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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main Types of Provision

Denmark

8.Adult Education and Training

8.4Main Types of Provision

Last update: 20 February 2024

Adult education and training programmes leading to formal qualifications for further education or for the labour market include:

  • Preparatory adult education (FVU);
  • General adult education (avu);
  • Higher preparatory single subject courses (hf);
  • Adult vocational training (AMU);
  • Vocational education and training for adults (EUV);
  • Academy profession (part-time) programmes;
  • Diploma programmes;
  • Master programmes.

Non-formal adult education and training programmes include:

  • Evening classes;
  • Folk high schools;
  • Day folk high schools;
  • University extension courses (Folkeuniversitetet).

Supportive education and training offers for adults include:

  • Basic integration training programmes for refugees (IGU);
  • Education for adults with dyslexia;
  • Special needs education for adults with physical or psychological disabilities.

Provision to raise achievement in basic skills

Preparatory adult education (FVU)

The purpose of the FVU programme is to prepare the adults for further education and strengthen their participation in society.

The programme is targeted adults over 25 years, who wish to clarify, improve, and supplement their basic skills in reading, spelling, writing, mathematics, digital task completion, and English. However, adults under the age of 25 can obtain admission under special circumstances. Admission is based on a concrete assessment of the applicant’s skills and requisites for attending the programme.

The FVU programme consist of five different offers:

  1. FVU-start;
  2. FVU-Danish;
  3. FVU-mathematics;
  4. FVU-digital;
  5. FVU-English.

FVU-start is an offer for bilingual applicants, who wish to improve their Danish language proficiency before potential admission to the other FVU courses. FVU-Danish aims to ensure that the participants acquire necessary basic functional skills in reading, spelling, and written representation, while FVU-mathematics aims to develop the participants’ functional mathematics skills further. FVU-digital and FVU-English aim to increase the participants’ digital skills and English skills respectively.

Except for FVU-start, all the subjects are divided into steps, which can be completed with tests. The participants are not obliged to participate in these tests. If requested by the participant, the education institution issues a certificate.

Adult education centres (VUC) offer the programme cost-free for the participants.

General adult education (avu)

The purpose of the avu programme is to strengthen the adults’ opportunities for further education and their participation in society.

The programme targets adults of 25 years and above, who wish to improve their basic knowledge. However, adults under the age of 25 can obtain admission under special circumstances. Admission to the different subjects and levels is based on a concrete assessment of the applicant’s requisites for attending the courses.

Adult education centres (VUC) offer the programme as single-subject courses, which the participants can piece together according to their requirements and needs. The subjects are completed with tests and exams.

The programme consists of two groups of subjects: core subjects and optional subjects.

The VUCs offer the following core subjects:

  • Danish;
  • Danish as a second language;
  • English;
  • Mathematics;
  • Natural science;
  • History or social science;
  • German or French.

The VUCs can offer the following optional subjects:

  • Visual arts;
  • Public speaking;
  • Basic information technology (IT);
  • Physical education and sport;
  • Latin;
  • Philosophy;
  • Phycology;
  • Cooperation and communication.

The VUCs offer the subjects at the following different levels: Basic, G, F, E, and D. The basic level is below the ninth form in primary and lower secondary education, whereas level G corresponds to the ninth form and level E corresponds to the tenth form. The highest level D provides good academic coherence to the upper secondary education programme Higher Preparatory Examination Programme (hf).

For each subject, the student pays a tuition fee. For core subjects, the fee is DKK 120 (EUR 16) and for optional subjects, the fee is DKK 1230 (EUR 165).

Furthermore, in connection with the subjects, the VUCs are to offer the participants supplementary differentiated instruction. The purpose of the instruction is to offer the participant a more thorough instruction in difficult topics according to the participant’s needs and wishes. Participation in the instruction is voluntary and cost-free. In addition, the VUC can offer introductory teaching in order to introduce the participant to a subject and its working methods. Participation in introductory teaching is cost-free.

Provision to achieve a recognised qualification during adulthood certification

Higher preparatory single subject courses (hf)

Higher preparatory single-subject courses is a flexible upper secondary education aimed at adults, which allows the participants to qualify themselves in one or several subjects at upper secondary level. The participants can also piece together the single subjects to a complete Higher Preparatory Examination (hf). Admission is based on a concrete assessment of the applicant’s competences.

For each subject, the participant pays a tuition fee. The duration of the education depends on the participant’s number of subjects and subject levels, but on average each subject takes ½-1 year to complete.

Adult education centres (VUC) offer instruction in single subjects both in day and evening classes.

On certain medium-cycle higher education programmes, participants can apply with specific single subjects depending on the education. With a complete Higher Preparatory Examination (hf), participants can apply to all higher education programmes if they fulfil the specific entry requirements.

Adult vocational training (AMU)

The purpose of the AMU programmes is to cover the need for fundamental labour market relevant competences. The programmes target unskilled and skilled workers, who wish to maintain and/or develop their vocational competences further.

The overall admission requirements are residence or job in Denmark.

The AMU programmes include the following 12 fields:

  1. Construction industry (Bygge/anlæg og industri);
  2. Trade, administration, communication, and management (Handel, administration, kommunikation og ledelse);
  3. (Adult vocational training programmes for) The industry (Industriens arbejdsmarkedsuddannelser);
  4. Kitchen, restaurant, baker, confectioner, and the meat industry (Køkken, restaurant, bager, konditor og kødbranchen);
  5. Dairy and agriculture (Kejeri og jordbrug);
  6. The metal-working industry (Metalindustrien);
  7. The pedagogical field and the social and health field (Pædagogisk område og social- og sundhedsområdet);
  8. The service industry (Serviceerhvervene);
  9. Welding and firing technology (Svejsning og fyringsteknik);
  10. Technical installations and energy (Tekniske installationer og energi);
  11. (Adult vocational training programmes in) The wood industry (Træets uddannelser);
  12. The transportation industry (Transporterhvervene).

AMU-centres, vocational colleges, private education institutions, and a few university colleges offer AMU programmes. Most of the institutions charge tuition fees for AMU programmes. The tuition fees depend on the participant’s level of education and are determined every year. In 2022, tuition fees are between DKK 640 (EUR 86) and DKK 960 (EUR 129) per week. In addition, there can be an extra charge of up to DKK 700 (EUR 94) per week.

Vocational education and training for adults (EUV)

The EUV programme is vocational education and training for adults, who are 25 years of age or older.

The educational course depends on the individual participant’s competences. Based on a competence assessment, a personal education plan is completed. The education plan describes which of the following three educational courses the participant is to complete:

  1. EUV 1: For adult students and apprentices with a minimum of two years of relevant work experience;
  2. EUV 2: For adult students and apprentices with less than two years of relevant work experience and/or education;
  3. EUV 3: For adult students and apprentices without any relevant work experience or an education.

Admission requirements to the EUV programme are the same as the general admission requirements for young people to vocational education and training, including an average mark of 02 in both Danish and mathematics.

Academy profession (part-time) programmes

Business academies and university colleges offer academy profession (part-time) programmes as open education. Academy profession (part-time) programmes are adult higher education programmes and correspond to the level of academy profession programmes within the ordinary higher education system.

The programmes aim at adults with work experience. Admission requirements are a general upper secondary education or a vocational upper secondary education and at least two years of relevant work experience. If the applicants do not fulfil the admission requirements, they can apply for an individual competence assessment.

Academy profession (part-time) programmes consist of 60 ECTS credits and encompass:

  • Compulsory modules corresponding to at least 20 ECTS credits;
  • Optional modules corresponding to at least 5 ECTS credits;
  • A final project corresponding to 10 ECTS credits.

The educational institutions organise the education as professionally defined modules, which the students can complete separately or piece together to a complete academy profession (part-time) programme. The participants complete each module with an exam.

The academy profession programmes are structured under six subject areas:

  1. The subject area of administration and management (Fagområdet for administration og forvaltning);
  2. The subject area of leadership (Fagområdet for ledelse);
  3. The subject area of media and communication (Fagområdet for medier og kommunikation);
  4. The mercantile subject area (Det merkantile fagområde);
  5. The subject area of technology, production, service etc. (Fagområdet for teknik, produktion, service mv.);
  6. The subject area of welfare, education, and health (Fagområdet for velfærd, undervisning og sundhed).

There is a tuition fee for all academy profession (part-time) programmes. The instruction takes place in day or evening classes.

Diploma programmes

University colleges, universities, and a few business academies offer diploma programmes as open education. Diploma programmes are adult higher education programmes and correspond to the level of bachelor’s degree programmes within the ordinary higher education system.

The programmes aim at adults with work experience. Admission requirements are a relevant education corresponding to the level of an academy profession programme and at least two years of relevant work experience. If the applicants do not fulfil the admission requirements, they can apply for an individual competence assessment.

Diploma programmes consist of 60 ECTS credits and encompass:

  • Compulsory modules corresponding to at least 15 ECTS credits;
  • Optional modules corresponding to at least 5 ECTS credits;
  • A final project corresponding to 15 ECTS credits.

The educational institutions organise the education as professionally defined modules, which the students can complete separately or piece together to a complete diploma programme.

The diploma programmes are structured under nine subject areas:

  1. The subject area of IT and technology (Fagområdet for it og teknik);
  2. The artistic subject area (Det kunstneriske fagområde);
  3. The subject area of leadership (Fagområdet for ledelse);
  4. The maritime subject area (Det maritime fagområde);
  5. The subject area of media and communication (Fagområdet for medier og kommunikation);
  6. The pedagogical subject area (Det pædagogiske fagområde);
  7. The social and social sciences subject area (Det social- og samfundsfaglige fagområde);
  8. The health subject area (Det sundhedsfaglige fagområde);
  9. The economic and mercantile subject area (Det økonomiske og merkantile fagområde).

There is a tuition fee for all diploma programmes. The instruction takes place in day or evening classes.

Master programmes

Universities offer master programmes within adult education and training, which correspond to the level of master's degree programmes within the ordinary higher education system.

The programmes aim at adults with work experience and a relevant preceding education, who wish to improve their qualifications. The admissions requirements are a relevant educational qualification at bachelor’s level or higher and at least two years of relevant work experience.

The universities offer master programmes within their subject fields, including humanities, art, natural science, social science, health science, and technical science.

The universities organise the education as professionally defined modules. The students can complete master programmes, separate modules, or interdisciplinary master programmes. The institutions can offer the programmes both as part-time education and as full-time education.

Master programmes consist of 60 ECTS credits and encompass:

  • Compulsory modules corresponding to at least 30 ECTS credits;
  • A final project corresponding to a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 ECTS credits.

Furthermore, the programme can encompass optional modules.

All master programmes are tuition fee based.

Provision targeting the transition to the labour market

Many provisions targeting the transition to the labour market exist, including student jobs, traineeship, exchange programmes etc. The provisions below target the transition to the labour market for unemployed jobseekers.

Unemployed jobseekers who receive unemployment benefits are entitled and obliged to accept offers of activation. Activation can consist of a company internship programme, a wage subsidy job, courses, or education.

The job centre can offer unemployed jobseekers guidance and upgrading of qualifications consisting of short vocationally oriented courses. The regional education fund finances the courses. The purpose of the fund is to allow unemployed jobseekers to participate in courses in industries where there is a shortage of labour. The unemployed jobseekers receive their usual subsidy when they participate in a course approved by the job centre.

Unskilled or skilled unemployed jobseekers or unemployed jobseekers with a short-cycle higher education and a vocational upper secondary education are entitled to six weeks of job-oriented education. They obtain the right to job-oriented education after five weeks of unemployment. The Ministry of Employment issues a list with classes and educational courses in which the unemployed jobseekers can participate.

Provision of liberal (popular) adult education

Non-formal learning activities are frequently based on private initiatives by non-governmental organisations. No school or professional qualifications are required for participating in non-formal adult education and training programmes.

Evening classes

Evening classes are organised as public-awareness raising associations that offer adult education. The objective of the evening classes is to increase the participants’ general and academic insight and skills and enhance their ability and inclination to take an active and engaged part in society. The evening classes can encompass:

  • Instruction;
  • Study circles;
  • Lectures;
  • Debate creating activities;
  • Distance learning etc.

Tuition fees are charged for the evening classes.

Folk High Schools

Folk high schools are residential schools offering education for adults at courses varying in length, the most typical being four months. Students can freely choose from a wide variety of different subjects and classes.

The folk high schools design their own educational practice and plan the content of courses and activities based on the individual school’s core values and the main aim of the folk high school. For instance, some schools focus on music and theatre, while others focus on sports, art, politics, or philosophy. However, a minimum of 50 per cent of the courses must be of a broad general nature. There are no grades, no fixed curriculum, and no exams at the schools. The participants receive a diploma as proof of their attendance.

Each folk high school determines the tuition fees, which cover instruction, board, and lodging.

Day Folk High Schools

The objective of the day folk high schools is to offer instruction with a public-awareness raising or employment-creating aim for adults. Normally, the courses run for four to eighteen weeks and as a rule, the education is full time.

Each school has its own academic specialisation and organise the instruction. They can offer instruction in many different subjects such as art, architecture, design, language, IT etc.

The day folk high schools charge tuition fees.

University extension courses

The objective of the university extension courses is to disseminate knowledge of the methods and outcomes of research through non-formal adult education teaching and lectures. The courses are organised as single courses so it is possible for the participants to have a full-time job while participating in the courses.

All university extension courses are tuition fee based.

Other types of publicly subsidised provision for adult learners

Aside from the above-mentioned adult education and training programmes, supportive education and training offers for adults exist, including:

  • Basic integration training programmes for refugees (IGU);
  • Education for adults with dyslexia;
  • Special needs education for adults with physical or psychological disabilities.

Basic integration training programmes for refugees (IGU)

The IGU programme is to ensure refugees the opportunity to work or enhance their qualifications if they do not fulfil the requirements in the Danish labour market. The programme targets refugees between the ages 18 and 40, who have stayed in Denmark in less than ten years.

The duration of the IGU programme is two years and comprises instruction and practical work experience.

There are no special admission requirements and no tuition fees.

Education for adults with dyslexia

Adult education centres (VUC) offer education for adults with dyslexia, which is a specially organised education programme that aims to ease and reduce the participants’ reading and writing disabilities. The education also includes special needs assistance, including guidance of the participant and the relatives. Typically, the instruction takes place at small classes with two to six participants, but it can also take place as individual instruction.

The programme targets persons of 25 years and above with reading and writing disabilities. Persons under the age of 25 can gain access under certain conditions.

Prior to admission, a test and an interview show whether education for adults with dyslexia is the proper education programme for the applicant. If the test shows that it is not the proper programme, the VUC is to guide the applicant on other relevant education programmes.

The instruction, teaching materials, and teaching aids are cost-free for the participants.

Special needs education for adults with physical or psychological disabilities

Special needs education for adults is an offer for persons with physical or psychological disabilities. The objective of the programme is to ease and reduce the impact of the disabilities. The instruction can consist of the participant obtaining strategies and methods that enable him or her to participate in social life to the greatest extent possible on the same terms as people without disabilities.

The programme includes both instruction and special needs assistance, including guidance for the participant and the relatives. Primarily, special schools for adults offer the special needs education.

The programme, including teaching material and teaching aids, is cost-free for the participants.

References

Bibliography

Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet), 2018: Non-formal adult education. [Accessed 2 August 2022]

Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet), 2021: Introduction to AMU (Introduktion til AMU). [Accessed 26 July 2022]

Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet), 2022a: About education for adults with dyslexia (Om ordblindeundervisning for voksne). [Accessed 2 August 2022]

Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet), 2022b: About the preparatory adult education (FVU) (Om forberedende voksenundervisning (FVU)). [Accessed 25 July 2022]

Ministry of Children and Education (Børne- og Undervisningsministeriet), 2022c: HF single subjects (Hf-enkeltfag). [Accessed 26 July 2022]

Ministry of Children and Education, 2020: The General Adult Education Programme. [Accessed 26 July 2022]

Ministry of Higher Education and Science, 2021: Master degree (adult/continuing higher education). [Accessed 1 August 2022]

The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark (FFD), 2019: Danish Folk High School. [Accessed 2 August 2022]

The Education Guide (UddannelsesGuiden). 2022a: About Academy Profession Programmes (Om akademiuddannelser). [Accessed 1 August 2022]

The Education Guide (UdannelsesGuiden), 2022b: Basic Integration Training Programmes (igu) (Integrationsgrunduddannelsen (igu)). [Accessed 2 August 2022]

The Education Guide (UddannelsesGuiden), 2022c: Day Folk High School Courses (Daghøjskolekurser). [Accessed 2 August 2022]

The Education Guide (UddannelsesGuiden), 2022d: Folk High Schools (Folkehøjskoler). [Accessed 2 August 2022]

The Education Guide (UddannelsesGuiden), 2022e: Master Programmes (Masteruddannelser). [Accessed 1 August 2022]

The Education Guide (UddannelsesGuiden), 2022f: Unemployment benefit recipient (Dagpengemodtager). [Accessed 1 August 2022]

Legislation and Official Policy Documents

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2019a: Act on Folk High Schools (Bekendtgørelse af lov om folkehøjskoler), LBK no. 280 of 25/03/2019. [Accessed 2 August 2022]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2019b: Act on General Adult Education (the AVU Act) (Bekendtgørelse om almen voksenuddannelse (avu-bekendtgørelsen)), BEK no. 1380 of 10/12/2019. [Accessed 26 July 2022]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2020a: Act on Instruction etc. within Preparatory Adult Education (Bekendtgørelse om undervisnings m.v. inden for forberende voksenundervisning), BEK no. 439 of 15/04/2020. [Accessed 25 July 2022]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2020b: Act on Master’s Programmes at the Universities (the Master’s Act) (Bekendtgørelse om masteruddannelser ved universiteterne (masterbekendtgørelsen)), BEK no. 19 of 09/01/2022. [Accessed 1 August 2022]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2022a: Act on Academy Profession Programmes (Bekendtgørelse om akademiuddannelser), BEK no. 1006 of 23/06/2022. [Accessed 26 July 2022]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2022b: Act on Diploma Programmes (Bekendtgørelse om diplomuddannelser), BEK no. 933 of 13/06/2022. [Accessed 1 August]

Legal Information (Retsinformation), 2024: Act on Vocational Adult Education etc. (Bekendtgørelse af lov om arbejdsmarkedsuddannelser m.v.), LBK no. 144 of 14/02/2024. [Accessed 20 February 2024]