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Denmark – Education and Schools

Denmark is known for its high-quality education system that emphasizes equality and innovation. In this article, we will explore the education system in Denmark, from compulsory education to higher education.

Quality of Education

Denmark has a well-respected education system that consistently ranks highly in international assessments. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Danish students perform above average in reading, math, and science compared to their peers in other countries.

Compulsory Education

Education is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16 in Denmark. Primary school starts at age 6 and lasts for nine years, after which students can choose to continue their education at a secondary school.

Types of Schools

Primary Schools

Primary schools, also known as folkeskole, are public schools that provide education for students aged 6 to 16. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad education that covers core subjects such as math, Danish, and English, as well as social studies, physical education, and creative arts.

Secondary Schools


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After completing primary school, students can continue their education at a secondary school. There are several types of secondary schools in Denmark, including:

  • Gymnasium: Provides a three-year general academic education that prepares students for higher education. Students can choose from a range of programs, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

  • Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX): Provides a three-year technical education that prepares students for engineering and technical professions.

  • Higher Commercial Examination Programme (HHX): Provides a three-year commercial education that prepares students for business and management professions.

Vocational Schools

There are also vocational schools in Denmark that provide practical training for students who wish to pursue a specific trade or profession. These schools provide education in areas such as mechanics, electronics, and construction.

Curriculum and Qualifications

The Danish education system has a strong focus on interdisciplinary and project-based learning. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively and think critically to solve real-world problems.

In primary and secondary schools, students are assessed through a combination of coursework and exams. At the end of secondary school, students take a final exam that determines their eligibility for higher education.

School Hours and Holidays

School hours in Denmark vary depending on the level of education and the school, but most primary and secondary schools operate from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm. There are also after-school programs available for working parents.

School holidays in Denmark include a summer break from mid-June to late August, a one-week autumn break in October, a two-week Christmas break, a one-week winter break in February, and a one-week Easter break in April.

Enrollment

Enrolling in a Danish school requires proof of residency and a CPR number, which is a unique identification number assigned to all Danish citizens and residents. There is generally not significant competition for enrollment in public schools, but some private schools may have limited availability.

International Schools

There are several international schools in Denmark, offering education in English or other languages. Some of these schools include:

  • International School of Hellerup: Located in Hellerup, just north of Copenhagen, this school offers education from preschool to grade 12 in English. The curriculum follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Website: https://www.ish.dk/

  • Copenhagen International School: Located in Hellerup, this school offers education from preschool to grade 12 in English. The curriculum follows the IB program. Website: https://www.copenhageninternational.school/

  • Rygaards International School: Located in Klampenborg, just north of Copenhagen, this school offers education from preschool to grade 10 in English. The curriculum follows the IB program. Website: https://www.rygaards.com/

  • Aarhus Academy for Global Education: Located in Aarhus, this school offers education from preschool to grade 9 in English. The curriculum follows the IB program. Website: https://aaglobal.org/

  • Sankt Annæ Gymnasium: Located in Copenhagen, this school offers education from grades 10 to 12 in English. The curriculum follows the IB program. Website: https://www.sag.dk/en/

Options for Higher Education in Denmark

Denmark has several universities and colleges offering a variety of degree programs. Some of the top universities in Denmark include:

  • University of Copenhagen: Founded in 1479, this is the oldest and largest university in Denmark, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields. Website: https://www.ku.dk/english/

  • Aarhus University: Founded in 1928, this is the second-largest university in Denmark, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields. Website: https://international.au.dk/

  • Technical University of Denmark: Founded in 1829, this university specializes in engineering and natural sciences, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields related to technology. Website: https://www.dtu.dk/english

  • Copenhagen Business School: Founded in 1917, this university specializes in business and social sciences, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields related to business and economics. Website: https://www.cbs.dk/en

  • Roskilde University: Founded in 1972, this university specializes in interdisciplinary studies, offering undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields related to social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences. Website: https://ruc.dk/en

These universities and colleges offer various programs in English and some also offer programs in Danish. International students are welcome to apply for admission, and there are also scholarship opportunities available for eligible students.


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