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New pilot scholarship programme


Danida Fellowship Centre (DFC) administers a new pilot scholarship programme, which will ensure that more students from developing countries will be able to take a part of their education in Denmark.

By Lene Mosegaard

In September 2012, Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation, initiated a new scholarship programme in collaboration with Morten Østergaard, Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

The aim is to ensure that talented students from Danida’s priority countries can take a part of their education in Denmark at existing graduate or master’s degree programs taught in English.

20 million DKK have been allocated for the pilot phase which runs from July 2013 to July 2015.

The final goal is a scholarship programme with 50 students annually, but in the two-year pilot phase approximately 30 students will be enrolled.

DFC and Danish Universities (DU) collaborate

The scholarship programme will be anchored in the Danish Universities’ initiative ‘Building Stronger Universities in Developing Countries (BSU)’.

BSU is a partnership between universities in Denmark and selected universities in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Nepal, initiated in 2010.

The advantage of embedding the new scholarship programme in BSU is that the students originate from institutions already known to BSU through their existing cooperation. This helps to ensure that the students have the prerequisites needed to get maximum value out of the stay in Denmark.

The BSU programme focuses on support for institutional capacity building, including PhD educations, a strengthening of research activities and research dissemination, and composing research-based education.

Four research platforms

The BSU initiative covers four research platforms:

1. Environment and Climate

2. Growth and Employment

3. Health

4. Stability, Democracy and Rights.

The scholarship programme complements the BSU programme by providing grants for the four thematic areas.

Danish Universities and DFC have divided the responsibilities.

What the universities will do

Danish Universities will ensure:

• that the scholar programme is limited to master’s degree programs of relevance to the four thematic areas

• that the scholarships will be announced via the partner universities that will also receive applications from students

• that the selection criteria are established between the DU and BSU partners

• the examination of the applications and selection of qualified students

• the quality of the offered training and facilitation of the integration of the students in the Danish educational environment

• that the working group of DU is also the steering committee for the scholarship programme.

What DFC will do

DFC will ensure:

• the administration of the scholarship programme, including payment of per diem/allowance, travel, residence permits, accommodation, and payment of tuition fees to the universities

• in cooperation with DU, the arrangement of an introductory course for the students with a duration of approximately two weeks, during which students are prepared academically, culturally and socially to a study at a Danish university.

You will find more information about the different masters programs and the application procedures here:

Platform on Stability, Democracy & Rights

Platform on Environment & Climate (Growth & Employment)

Platform on Human Health

For further information please contact:

Lene C. Mosegaard/Programme and Communications Coordinator


What the minister says

Following are excerpts from newspaper interviews with the Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach.

“Many students do not get the education they dream of. Some of these students we can offer to come to Denmark, so that they after their studies can return home and help build up their own community “, says Christian Friis Bach, who believes that it, among other things, should be done with educations in agriculture, water, and energy.

“These are areas we are good at in Denmark, and the poor countries have a great need to create solutions in these areas”, says the Minister, who expects that the scholarships will also be beneficial for Denmark, as Danish students and companies can get a network in the developing countries.

“The Danish students will also get a global network by sitting next to students from developing countries in the class rooms. The network they developed will be beneficial for Danish companies. Many of these countries have big growth rates. This applies, for example, for Ghana, where the growth rate is 15 per cent”, said Christian Friis Bach to the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, September 3rd, 2012.

“It is no coincidence that countries like the UK, the US and Germany have a significant focus on scholarships. Through their scholarship programs they get access to talented students from all over the world which means that contacts to companies can be developed ant that contributes to new innovation and access to new markets. The students return home and obtain top positions in ministries or businesses. This contributes to mutual understanding, new contacts, and global influence”.

(Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, September 3rd, 2012 by Christian Friis Bach).

Translation by DFC

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