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Can Trump affect the number of 1. priority applications for bachelor programs? Maybe…

Can Trump explain the decreases in the number of 1.priority applications to the BSc in International Business Asia? (Photo: Anne M. Lykkegaard)

The BSc in International Business in Asia has received 76 percent more first priority applications compared to last year. President Donald Trump, the fact that the degree is taken at two universities, and better promotion might have something to do with it, explains Verner Worm, member of the study board. Also, read why it is not necessarily a bad thing when the number of 1. Priority applicants decreases.

News |   27. Aug 2018

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


Living in Denmark can seem like a safe distance to the most powerful man in the world, President Donald Trump and his political escapades. But then not quite.

This year 116 applicants had the BSc in International Business in Asia at CBS as their first priority study program. That amounts to a rise of 76 percent compared to last year. Maybe you are thinking: right, but what has Trump got to do with that?

Well, apparently, it does, says Verner Worm, Associate Professor at the Department of International Economics, Government and Business and member of the study board of the bachelor program.

“It is just a guess, but Trump closing the U.S. towards the rest of the world gives China a more central role to play. When you look to Africa or South America, then China is the one that is dominating, not the U.S.,” he says and continues:

“It may be that China has a bad reputation in the media, but economically and in relation to finding a job, China is interesting. These can be contributing factors to the rise in first priority applicants.”

Last year, the bachelor program received 66 first Priority applications for the 65 study places, and had a total number of 147 applicants all together. This year, the bachelor program has an increased the capacity to 70 study places and has received 234 applications in total.

Verner Worm also suggest that the rise in the figures can be explained by the fact that the bachelor program has been changed so that the new students attend classes at two universities.

“From the 1st of September, all language classes are taught at the University of Copenhagen. This means that the students will complete their Chinese language courses there, combined with the possibility of doing a semester in China as well. That might have sparked an interest among the applicants,” he says.

However, the main explanation for the rise might be found in the promotional work of the program during the spring.

“CBS has been of great help, in terms of promoting the program to possible students. The same goes for the current IBA students, who have been engaged in spreading the word about the program at different event. So, we have too done more to attract the students,” says Verner Worm.

As long as we get the right students

One year ago, CBS launched the BSc in European Business and they received 321 first priority applications for 120 study places. In 2018, the number of applications had dropped to 175, the equivalent of a 45 percent decrease.

According to the Dean’s Office of Education, it is common that a new education receives a lot of applications the first year and a good deal less the second year. So the drop of applications did not come as surprise to Stine Haakonsson, deputy program director of the program, and it is not a bad thing, as long as all of the study places are occupied before the semester start.

If we were in a situation where it is difficult to fill all of the study places, then I would be worried.

Stine Haakonsson, deputy program director

“We had a lot of applicants last year, as the program was new and no one knew what the entry GPA would be. This opened up a possibility for students with lower GPAs to get a spot at CBS,” she says and continues:

“This year, it has been slightly different. The entry requirement was known to be around 10, it resulted in a reduced number of applicants. But as long as we get the right students and can easily fill all the study places, I don’t have to worry about the decrease in the number of first priority applicants,” she says.

She goes on to point out that, since the entry requirement has gone up by one grade, it makes the pool of students applying better – when judging by their GPAs. However, if the figures would change drastically, then Stine Haakonsson might start to get worried.

“If we were in a situation where it is difficult to fill all of the study places, then I would be worried. Because this would mean we have created a study program, which the students aren’t interested in. However, this is not the case for HA in European Business,” she says.


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