Th Danish government has created an incentive program that rewards universities which push students through their degree program rapidly. However, women who take maternity leave now find themselves being punished for caring for their child since they will not be able to get an undergraduate degree in four years or a masters degree in two. Universities which succeed in speeding up the process of graduation are rewarded with extra money. The government never considered the situation of women who take off to have a child when they decided on the program. According to Jens Oddershede, “it is direct discrimination against women. Women take much longer paternity leave then men, so basically it’s an incitement for the universities to recruit more men and create new programs that appeal to men.”
Lost in this dispute is an obvious question: What is the rationale for speeding up the process of learning? Is this based on some theory that quicker is better? Aren’t their reasons why some students should take more time to complete a college degree? Whenever, money is an incentive, one doubts if academic quality is improved.