Public broadcaster DR reported Thursday that the number of foreign students on the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (SU) jumped from 546 in January 2013 to 3,945 in January 2015.
The massive increase is seen as a direct result of a July 2013 EU court decision that upheld the right of foreign students in Germany to receive German benefits.
The ruling meant that EU citizens who come to Denmark with the primary intention to study and work a certain number of hours on the side have the right to receive the Danish student benefit.
The benefit pays out a maximum of 5,903 kroner per month before tax. Students’ level of SU support depends on factors such as their parents’ income and whether or not they live at home.
Danish politicians feared that the EU decision would lead to a boom in foreign students coming to Denmark to utilize the generous SU system and the new numbers from the Ministry of Higher Education confirmed those suspicions.
According to the figures, students from Romania and Lithuania have been the biggest benefactors of the EU ruling. In 2014, 998 Romanians and 698 Lithuanians received student support from the state.
In total, DR reported that 5,357 non-Danish students received SU at some point during 2014.
Earlier this year, the Danish Agency for Higher Education found that 517 EU students received SU without qualifying for it. Of those, 389 were made to pay Denmark back for the benefit.