The first university inaugurated dates back to 1497 and is the University of Copenhagen. There are approximately 40 higher education institutions in Denmark. These are composed of universities, academies of professional higher education and university colleges. These can be either public, funded by the government, or private, funded by private tuition. Five Danish universities feature in the top 400 universities worldwide rankings as of 2019, with the University of Copenhagen ranking in 79th place. Denmark is open to international students as there are some 22’000 international students making up 10% of the population of higher education students. For more information about higher education in Denmark, please refer to the official government website: https://ufm.dk/en.
The educational structure in Denmark follows the traditional path of a Bachelors, followed by a Masters, and then a Doctorate. Bachelors generally take three years to complete. However, students completing a professional Bachelors, which is aimed at students who will directly enter the field of work, may take four years to complete. Such degrees are usually nursing, engineering, journalism and the arts. Students then complete a Masters which takes two-years for all degrees, except for medicinal courses which take three years to complete. Then student may complete a Doctorate degree which requires three years to complete.
There is a centralized system for application in Denmark which is known as Optagelse. All certificates of completion of secondary school such as the International Baccalaureate and A levels are accepted when applying to universities in Denmark. Students from within the EU/EEA have the same requirements as Danish students. Grades are usually converted to fit on the Danish 7 point grading scale in order to determine whether the students has the right GPA to be accepted to their university of choice. Some universities then have an individual aptitude test which students may have to complete such as for journalism and film schools. Masters degrees require a Bachelors degree to apply and Doctoral degrees require a Masters degree. Moreover, students must prove their proficiency of Danish, though some courses are taught in English or German, mainly at Masters levels.
Danish students and EU/EEA students receive free education at public universities in Denmark, and for students who are permanent residents. All other international students must pay a tuition fee which on average costs between 6000 euros to 16’000 euros per year depending on the course and the institution.
Information for International Students
Most universities have halls of resident around the city which any student can apply to live in as they are generally cheaper than renting an apartment. For more information, please refer to this student guide on all aspects of life in Denmark: http://danskestuderende.com/fileadmin/Survival_Guide_2019.pdf.