Universities and evening schools agree that Arabic is becoming a popular foreign language in Denmark, daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported on Monday. Arabic is overtaking other foreign languages in popularity at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), where 81 students were expected to begin studies in Arabic in the autumn, compared to only 16 students in 1999. Other foreign language programmes at the university reported falling application numbers. 'The media focus more on the Middle East and the Arab world because of conflicts and the 11 September 2001 terror attack,' said Gunna Funder Hansen, who teaches Arabic at SDU. Studieskolen, a language school in Copenhagen, also reported an increase in student enrolment. An increased media focus on Arabic speakers in Denmark had an influence on more Danes wanting to learn the language, said consultant Christoph Schepers. 'Those attending the class are business people, teachers that work in kindergartens with a lot of bilingual children, and police officers who use Arabic in their work in various ways. But they come as private people, because they have an interest in learning the language,' said Schepers.