the period from 2007 to 2020. In this calculation, all costs for education, healthcare, education grants and social benefits have been subtracted. On average, each international graduate has contributed DKK2,1m. For those with a master’s in natural science and technical areas, the number is DKK2,4m.
The calculations consider that some return to their countries of origin after graduation.

Furthermore, an analysis from IRIS Group and HBS Economics shows that Denmark in 2030 will be short 13000 people in the areas of engineering, tech, and IT.

The labour shortage plus the societal economic benefit strongly indicate that we should scrap the loft on international students, says IDA’s acting president Aske Nydam Guldberg.


"I like the country, and I have settled here. It's hard to specify, but I really like being here. I didn't come here with the purpose of just being here for a short while, only to return to Bulgaria."


- Nikolina Chalakova, software developer at Systematic

Nikolina heightens our healthcare IT

24-year-old Bulgarian Nikolina Chalakova is one of the international graduates who have chosen to stay and work in Denmark. She is a software developer in Systematic’s Healthcare department.

She has studied ICT engineering at VIA University College and a master’s in computer engineering at Aarhus University. After graduating in February 2022, she landed a full-time job at Systematic, where she also did her internship and later had a student job.

Nikolina is thus one of the highly demanded STEM graduates (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) who now bring their professional skills into play for the benefit of the Danish society.

Read the full article on Ingeniøren’s website (in Danish, behind a payment wall).

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