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Denmark: Agreement on the implementation of more and better opportunities for education 

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Denmark: Agreement on the implementation of more and better opportunities for education 

27 March 2023
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Country news

In June 2021, a broad majority of the Danish Parliament entered into an agreement on the framework for more and better opportunities for education throughout Denmark. In January 2022, the higher education institutions have presented their proposals for the relocation and downsizing of study places, after which the political parties have entered an additional agreement on the implementation in March 2022. 

The purpose of the agreement is to ensure more and better opportunities for education throughout Denmark so a larger share of the enrolment on higher education in the future takes place outside the four biggest cities. The agreement aims at increasing the number of people getting an education by ensuring that all types of educations are available all over Denmark. The reasoning behind the agreement is an uneven distribution of educational institutions and a future lower recruitment basis because of falling youth cohorts that risk challenging the supply of education outside the four biggest cities further. 

Furthermore, the agreement emphasises the importance of creating better conditions for the recruitment of welfare personnel throughout Denmark by outlining an ambition regarding a 60/40 distribution of student places on the four biggest welfare educations (teacher, nurse, pedagogue and social worker). The ambition entails that in time 60 per cent of the study places on these welfare educations are to be located outside the four biggest cities. 

Since January 2022, the political parties have negotiated an additional agreement based on the higher educational institutions’ suggestions on how to relocate and/or reduce enrolment. When preparing their input, the institutions had to allow for, among other things, public employers and business communities’ needs as well as continuing supply of educations with particularly high demand and employment. The additional agreement and the five sector plans for the higher educational institutions include the following new main elements: 

  • Ambitions about more than 100 new education initiatives outside the four biggest cities; 

  • 41 new educational initiatives receive extraordinary public grants for their establishment; 

  • Overall, the political parties have prioritised 805 million DKK in funding of start-up and development expenses from 2021-2028; 

  • In all, 413 million DKK in grants of which the majority is used in order for both existing and new supplies of education to receive increased decentralised basic subsidy and a 7-percentage point increase in the taximeter scheme. 

In total, the additional agreement and the sector plans entail that: 

  • The study places in the four biggest cities are adjusted with 6.4 per cent towards 2030 corresponding to about 4,350 study places; 

  • Of the 4,350 study places, approximately 2,400 are relocated while 1,950 are downsized;  

  • If all the educational institutions’ registered plans are implemented by 2030, further 2,000 new study places will be established outside the four biggest cities. 

  • Because of the 60/40 ambition, 1,800 study places for the four biggest welfare educations are established outside the big cities of which 800 are relocated and 1000 are newly created. 

Further information (in Danish) 

 The Ministry of Higher Education and Science 

Source: Eurydice Unit Denmark 

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