Denmark has coined a term for students who do not graduate within a five-year period: eternity students
Denmark is one of the very few countries worldwide that provides free tuition to students pursuing a college education, allowing students relief from the immense expenses and pressure that students around the world deal with.
However, as students are not required to instantly select a major without the financial pressure to graduate as soon as possible, some tend to linger on past the typical five-year period for university education.
The term “eternal student” is unique to Denmark, and defines a student who keeps constantly changing his or her program of choice over the years and never committing to one program to graduate.
Danish students receive approximately $1,000 monthly to go towards living expenses for the duration of their college career.
Daniel Jakobsen, aged 24 and Vice President of a software company, claimed that the financial freedom afforded by a monthly allowance enables students to dismiss concerns about the future as there is no threat of financial insecurity.
A 2015 amendment gave universities the power to “hurry” lingering students to graduate, advocates of the amendment claiming the bill would allow over $200 million in taxes to be added towards the economy.
The amendment has been successful in reducing the number of eternity students, but they still exist
Although the bill was successful in minimizing the trend of staying a student eternally, it has not entirely eradicated them. Danish students even have a term to describe a year spent having fun abroad: taking less than three classes and using the monthly allowance for travel.
Despite his criticisms of eternity students, Jakobsen still praised the idea of free tuition, saying that a student’s desire to succeed in his or her studies is unrelated to whether he or she is paying for tuition.