DKK 6.9 million to examine financial aid to students

The Rockwool Foundation has granted DKK 6.9 million to professor of economics Helena Skyt Nielsen to examine effects of financial aid to students.

Helena Skyt Nielsen
Professor of economics Helena Skyt Nielsen has received a grant of DKK 6.9 million from the Rockwool Foundation. Photo: AU Photo

Denmark provides generous support to its students in the form of grants and student loans. But could it be done better?

Professor of economics Helena Skyt Nielsen now has the opportunity to investigate this. With a grant of DKK 6.9 million from the Rockwool Foundation, her project "Financial aid and social mobility" becomes a reality. The project includes participation from Maria Knoth Humlum, Elena Mattana, and Kristoffer Balle Hvidberg from the Department of Economics. The group is also seeking a future PhD student from the Economics or Public Policy programmes to contribute to the project.

The goal of the project is to provide new and updated empirical evidence on how key aspects of the financial aid system affect student behaviour and, ultimately, academic outcomes and social mobility.

“I am both grateful, humbled, and excited about the support from the Rockwool Foundation for this project. There is extremely limited research on the impact of different forms of student aid in a system as generous as the Danish one. I look forward to exploring the significance of grants, housing subsidies, student employment, and parental support for students together with my excellent colleagues,” says Helena Skyt Nielsen about receiving the grant.

Helena Skyt Nielsen and her colleagues already have an idea that access to affordable housing could be the way forward to ease students' financial burdens. Housing is indeed the largest expense item in students' budgets.

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