In Denmark, education is open to all and generally publicly financed. Danish education aims to ensure that all young people acquire knowledge and skills that will qualify them to take active part in the knowledge society and contribute to its further development.
Characteristic features of the Danish education system include:
- Education for all: Provision of high quality education at all levels is open to all;
- High standards: To assure quality, all public educational institutions are approved and evaluated on an ongoing basis;
- Lifelong learning: Education for all citizens on a lifelong basis;
- Active participation: Pupils and students have the right to form their own opinions and a duty to participate in discussions is a matter of course in Danish education;
- Project work: Project work and interdisciplinary activities are an integrated part of Danish education.
The Danish Constitution § 76 states that all children of compulsory education age are entitled to free education in the Folkeskole. The Danish Folkeskole covers primary and lower secondary education.
Each area of education are regulated by law, including the statutory objectives.
Early childhood education and care (ISCED 010-020)
The objectives of early childhood education and care are set out in the Day Care Act. The primary objectives are to:
- Promote a good environment for children’s well-being, development, and learning;
- Provide flexibility in families’ work and family life;
- Prevent negative social inheritance and exclusion.
Single structure education (ISCED 1-2)
The objectives of the Folkeskole are set out in the Act on the Folkeskole. The primary objective is to:
- Provide pupils with skills and knowledge that prepare them for further education and training and encourage them to learn more.
Upper secondary education (ISCED 3)
General upper secondary education programmes
The objectives of the general upper secondary education programmes (STX, HHX, HTX, and hf) are set out in the Act on General Upper Secondary Education. The primary objective is to:
- Prepare young people for higher education.
Vocational upper secondary education and training (VET) programmes
The objectives of the vocational upper secondary education and training programmes are set out in the Act on Vocational Upper Secondary Education. The primary objective is to:
- Contribute to the development of the students’ vocational, study, and personal competences.
Higher education (ISCED 5-8)
Academy profession programmes and professional bachelor's degree programmes
The objectives of the academy profession programmes and the professional bachelor's degree programmes are set out in the Act for Academy Profession Programmes and Professional Bachelor Education Programmes. The primary objective is to:
- Provide knowledge on and understanding of the subject areas’ practice, theory, and methods.
University degree programmes
The objectives of the universities are stated in the University Act. The primary objective is to:
- Provide research and offer research-based education of the highest international level.