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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education


9.Teachers and Education Staff

9.5Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Planning policy

There is no top level planning policy for academic staff supply and demand.

Entry to the profession

All higher education institutions are responsible for recruiting their own staff.

According to the ministerial order on job vacancies in the state, the following information must be included in all job vacancies:

  • Job title
  • Place of employment
  • Working time
  • Collective agreement basis
  • Salary
  • Recipient of applications
  • Application deadline

Universities have to follow additional regulations according to the ministerial order on employment of academic staff at universities including:

  • Job vacancies on senior lecturer and professor level must be advertised nationally and internationally.
  • Assessment committees must assess the candidates’ qualifications.
  • Job vacancies are to be readvertised if there is not enough qualified applicants.
  • The university rector can offer vacancies on senior lecturer and professor level without advertising the vacancy if there is a particularly qualified candidate.

Professional status

Academic staff is employed on collective agreement terms. Employment contracts can be either fixed-term or indefinite depending on the job title.

Previously, it was quite common that academic staff was employed as civil servants. However, the civil servant status is being phased out, which means today only a very limited number of academic staff maintain civil servant status.


Academic staff is employed according to the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (Akademikerne).

The payment system consists of a basic salary and an allowance. Employees are placed in the basic salary system according to their education and length of service.

The basic salary system has seven steps. Level one is the minimum amount and level eight is maximum amount.

The salary is yearly (2018)*:

1 261,000 35,014
8 347,571 46,628

*) Exchange rate: EUR 1 = DKK 7.4542              

In addition to the basic salary, it is possible to agree on a number of allowances, which are linked to qualifications, length of service and possible results. Allowances are negotiated on a central and decentral level.


For academic staff employed at universities the allowance is centrally regulated.

The allowance is yearly (2015)*:

Job title DKK EUR
Research assistant



Assistant professor/ lecturer/ postdoc/ researcher



Senior lecturer/ associate professor/ senior research associate






Professor with special responsibilities**



Clinical professor     



Senior advisor



Teaching assistant professor/ teaching associate professor (start of employment, after three years of employment and teaching associate professor) 34,100





*) Exchange rate: EUR 1 = DKK 7.4542.

**) From 1 January 2020, the professor with special responsibilities is being phased out.

University colleges and business academies

For academic staff employed at university colleges and business academies, the allowance is centrally regulated.

The allowance is yearly (2015)*:

Position DKK EUR
Assistant lecturer 42,000 5,634
Associate lecturer 83,000 11,135
Senior associate lecturer 40,000 5,366

*) Exchange rate: EUR 1 = DKK 7.4542.

Working time and holidays

The main tasks for university professors along with assistant and associate professors are research and research based teaching. Staff employed as postdocs, researchers or senior researchers have tasks primarily related to research.

The collective agreement states that the working hours are 37 hours per week.

All academic staff have the right to 25 days of holidays per year.

Promotion, advancement

There is no automatic promotions or advancements. Academic staff are chosen based on their qualifications.

According to the collective agreement, advancing to senior lecturer at universities requires a positive senior lecturer assessment. The assessment is made by a special assessment committee appointed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science for a four-year period.

According to the ministerial order on associate lecturer assessment, advancing to associate lecturer at business academies, university colleges, the Danish School of Media and Journalism and some maritime educational institutions also require a positive associate lecturer assessment.

Retirement and pensions

The retirement age is between 66 and 68 years, depending on the date of birth and at present, it is 66 years. From this age, people may receive a pension.

Academic staff employed on the collective agreement, pay 5.7% and the employer pays 11.4% of the gross salary to a pension fund. For academic staff who are civil servants or employed on civil servant-like conditions special conditions apply.



Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists (DJØF), 2020. University colleges and business academies. (Professionshøjskoler og erhvervsakademier). (Accessed: 10.07.2020).

Danish Association of Masters and PhDs (DM), 2020. Universities and higher education. (Universiteter og højere læreanstalter). (Accessed: 10.07.2020).

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2017. Modernisation of Higher Education in Europe: Academic Staff – 2017. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Ministry of Employment, 2019. State pensions today and in the future. (Folkepension nu og fremover). 20.08.2019. (Accessed: 10.07.2020).

Ministry of Finance, 2019a. Circular on agreements on salary for teachers on civil servant-like conditions in institutions for vocationally oriented education. (Cirkulære om aftaler om løn for lærere ansat på tjenestemandslignende vilkår ved institutioner for erhvervsrettet uddannelse), 09.07.2019. (Accessed: 09.07.2020).

Ministry of Finance, 2019b. Circular on the collective agreement for state-employed academics. (Cirkulære om overenskomst for akademikere i staten), 28.06.2019. (Accessed: 09.07.2020).

Ministry of Higher Education and Science, 2020a. Senior lecturer and fellow assessment. (Lektor- og docentbedømmelse), 12.06.2020. (Accessed: 10.07.2020).

Ministry of Higher Education and Science, 2020b. Job vacancies. (Stillingsopslag). 21.04.2020. (Accessed: 10.07.2020).

Legislation and Official Policy documents

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2010. Ministerial order on job vacancies in the state. (Bekendtgørelse om opslag af tjenestemandsstillinger i staten). (Accessed: 14.07.2020).

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2012. Ministerial order on employment of academic staff at universities. (Bekendtgørelse om ansættelse af videnskabeligt personale ved universiteter). (Accessed: 13.07.2020).

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2021. Circular on protocol on certain conditions of employment for academic staff at universities. (Cirkulære om protokollat om visse ansættelsesvilkår for videnskabeligt personale ved universiteter). (Accessed: 24.06.2022).

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2020. Ministerial order on associate lecturer qualification, senior lecturer assessment and docent assessment of teachers at business academies, university colleges, the Danish School of Media and Journalism and some maritime educational institutions. (Bekendtgørelse om lektorkvalificering, lektorbedømmelse og docentbedømmelse af undervisere ved erhvervsakademier, professionshøjskoler, Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole og visse maritime uddannelsesinstitutioner). (Accessed: 10.07.2020)