Denmark:Higher Education

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Overview Denmark

Contents

Denmark:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Denmark:Historical Development

Denmark:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Denmark:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Denmark:Political and Economic Situation

Denmark:Organisation and Governance

Denmark:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Denmark:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Denmark:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Denmark:Organisation of Private Education

Denmark:National Qualifications Framework

Denmark:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Denmark:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Denmark:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Denmark:Funding in Education

Denmark:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Denmark:Higher Education Funding

Denmark:Adult Education and Training Funding

Denmark:Early Childhood Education and Care

Denmark:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Denmark:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Denmark:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Denmark:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Denmark:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Denmark:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Denmark:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Denmark:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Denmark:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Denmark:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Denmark:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Denmark:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Denmark:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Denmark:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Denmark:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Denmark:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Denmark:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Denmark:Higher Education

Denmark:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Denmark:First Cycle Programmes

Denmark:Bachelor

Denmark:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Denmark:Second Cycle Programmes

Denmark:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Denmark:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Denmark:Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Distribution of Responsibilities

Denmark:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Denmark:Main Providers

Denmark:Main Types of Provision

Denmark:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Denmark:Teachers and Education Staff

Denmark:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Denmark:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Denmark:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Denmark:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Management and Other Education Staff

Denmark:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Denmark:Management Staff for Higher Education

Denmark:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Denmark:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Quality Assurance

Denmark:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Denmark:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Educational Support and Guidance

Denmark:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Denmark:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Denmark:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Denmark:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Denmark:Mobility and Internationalisation

Denmark:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Mobility in Higher Education

Denmark:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Denmark:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Denmark:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Denmark:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Denmark:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Denmark:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Denmark:National Reforms in School Education

Denmark:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Denmark:National Reforms in Higher Education

Denmark:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Denmark:European Perspective

Denmark:Legislation

Denmark:Glossary

Higher education in Denmark is offered at three levels: Short-cycle higher education, medium-cycle higher education and long-cycle higher education. The responsibility for higher education is divided between three ministries; the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the Danish Ministry of Culture (medium and long cycle education within the area of arts) and the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Higher Education and Science is responsible for both short-cycle, medium-cycle and long-cycle programmes. The short-cycle and medium-cycle programmes are the academy profession programmes taking place at the Academies of Professional Higher Education (Erhvervsakademier) and the professional bachelor programmes taking place at the University Colleges (Professionshøjskoler). The long-cycle programmes such as the bachelor, master and PhD programmes take place at the universities.

A number of university level institutions are regulated by the Danish Ministry of Culture and offer first, second and third cycle degree programmes in subject fields such as design, music and fine and performing arts. The bachelor, master and PhD programmes at these institutions are awarded after 180, 120 and 180 ECTS, respectively. A higher education degree within theatre or filmmaking is awarded after four years of study (240 ECTS). Music Academies offer a specialist degree of 2-4 years following the master's degree.

The academic year is normally divided in two semesters: The first starting in August/September with exams in December/January and the second starting in January/February with exams in May/June. Some programmes are divided into four shorter terms.

In 1479, King Christian I received the Pope’s permission to establish the University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet). And for nearly 400 years it was the only higher education institution in Denmark, but during the 19th century, a number of specialised institutions were established. These include the Technical University of Denmark (Danmarks Tekniske Universitet), the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (Den Kgl. Veterinær- og Landbohøjskole) and the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Danmarks Farmaceutiske Universitet). In the 20th century, eight new universities were added; the University of Aarhus (Aarhus Universitet), University of Southern Denmark (Syddansk Universitet), Roskilde University (Roskilde Universitetscenter), Aalborg University (Aalborg Universitet), Copenhagen Business School (Handelshøjskolen i København), Aarhus School of Business (Handelshøjskolen i Århus), the Danish University of Education (Danmarks Pædagogiske Universitet) and The IT University of Copenhagen (IT-Universitetet i København).

During 2006, a process to reduce the number of universities was started. The reason for this process was to strengthen research, education and innovation in Denmark. This has resulted in a new map of Danish universities and research institutions in 2007. Today, long-cycle higher education is concentrated at eight universities, among these three major universities where approximately 2/3 of all university activity is concentrated. The three major universities are the University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and the Technical University. The last five universities are the University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University, Roskilde University, Copenhagen Business School and the IT University of Copenhagen.

In April 2006, the former Danish government launched a new "Strategy for Denmark in the Global Economy". The strategy contains 350 specific initiatives directed towards improving education, research and entrepreneurship and the overall conditions for growth and innovation in the society. The main objectives on the educational front are that all young people should complete a general or vocational upper secondary education program, that at least 50 % of all young people should complete a higher education program and that education and training programmes should be top quality at all levels. In the Finance Act of 2009, DKK 1,722 million was allocated to ensure that 50% of a year group is to complete an education at tertiary level (this amount is also intended to ensure that 95% completes a post-compulsory upper seconday education).
Among the key initiatives in the university sector was:

  • The basic funds of universities should be distributed according to results
  • At least 50 percent of the public research funds should be subject to open competition
  • Government research institutions should be integrated in universities
  • All university programmes should be evaluated according to international standards. A new independent accreditation body has established for that purpose
  • Systematic dialogue with employers
  • The number of PhD scholarships should be doubled
  • Special Master’s programmes for outstanding students
  • There should be a global perspective in all educations

Legislative initiatives have already been taken on several on the above initiatives.

The former government reached the policy aim of allocating 1% of GDP to research and innovation from 2010-2012. In February 2010, the former government launched a new strategy: "Denmark 2020. Knowledge, growth, prosperity and welfare". The government listed 10 goals, which are to be met before 2020, and one of the goals is to have at least one Danish university in top 10 of European universities. Also, all Danish universities have to maintain or improve their international ranking measured in the most relevant and recognised comparisons.
Alongside the goal of having a Danish university in top 10 in Europe, the former government also wanted to improve the Danish university sector by making strong educational offers which match the needs of the society, maintain the high ambitions for research and innovation as well as maintaining and improving the work with the internationalisation of the Danish universities. In 2010, the establishment of a Danish university centre in Beijing began.

References

Retsinformation, 2011. Lov om erhvervsakademiuddannelser og professionsbacheloruddannelser [Act on academy profession programmes and professional bachelor programmes]. [Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=116203 [Accessed 29 November 2011].

Retsinformation, 2011. Bekendtgørelse om bachelor- og kandidatuddannelser ved universiteterne [Order on bachelor and master programmes at the universities]. [Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=132698 [Accessed 29 November 2011].

Retsinformation, 2011. Lov om ændring af lov om videregående kunstneriske uddannelsesinstitutioner under Kulturministeriet [Act on changing of act on higher education art educational institutions under the Ministry of Culture]. [Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/Forms/R0710.aspx?id=128962 [Accessed 29 November 2011].

Danish Ministry of Culture, 2011. Uddannelse [Education]. [Online] Available at: http://kum.dk/Kulturpolitik/Uddannelser/ [Accessed 29 November 2011].