Study and find schools in Denmark

Denmark, officially known as the Kingdom of Denmark, is a large country in Northern Europe, with a total land area of 1.3 million square miles.  The southernmost of the Nordic countries, Denmark is situated to the south of Norway, to the north of Germany and to the southwest of Sweden.  The country also consists of a large peninsula called Jutland, major islands that include Greenland Funen, Falster, Zealand and Lolland, and hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.  Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial, and while the country is not located within the Euro zone, it is a member of the European Union and a founding member of NATO.  The country’s capital and by far its largest city is Copenhagen.
According to the latest available census data, Denmark has a population of approximately 5.5 million.  Statistics show that an overwhelming percentage of the population (90 percent) is made up of those of native Danish heritage, and the remaining 10 percent comprised of immigrants, primarily from neighboring countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, and countries in South Asia and West Asia.  Many of these immigrants have arrived since the “Alien Law” was enacted in 1983—an act that allows family members of immigrants already living in the country to enter Denmark freely.  Danish is the official language of Denmark—the most widely spoken language and used for all official matters of the state.  English and German are the most oft heard foreign languages in the country.  According to the Constitution of Denmark, the Lutheran religion, or more specifically the Church of Denmark, is the official state religion, and is practiced by over 80 percent of the population.  Minority religions include Roman Catholicism and Christian Evangelical.
Education in Denmark
Education in Denmark is the responsibility of the national government and is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16.  The system is divided between three distinct levels:  primary school, secondary school and higher education.
Primary school in Denmark, also called “den Danske Folkeskole,” spans 10 years and is the only free and compulsory level.  Den Danske Folkeskole, which translates to Danish Public School, runs from kindergarten through 10th grade, although the final year is optional.  Education is provided at both the public and private level, and the curriculum is designed to offer students a well-rounded educational experience in subjects such as language, history, geography, science, mathematics, computers, art, music, health and physical education.  Statistics show that over 99 percent of Danish children attend primary school, and although not mandatory, 87 percent of students go on to pursue education at the secondary level.
Secondary education in Denmark is carried out both gymnasiums and vocational schools.  Gymnasiums are schools that offer 2-3 year academic programs, in many of the same areas listed above, albeit more advanced.  Students who wish to pursue higher education opportunities in the country must first earn a diploma from one of these college preparatory institutions.  Vocational schools tend to cater to the more career-minded student and offer instruction and training in a number of important occupational fields, allowing young students to earn entry level certification in a job of their choosing.
Higher education in Denmark is carried out at one of the many public and private universities in the country.  As a member of the European Union, Denmark has recently switched to a standardized credit and degree structure—a three-tier structure with academic programs leading to a three-year (120 credits per year) Bachelor Degree, a two-year Master’s Degree, and an additional 3-6 years for a Doctorate level degree.
The educational system in Denmark is ranked 24th overall in the world, and the adult literacy rate in the country is 99 percent.

Language Courses in Denmark

Danish is the national and the official language of Denmark and is spoken by more than six million Danes around the world. In addition to Danish, other languages like German, Farose and Greenlandic are also spoken by a minority of people in Denmark. However, for most Danes, English is their second language of communication and unlike the French, Danes are quite happy to communicate in English with foreigners. In fact, they feel pleasantly surprised, when some outsider speaks to them in Danish language.
Though learning Danish is not very easy, as it has some difficult pronunciations, Denmark has a number of Language Schools offering Danish language learning courses. Also, for people with good English language skills, learning Danish is comparatively easier, since the grammar of both languages is very similar.
Most Language Immersion Programs, including Danish studies, have their origins in the French Immersion courses of Canada of the 1960s. Language Immersion in Denmark is the method of teaching Danish by making it the medium of instruction for other courses in a program. A Danish language immersion course is much more demanding as compared to a traditional Danish learning course, since it requires the participants to study various other courses in Danish, also interact with each other in Danish.
There are three main Danish Language Immersion Courses offered by Language schools in Denmark; Total Immersion, Partial immersion and Dual Immersion Programs.
Total Immersion Programs in Denmark
In a total immersion program in Denmark, most of the class time is spent in learning various subjects in Danish. The goal of a total immersion course is to make the participant functionally proficient in Danish. A total immersion course can be taken at two levels – short term course and a full term course. Danish studies in these courses can be pursued even during vacations and are cleared upon the successful completion of a final examination.
Partial Immersion Programs in Denmark
Partial immersion method requires learning in Danish only half the time of the course duration, and it is more concerned with acquiring a basic working knowledge of Danish language and culture. The duration and types of courses remain the same as total immersion program.
Dual Immersion
Dual immersion programs in Denmark, also known as two-way immersion programs, require participation of speakers of both languages and aims at making participants bilingual and proficient in both languages. It is necessary to have both, native and non-native participants, for the success of such a program, and hence such courses are comparatively fewer in number.
All of these courses are available from beginners’ level to advanced level and are delivered through various delivery modes like day courses, residential courses and distance learning mode.
Moreover, every year, thousands of students from across the world come to Denmark and enrol in the Danish language schools, not only to learn Danish but also to have a whiff of the Danish culture, history, customs and the way of life. Every summer, a lot of language institutes offer intensive courses, imbibing various language learning methods, for different levels of workshops, lectures and tours.

Career Colleges and Vocational Schools in Denmark

The principal aim of the Danish vocational education and training programs is to equip youth with the adequate skills-set necessary to increase their employability quotient, as well as to map the supply of skilled labor with needs of the labor market.  Not only do these professional programs provide an opportunity for further education, they also give participants valuable exposure in innovation and a taste of globalization.

Vocational schools or the “erhvervsskoler” are by and large, state funded; and operate as either technical schools (tekniske skoler) or business colleges (handelsskoler).  The teaching methodology at these professional institutes is a unique combination of academics and apprenticeship or ‘on-the-job training’; it is intensive as well as focused at developing the required technical skills in students.  

Students pursuing vocational training in Denmark can choose from the following broad streams: 1) Building, 2) Crafts and technique, 3) From earth to table (hotel, cooking, foods, and agriculture), 4) Mechanics, transport and logistics, 5) Commercial area (trade, office, and finance), 6) Service, 7) Technology and communication, and 8) Vocational elementary course.

Moreover, for candidates interested in working at social and health institutions such as nursing homes, the Basic Social and Health Education (Social- og Sundhedsuddannelse or SoSu) is also available.  

The duration of these vocational training courses in Denmark is between two to five years post completion of The "Folkeskole", the free public or private school system, that comprehensively caters to the seven to 16 or 17 year olds through two stages of grade based education. A remarkable feature of the Danish education system is that, post completion of Folkeskole, an astonishing 82 percentage of students continue with further higher education in one form or the other.

 The basic difference between the traditional academic secondary education and the vocational secondary education in Denmark is the latter’s emphasis on being job ready. Nevertheless, there are opportunities to continue further education post completion of vocational education through a number of courses offered at various universities.

At a vocational school or a career college in Denmark, although the theoretical teaching primarily occurs at the institute, the practical aspects of training are arranged both in the college as well as the place of apprenticeship. Moreover, the vocational colleges are well equipped to organize teaching in a holistic manner. 
During the course of his/her education at a vocational school in Denmark, a student typically spends approximately 30-50 percent of the time at college, while the remaining 50-70 percent is spent at the place of work. Most students commence their vocational education with a basic program at a college, post the completion of their basic school education; however, individuals with prior work experience can also pursue such courses.

In Denmark, there are approximately 117 institutions offering basic vocationally oriented education programs. 97 of these are technical colleges, career colleges, agricultural colleges or combination colleges. Additionally, 20 colleges offer social and health care training programs. About 56,500 students commence a full-time vocational education every year, whereas the total number of students in vocational education and training programs is approximately 130,000 at any given time.
As a result of the Danish education system, which offers all Danish citizens equal access to education and educational support, regardless of their social or financial situation, Denmark ranks among the world’s highest in terms of income equality.

List of career colleges and vocational schools in Denmark

DNS - The Necessary Teacher Training College

Ulfborg, Denmark
DNS stands for “Necessary Teacher Training College” which was established in 1972. The name represents the aim of the institute located in Tvind, Ulfborg, Denmark which is to provide quality education to under privileged areas as it is necessary to foster a healthy society. DNS is an international school catering students from all over Europe. English is the medium of instruction but Danish and other languages are taught as well. The teacher novice lives within the proximity of the school. The teaching focus is on one subject at a time. The routine at DNS is very unique as there are... See full description.

International People's College

Helsingør, Denmark
The International People´s College is an international school in Denmark, founded in 1921. Since it first opened its doors, the college has been aiming to bring together students and teachers from all over the world – enhancing and promoting the vision for international and intercultural understanding. The International People´s College offers two "Long Courses" – a Spring Term of 24 weeks and an Autumn Term of 18 weeks. An average of 60 -70 students from more than 30 different countries enroll on these. Subject areas offered include global perspectives, regional perspectives,... See full description.

Primary and Secondary Schools in Denmark

Primary education in Denmark, similar to most places in the world, forms the first stage of compulsory education. It is considered instrumental for developing basic literacy and numeracy amongst students, as well as for laying the foundation for science, mathematics, geography, history and other social sciences. In Denmark, primary education is compulsory for everyone between the ages of seven and 16.

Danish primary and lower secondary education are based on the Danish Education Act and include nine years of mandatory primary schooling. However, kindergarten, which is for children between the ages of five to seven years, is optional.
Primary and lower secondary schooling in Denmark includes three types of schools, namely public schools, private Schools and international schools.

The "Folkeskole" is a free, public school system as well as individual Danish Municipal Primary and Lower Secondary Schools, governed by the Folkeskole Act.  These schools comprehensively teach seven to 17 year old students in two stages of grade based education.  The first stage includes grades 1 to 6 and second includes grades 7 to 9.  The 10th grade is optional for the age group of 15 – 18 years.

Approximately 595,573 students study in these public schools with an average strength of about 20 students per class.  The teacher/student ratio is usually around 1:11.

In addition, approximately 91,000 students attend private schools, which are recognized and financially supported by the government. In principle these private schools are smaller as compared to public schools.

International schools are for children with foreign parents living in Denmark on a temporary basis. International schools typically impart education in languages other than Danish.

The coursework in primary and lower secondary schools in Denmark comprises three compulsory subject areas: 1) Subjects in the humanities, 2) Practical/Creative Subjects & 3) Science Subjects.  Apart from these disciplines, education on topics like road safety, health and sex education, family studies, and educational, vocational and labor market orientation are also mandatory in the curriculum of primary schools.

Post 9th grade, students have to take the Folkeskole final examinations. These examinations are compulsory and are a parameter for assessing a student’s academic prowess. After the completion of 10th Grade, candidates again have an opportunity to sit for an examination in the prescribed subjects. Moreover, candidates can also choose a combination of 9th and 10th form level examinations. All these examinations are assessed by a 7-point grading scale.

Upper secondary education is not compulsory in Denmark and is for students in the age group of 16 – 19 years. It is primarily structured into four divergent education programs, namely: The Gymnasium (stx), The Higher Prepatory Examination (hf), The Higher Technical Examination Programme (htx) and The Higher Commercial Examination Programme (hhx).

STX, HHX, and HTX are three year programs with an eligibility criterion of successfully completing 9th grade, or in other words completion of nine years of basic schooling. While HF is a two year course and is open only for candidates with 10 years of basic schooling.

Apart from these, there are Basic Vocational Education and Training (egu), Vocational Education and Training (vet), Production Schools and the International Upper Schools, which also form part of the upper secondary education in Denmark.

Cities to study in Denmark

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