Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Popular searches:

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

New ministry report: 11,000 students have experienced sexism

Illustration of loneliness

(Illustration: Shutterstock)

Students at the Danish higher education institutions have reported multiple cases of physical and verbal sexism in the Ministry for Higher Education and Science’s new report. In 2019, CBS published its first report investigating sexual harassment in the study environment.  

News |   04. Jun 2021

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


Have you been touched, hugged or kissed in a way you did not like? Has your appearance or gender been commented on in a way you found inappropriate? Have you been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation, religion, gender, ethnicity or handicap?

Altogether, 94,000 students from across the Danish higher education institutions have answered questions like the ones above and of them, 11,000 have experienced physical and verbal sexism and unwanted sexual attention while studying.

“The figure is much too high, and it shows me that we have sexism in our higher education institutions and that the issue is too extensive,” says Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, the Minister of Higher Education and Science in a news article published on

The report is the result of a survey initiated by the minister in the wake of the #MeToo wave in the autumn of 2020. In total, 259,568 students received a questionnaire regarding sexism, and 94,000 students answered the survey.

For example, 9% report that their gender or appearance has been commented on in an inappropriate manner. That equals 8,803 of the students. Also, 3% of the students have experienced being touched, hugged or kissed in a way they did not like during the past year.

Overall, women reported experiencing sexism to a larger degree than men. For example, 10% of the female students have experienced verbal sexism, compared to 7% of the men.

At the same time, the report concludes that the sexist actions and comments come from fellow students. However, 18% of the women and 11% of the men have experienced verbal sexism from their teachers.

The figures in the new report are not university specific, but in January 2019, CBS published its first-ever report on sexual harassment in the study environment. A total of 429 out of 22,000 students replied to the survey, which concluded that 41% of the 429 had experienced sexual harassment and 82% did not know where to get help at CBS.

The Minister of Higher Education and Science explains to that she wants to shed light on the issue.

“First of all, I want to talk about it. I believe that you can achieve a great deal by shedding light on it. Moreover, we have to get the figures all the way into the individual study programs so that both students and those responsible for the study environments can decide where they stand,” she says.

The ministry expects the share of students who have experienced some form of sexism is actually probably higher, as only 1/3 of all students completed the questionnaire.

New Learning Environment Investigation

It is not the first time that sexism at Danish higher education institutions has been investigated. In November 2018, Universities Denmark and the National Union of Danish Students issued a report that aimed to map the nature of unwanted sexual behavior at universities.

Altogether, 150,000 students received the survey from the two organizations, and among the 1,194 students who responded, a total of 1,969 incidents of sexual harassment were reported.

The latest Learning Environment Investigation from 2020, which included questions about the physical, social and psychological environment said that approximately 10% to 15% of students state “that they have attended activities that they found transgressive or inappropriate”.

At the same time, the question ‘To what extent have you experienced social activities that overstepped your boundaries or were otherwise inappropriate?’ was rated 1.6/5 (1 is not at all, while 5 is to a very high degree) among bachelor students in 2019 and the figure declined to 1.3 in 2020.

Concerning the psychological environment at CBS, the report concludes:

“Overall, the evaluations show that the psychological environment has challenges. CBS’ data is no worse than that of other universities, but it is worrying that so many students experience stress on a daily basis, that some feel lonely, and that some are still exposed to inappropriate or transgressive behavior”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New ministry report: 11,000 students have experienced sexismby

  • News

    Layoffs break the crucial trust between organisation and employee

    CBS is laying off a number of employees soon, which will affect our university in different ways. When employees are fired without having done anything wrong, it shatters the trust between the organisation and employees, while also taking a toll on productivity, according to a CBS expert. Layoffs also affect the ‘survivors’, who are forced to adapt to a changed workload and the loss of cherished colleagues.

  • News

    Here to help – at the touch of a button and at Campus Desk

    Exam anxiety? Lost student card? I’ve wedged my car between a Fiat 500 and a lamp post, can you help? You never know what you’ll be asked next. But that’s just how the Campus Desk team like it. And if they can’t fix your problem, they’ll know someone who can. CBS WIRE asked the team about the whole range of topics they advice on every day.

  • News

    Why so sudden? The CBS financial crisis explained

    Employees and union representatives have posed many questions in the wake of the 17 August announcement of a firing round. In this interview, University Director Arnold Boon explains how Senior Management has been working with the budget and a change of financial strategy since the fall of 2022, and why layoffs are now necessary.

  • Illustration: Ida Eriksen


    Here’s what you need to know about the master’s reform

    The political parties behind the master’s reform have adjusted their original proposal to shorten or reorganize up to 50 percent of master’s programmes after pressure from CBS and the other Danish universities. Fewer shortened master’s and longer to implement changes are some important revisions to the reform. CBS’ president is pleased that the government and other parties behind the reform have listened to some of the critique given by the universities but raises concern about cutting more study places in bachelor’s programmes.

  • News

    CBS Quiz Time: Unraveling the success story

    A successful university environment such as CBS is often associated with academic pursuits, but campus life extends far beyond the classroom. At CBS Quiz Time, a student society motivated by creative thinking and social engagement, students join in a refreshing range of creativity, excitement, and social interaction. CBS WIRE talked to Celine Møller-Andersen to find out about the society’s vision, strategies and the factors that are driving its rapid expansion.

  • Gif of the week
  • Blog

    Uncertain times: Essential for business schools to understand their market

    The alliance of European business schools met at CBS in June to enhance recruitment strategies, stay informed on industry trends, and analyse where the global economy is heading. The CBS MBA Programmes shares some key take-aways from Associate Dean and Professor Jesper Rangvid’s presentation.

  • News

    Working hard all summer: Bachelor Admissions

    The employees in charge of bachelor admissions at CBS are a small exclusive team. They ensure the validity of diplomas and the fulfilment of entry requirements for bachelor’s degrees at CBS – and, not least, that the applicants get the necessary help to upload the right documentation and find their way around the application procedures.

Follow CBS students studying abroad

CBS WIRE collaborates with

Stay connected