I am generally the last person who should advise anybody about parenting but I used to think that it was a good thing that students had children while they were – well, students. Sure, students do not have that much money, but they have a certain degree of flexibility in their lives, and we also know that demographers and doctors yak about Danish women having their children too late in life.
But as a university person, I am now obliged to say to (female) students who announce their pregnancy:
I’m so sorry. As you know, this will delay your studies and we can’t afford this. So on behalf of the Minister of Science and Technology, I must advice you to have an abortion.
Surprising? Well, as part of the drive to turn universities from research and development units into units of production (we don’t educate people in this country – we produce ST?s), the minister has come up with a bonus for each student who finishes his (!) education within the time-norm. And – drum roll – this norm expressively does not allow for parental leave.
It’s not that nobody told the minister or the ministry – they have been made aware of the situation and decided to stick with their original proposal (but then, nobody gets the minister or the ministry to change their minds).
And that means that university lecturers and professors must now do their utmost to prevent female students to get pregnant.
Update: The Red-Green Alliance is on the track. Cf. footnote.