Legal changes in access to unemployment benefit for PhD students – University of Copenhagen

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20 September 2017

Legal changes in access to unemployment benefit for PhD students

The rules concerning unemployment benefits for PhD students changed on 1 July 2017. Whereas PhD students used to be able to enroll as part-time students and receive unemployment benefit at the end of their PhD employment, the Amendment to the Act on unemployment insurance of December 2016 put a stop to this. The new situation is explained in this letter from the Danish Agency for Institutions and Educational Grants (in Danish only).

PhD students without employment now have the following options:

1) To exmatriculate to apply for unemployment benefit

You may choose to exmatriculate from the Graduate School and apply for unemployment benefit.

If this option is chosen, you may complete your PhD in your spare time and submit your thesis for assessment under the PhD Order, Section 15 (2). Former students, who fulfil certain conditions, may be exempt from the fees normally paid under this scheme. In order to be approved for submission under section 15(2), you must meet all of the requirements that apply to enrolled PhD students (e.g. PhD courses corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS credits, change of research environment, dissemination activities, etc.). For more information about submission under section 15 (2), see the Graduate School website.

If you still need supervision, insurance (essential e.g. in labs), access to UCPH IT systems, office and laboratory facilities, free PhD courses, please contact your department for further information. In matters relating to insurance protection, contact Center for Human Resources.

2) To remain enrolled and not receive unemployment benefit

If this option is chosen, you will retain your enrolment in the PhD programme and complete your thesis within normal working hours, either without funding or with alternative funding. Students who choose this option retain their rights as PhD students, but will have status of non-employed. 

Further information

For queries relating to your options in this regard, please contact the Graduate School. For queries relating to unemployment benefit, please contact your unemployment insurance fund (A-kasse).