Denmark

1. Higher Education in Denmark

1.1 Danish higher education system

There are eight universities, 10 university colleges and 9 Academies of Professional Higher Education in Denmark. All three types of higher education institution teach some courses in English although the range is limited.

The Danish higher education system focuses on finding solutions to global problems so courses involve traditional lectures, industry collaborations and innovative teaching methods to encourage students to think outside the box. Typically the reputation of Danish higher education is highest in fields such as engineering, life sciences and environmental studies although there is excellence in every sector.

The Danish higher education system is quite different from the British system in that it offers two distinct undergraduate qualifications.

Universities teach three-year Bachelors degrees in line with the European norm. Academies of Professional Higher Education and University Colleges typically teach 2-year Academy Profession (AP) programmes. Most of these can then be topped up to full bachelor status by further study. The total duration of these bachelor degrees is between 3 and 4.5 years. These are Professional Bachelors degrees and they differentiate themselves from three-year bachelors in that they always include work experience in order to combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience.

Most bachelor programmes of both kinds give access to postgraduate education.

The Danish University Colleges are quite different from institutions with the same status elsewhere. They perform a similar function to Universities of Applied Sciences in Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland etc. Since 2013 University Colleges have expanded their remit beyond the teaching of vocational subjects to develop applied research in their fields of excellence. These are usually still directly related to particular professions such as business, teacher training, physiotherapy, engineering, applied ICT etc. Previously, research and development, within specific professional areas were undertaken solely by universities. In addition to carrying out applied R&D, the University Colleges must ensure that the new knowledge is transferrable into practice by delivering more research-based teaching

1.2 Entry requirements for Danish universities

Completion of secondary education at an advanced level, equivalent to passing the exam at the end of Danish upper secondary school, is the basic requirement for entry to Danish universities and university colleges. If you have A levels you should be eligible for entry to a Danish university. However, it is always worth checking directly with the university to which you wish to apply as there are exceptions. Some courses require that certain subjects have been taken to A’ level or to a level equivalent with the local requirement.

The precise requirements listed on the Danish Department of Higher Education website are: General Certificate of Education (with an examination in 8 subjects where at least 3 are A-levels, alternatively 2 A-levels + 2 AS-levels, 1 A-level + 4 AS-levels. BTECs may also be acceptable if they are directly related to the course for which you wish to apply.

For further information please visit: http://en.iu.dk/recognition/entry-to-higher-education

1.3 How do you apply to Danish universities?

In Denmark, each institution is responsible for its own admissions. There is a central admissions process that will handle the administrative side of the application process but we always advise that you let your university know that you will be applying. The application deadline for most courses is 15th March.

For further information please visit optagelse.dk.

1.4 Accreditation and Recognition

Higher education in Denmark is regulated by the state. Danish educational institutions enjoy a high degree of autonomy but are required to follow national regulations in terms of teacher qualifications, degree structures and examination processes.

This ensures that all students in Denmark obtain an education of high international quality and relevance that meets a minimum guaranteed standard.

All higher education institutions in Denmark have agreed to a set of ethical guidelines (Code of Conduct) for the recruitment, admission and education of international students. This is your guarantee that you will receive proper information, guidance and treatment as an international student in Denmark. The Code of Conduct applies to both exchange students and full degree students.

2. How much does it cost to study in Denmark?

2.1 Tuition fees at Danish universities

Danish universities do not charge tuition fees to EU nationals.In the event of a hard Brexit it is to be expected that fees will rise. For students in the humanities fees would be around €6,500 a year and for engineering around €14,000 a year. It is likely that fees will go up immediately in the event of a no-deal Brexit and at the end of the transition period if a deal is reached. This only affects British nationals.

There are currently no private universities in Denmark.

2.2 Loans and grants

There are no government loans and grants available to EU citizens who have not previously lived in Denmark. Danish nationals and EU citizens who have lived in the country for more than five years will find support very generous by international standards, however.

There have been some recent court cases from EU students trying to claim grants from the Danish government but these have so far been inconclusive. We would suggest that you do not count on gaining any Danish financial aid but as tuition fees are zero, as an international student you are already being heavily subsidized by the local taxpayer.

2.3 Costs of living in Denmark

Denmark is an expensive country but even here you will find some locations cheaper than others. While Copenhagen will not be cheap by anyone’s standards, smaller cities in Denmark are certainly no more expensive than their equivalents in the United Kingdom.

If you are sensible and follow local habits – such as cycling to university and eating at home – life in Denmark shouldn’t blow your budget.

The cost of living in Denmark will vary depending on your lifestyle and habits. Many services in Denmark such as medical treatment are paid for via taxes and the Danish welfare system.

Living expenses on average per month:

Rent*

DKK 2,200-3,000

Food and other daily costs

DKK 2,000-2,500

Telephone

DKK 300

Transportation

DKK 300

Media License

DKK 200

Insurance

DKK 200

Internet**

DKK 200

Leisure Activities

DKK 0-1,000

Total

DKK 4,400-7,000 (£430-680)

* Please note that in some cases you pay for heating and electricity separately; ca. 400 DKK on a monthly basis.

** May be included in rent

(Source: University of Southern Denmark)

 

3. Student life in Denmark

3.1 How do I get a visa to study in Denmark?

As Denmark is part of the European Union this is not required. You may need to register with the local authorities once you are resident in Denmark but this is not a step you need to undertake in advance.

3.2 On Arrival

You will need to apply for a residence permit if you are studying in Denmark for more than three months. To obtain it, you must submit an application to the Regional State Administration immediately after your arrival (although some representatives from the RSA may be at your university at the beginning of the semester). This will be a formality for EU passport holders

After you receive your residence permit you will need to apply for a Danish CPR number. This number is used when dealing with public authorities, health authorities, libraries, banks etc. The CPR number is issued at the Borgerservice (Citizen Service). It takes approximately 1-2 weeks for your CPR number to be issued.

To help you settle in you will also be able to access free Danish lessons through your university.

3.3 Student accommodation in Denmark

Finding accommodation is likely to be a big issue for you depending on which city you choose to live in. Danish universities do not have a tradition of on-campus housing. Most students live in student halls of residences situated some distance from campus. You should start to look for accommodation months before you arrive, as it can be very difficult to find accommodation right before the semester begins. Therefore, we strongly advise you to contact your Danish host institution for information about housing as soon as you have been accepted into a study programme.

Useful Accommodation Websites:

Student & Youth Accommodation Office Copenhagen

BoligPortal.dk

3.4 Opening a Bank Account in Denmark

The currency in Denmark is the Danish Krone (DKK)

With a CPR number and the acceptance letter from your university, you will be able to open a bank account. When you open your account, the bank will issue you with a debit card which you can use to withdraw money at your bank, at the bank’s cash point machines/ATMs and at most shops. Your bank might charge a fee for withdrawing money from other banks’ ATMs so ask your bank before doing so.

When you open your account, if it is the only one you have in Denmark you will need to nominate it as your NemKonto (Easy Account). This is the account that you then be used for any financial interaction that you have with the Danish government such as wages, the State Education Grant and Loan Scheme (SU in Danish), tax rebates, pensions, etc. These will all be paid into this account (where applicable).

3.5 Working in Denmark

AS an EU passport-holder you can work up to 37 hours per week while you are a student and you can apply for a work permit at the same time as applying for the residence permit. Once you start work you must contact the local tax authorities to obtain an electronic tax card which your employer will need to calculate taxes. The Danish tax rules are quite complicated so it is important that you talk to the local tax administration before taking up work. If you do not have an electronic tax card, your employer must withhold 60% of your salary.

 

4. Which are the best universities in Denmark?

1. Technical University of Denmark (DTU)

2. Aarhus University

3. University of Copenhagen

4. University of Southern Denmark

5. Aalborg University

There are a limited number of opportunities to study in English at all of these universities.


Universities in Denmark

About A Star Future

A Star Future provides information and guidance to British students looking to pursue their undergraduate studies abroad.

Through our presentations in schools and our websites we aim to ensure that British-educated students are well informed about their choices.