Policies and Feelings: International University Students' Sense of Belonging in Denmark

Josefine Ørsted Christensen, Maria Pilar M. B. N. Da Silva & Sophie Ann Plumeridge

Studenteropgave: Basisprojekt


With the increasing student mobility and relevance of higher education in a new ‘knowledge
society’, the movement of students around Europe for higher education is a key issue in a
capitalist society, especially considering the need to integrate these increasing numbers of
people into foreign cultures and societies. However, a key issue which is often overlooked is
the international university student’s sense of belonging, which is not as highly prioritised as
compared to more economic forms of integration. This research project aims to answer the
question of how international students perceive their sense of belonging and daily level of
integration in relation to the government policies that push for more integration while
simultaneously encouraging the reduction of internationally taught university courses. This
qualitative study was split into two key elements to help address the main concerns of the
research questions. One of these elements was to analyse the international student policies in
more detail, to access the discourse surrounding international students in Danish. The latter
section consists of semi-structured interviews with international university students, to
explore their feelings of belonging and inclusion in a foreign environment. This study
concludes that the policies’ discourse surrounding students is that the most important factor
in their integration into society is their contribution to the Danish labour market, while
interviews suggest that this is a single- and less important factor- in the greater understanding
of integration. The actual international students suggest that social factors, like language and
integration into the culture, are more significant when it comes to their sense of belonging.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato27 maj 2019
Antal sider46
VejledereEric Komlavi Hahonou