Requirements for appointment
The higher education level consists of three different parts:
1. Short-cycle non-university higher education
2. Medium-cycle non-university higher education
3. Long-cycle university education.
Short cycle non-university higher education
The board of the business academies is the highest authority on the institutions. It is in charge of the strategic management of the academies and hires and dismisses the rector. It also approves the curriculum for the programmes offered by the academies and determines the capacity number of students.
The members of the board must contribute to the strategic work with experience or insight in technical and commercial and knowledge about the labour market needs for qualifications gained at the academy. Of 9-13 members, there must be:
- One chairman elected by the board. The chairman must be external
- 2 members elected by and among the students at the academy
- 2 members elected by and among the academy staff.
The daily management in the academies is carried out by the rector within the framework laid down by the board. Rector employs and dismisses the rest of the staff and is responsible for presenting the budget to the board.
The rector has a responsibility to the board of:
- Keeping the educational programmes in accordance to the legislation
- Complying the budget approved by the board
- Making sure the academy works in accordance to the board’s guidelines.
On the recommendation of rector, the board sets up at least one education board for each area of education. The education boards are to advise the board, rector and the institution’s management of the quality of the educational programmes, relevance for the community and the regional educational coverage.
Medium-cycle non-university higher education
Medium-cycle non-university higher education is offered at university colleges.
The board is the highest authority. The board is accountable to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science for the operation of the institution, including the administration of the state appropriations. It decides on matters relating to appointments, and it supervises the activities and development of the colleges.
The board members are to contribute to promoting the university college's strategic work with experience and expertise in higher education and private and public sector needs. They should also have insights in the labour market needs for vocational higher education.
The majority of the board are external and preferably from the region where the university college is located. The board can in special circumstances be set up by members from several areas/regions. Of 10-15 members, there must be:
- One chairman elected by the board
- 2 student members chosen by the students at the university college
- 2 staff members chosen by the university college staff.
The rector is responsible for the day-to-day management of the institution and represents it in external matters. The rector is responsible for keeping the educational programmes in accordance to legislation, to comply the budget and to make the university college follow the guidelines carried out by the board.
Some institutions also have an administrator or head of administration that assists the board, the rector and the governing bodies, if any. The administrator is in charge of the accounts of the institution.
On the recommendation of rector, the board sets up at least one education board for each area of education. The education boards are to advise the board, rector and the institution’s management of the quality of the educational programmes, relevance for the community and the regional educational coverage. The education board plays a part in the development of new and existing educational programmes and the development of new teaching- and examination methods.
Long-cycle university education
The universities supply long-term education and are independent institutions under the public-sector administration and supervised by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. Each institution is run by a rector in collaboration with a certain number of collegiate bodies. The precise rules are fixed in statutes.
The board is the highest authority of the university. It is responsible for the strategic management of the universities and is obliged to safeguard the university’s interests as an educational and research institution.
The board’s composition must reflect the interests of students, university staff and the outside industry. Of at least 9 members, there must be:
- One chairman approved by the Minister of Higher Education and Science and elected by a university body in charge of the appointments
- External members elected by a university body in charge of the appointments
- At least two students elected by the students at the university
- At least two university staff members elected by the university staff
The majority of members must be external, as must the chairman. It is part of the board’s obligations to employ and dismiss the rector as well as approve study plans and curricula.
The rector undertakes the day-to-day management of the university within the framework laid down by the board. The other members of the university’s executive management such as deans, heads of departments and directors of studies undertake their duties in a manner authorised by the rector. The rector recommends the budget to the board and lays down the rules governing disciplinary actions regarding students. Furthermore, the rector sets up the study boards and approves the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the study boards. As laid down in the University Act, the employment procedure must ensure that the rector has academic and managerial legitimacy.
The dean manages the main academic areas, ensures the interaction between research and education and the quality of education and teaching, as well as the cross-disciplinary development of the quality of the education and research of the main academic area.
If the institution is divided into several main areas, an academy council is elected for each main area, which shall safeguard the subject-related interests of the main area. The council approves the development plan and budget of the main area within the framework laid down by the senate. The council has a right to give its opinion in all matters of considerable importance to the main area as well as in matters relating to the relationship between two or more subject groups or between departments and student-staff study committees within the main area.
The academy council moreover has the following tasks:
- The setting up of expert committees which are to assess scientific work with a view to the award of Ph.D.- and doctoral degrees
- The award of Ph.D.- and doctoral degrees
- Presentation to the rector of the composition of expert committees which are to assess applicants for scientific positions.
To safeguard student influence on education and teaching, the dean is to set up the necessary number of study boards, comprising an equal number of representatives of the academic staff and the students, selected by and from the academic staff and the students, respectively. The study board recommends the director of studies’ appointment to the dean. In cooperation with the study board, the director of studies is to undertake the practical organisation of teaching and assessments forming part of the exams. The study board has to ensure the organisation, realisation and development of educational and teaching activities, including aims to:
- Assure and develop the quality of education and teaching, and follow-up on evaluations of education and teaching
- Produce proposals for curricula and changes thereof
- Approve the organisation of teaching and assessments forming part of the exams
- Handle applications concerning credit and exemptions
- Make statements on all matters of importance to education and teaching within its area and discuss issues related to education and teaching as presented by the rector or the person authorised by the rector to do so.
Conditions of service
The Danish universities are required to comply with the state rules on pay terms and terms of employment for staff employed within the educational institutions.
The predominant type of employment for staff at the Danish universities and in the Danish state as a whole is employment on a collective agreement basis. The State Employer’s Authority negotiates collective agreements with the labour organisations on behalf of all public-sector employers, including the universities.
The Danish Ministry for Higher Education and Science provides advice to the higher educational institutions on the appointment and remuneration of managers and employees. The Ministry also safeguards the educational institutions’ interests in connection with collective bargaining. In practice, this means that the Ministry maintains an ongoing dialogue with the institutions, the labour organisations and the State Employer’s Authority on employer/employee relations, pay and terms of employment for employees at the institutions. In addition, the Ministry lays down rules on the appointment of academic staff at the institutions.
Rules and guidelines
Detailed rules have been laid down for the universities in the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities (Ansættelsesbekendtgørelsen) and the Circular on Job Structure(Cirkulære om stillingsstruktur). The main purpose of these rules is to increase the mobility of researchers and ensure high academic standards for academic positions. The rules supplement the joint government rules on advertisements and appointment which, among other things, contain requirements concerning the prohibition of discrimination, open advertisements and reasoned statements.
Legislation and Official Policy documents
Retsinformation, 2019. Bekendtgørelse af lov om erhvervsakademiuddannelser og professionsbacheloruddannelser [Order on Academy profession programmes and Professional bachelor’s rogrammes].[Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2019/1343 [Accessed 24 June 2022]
Retsinformation, 2019. Bekendtgørelse af lov om professionshøjskoler for videregående uddannelser [Order on University Colleges in higher education].[Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2019/779 [Accessed 24 June 2022]
Retsinformation, 2019. Bekendtgørelse af lov om erhvervsakademier for videregående uddannelser [Order on business academies in higher education].[Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2019/786 [Accessed 24 June 2022]
Retsinformation, 2019. Bekendtgørelse af lov om universiteter (universitetsloven) [Order on Act on universities (The University Act)]. [Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2019/778 [Accessed 24 June 2022]
Retsinformation, 2012. Bekendtgørelse om ansættelse af videnskabeligt personale ved universiteter [the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities]. [Online] Available at: https://www.retsinformation.dk/forms/R0710.aspx?id=140435 [Accessed 21 December 2017]