For current international students

The Danish Education System

The Danish taximeter system, the self-governing concept and the notion of lifelong learning are general, transversal topics of Danish education.

Education for all

Provision of high quality education at all levels is essential to ensure competitiveness in today’s global society. Danish education thus aims to ensure that all young people acquire knowledge and competencies that will qualify them to take active part in – and to contribute to the further development of – our knowledge society.

Other Characteristic Features of the Danish Education System include:

  • High standards: The quality of Danish education is assured in many ways. It is mainly regulated and financed by the State, and all public educational institutions are approved and evaluated on an ongoing basis.
  • Lifelong learning: Lifelong learning is a key principle in Denmark. The idea goes back all the way to the 19th century Danish clergyman and philosopher N.F.S. Grundtvig, who argued that a prerequisite for active participation in a democratic society is education for all citizens on a lifelong basis.
  • Active participation: Treating pupils and students as independent people with a right to form their own opinion and a duty to participate actively in discussions is a matter of course in Danish education.
  • Project work: At all levels of the education system, pupils and students attend classes but they also carry out project work, either on an individual basis or in small groups. Activities that cut across disciplines are also an integrated part of Danish education.

Facts & Figures

  • Population: 5.4 mio (2006).
  • Percentage of a year group moving on from compulsory education to youth education: 94.8% (2003).
  • Percentage of a year group completing a youth education programme: 80.3% (2003).
  • Percentage of a year group continuing into higher education: 52.5% (2003)
  • Percentage of a year group completing a higher education programme: 44.5% (2003).
  • Approximately 58% of those completing a higher education programme are women (2003).
  • Percentage of GDP spent on education (incl. SU grants): 8% (2005).

Higher Education

You can download a brochure about the Danish Higher Education System here

About this page

This page is updated by Stephanie Sørensen April 15, 2015.