Danes reshufle research

May 1, 1998

RESPONSIBILITY for Danish university research funding is transferring from the ministry of education in a shakeup following March's general elections.

Research will in future be handled by the ministry of research, which also covers information technology and telecommunications. The research ministry's budget will increase from DKr2 billion (Pounds 172 million) to DKr7 billion in 1998, to strengthen research to meet government visions for Denmark as a pioneer country in 2005.

The ministry of education will buy university educational expertise from the ministry of research.

The minister of research is Jan Trojborg, the 42-year-old Social Democratic minister for commerce in the previous government. He replaces Jytte Hilden, also a Social Democrat.

Margrethe Vestager, former national chairman of the Social Liberals, has been named minister of education, replacing Ole Vig Jensen, also a Social Liberal, who was not re-elected. Ms Vestager is the editor of the Social Liberals' party newspaper, a young mother - and the second youngest minister ever in Denmark.

Among the tasks facing the education minister is a complete reform of the education system, to give greater coherence and better quality. Reading, writing, languages and mathematics need boosting, the sixth-form colleges need modernisation and reforms to attract pupils towards natural sciences, technical and vocational training, and the universities must become more attractive to women students and researchers.

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