Denmark has old folk traditions. As early as
1814, general education was introduced, but not
compulsory schooling. This means that all children must
be taught. But if the parents want, the teaching can be
done at home provided it provides the same knowledge as
the general school. However, very few children are
taught at home.
Most children start at the age of six in the ten-year
municipal elementary school (eleven years is optional).
About one in six pupils attend one of the many private
schools. These, according to an old liberal high school
tradition, receive almost all their costs covered by
public funds. On average, the free schools are only half
the size of the municipal schools and the parents'
influence over the education is greater.
Country facts of Denmark, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The Freeschool Act originates from the ideas about
education developed by the priest, poet and politician
NFS Grundtvig in the 1830s. He argued that education
could free the Danish farmer from poverty and oppression
and that the people themselves would design the
education so that it did not foster them as tools for
the rulers. Grundtvig's vision of folk high school, that
is, adult education, was realized in 1844, and a large
number of folk high schools and free schools were
founded in Denmark and subsequently also in the rest of
the Nordic countries.
More than 1.2 million Danes, or just over one fifth
of the population, are students. Ten years after
compulsory school, half of the pupils have completed
vocational education, one third are still students and
one sixth have just completed compulsory school or taken
the student. Nearly half of the country's 35-year-olds
have a higher education.
A growing number of foreign nationals are studying in
Denmark. In 2014, foreign students made up a tenth of
the student body at the university level. Citizens from
the Nordic countries and the EU do not need a residence
permit to study in Denmark. For them, the education is
free of charge and under certain conditions they have
the right to receive Danish education support, which is
the highest in the world (max. 70,000 Danish kroner per
The University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479. The
University is also located in Aarhus, Odense (with
faculties in several other cities), Aalborg and Roskilde.
In addition, there are a large number of institutions
with higher education. The business schools in
Copenhagen and Aarhus as well as the Technical
University of Denmark are the three largest.
Denmark uses 3.0 percent of gross domestic product
(GDP) for research and development, and 8.5 percent of
GDP for education, of which 1 percent goes to the
above-mentioned educational support. In the fall of
2015, the government announced that the state budget for
higher education would be reduced by 2 percent per year
over the next four years. The Government aims not least
at the students 'educational support, which now exceeds
the salary costs for the teachers' union.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Denmark in each level - compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
98.7 percent (2016)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
13.8 percent (2014)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
13.8 percent (2014)
Planned terrorist acts are averted
Between Christmas and New Year, four men are arrested in Copenhagen and one
man in Stockholm, suspected of planning a terrorist attack against the
Jyllands-Posten editorial board in Copenhagen. Three of the arrested are
resident in Sweden but have traveled to Copenhagen, where before the New Year
they would attack the editorial staff with automatic weapons and "kill as many
as possible", according to the security police. The arrested have been put under
surveillance by both Danish and Swedish security police. Justice Minister Lars
Barfoed describes the terrorist plans as the most serious to date in Denmark.
New foreign law - a concession in the budget negotiations
In the draft budget for 2011, the Government of the Danish People's Party
meets on a number of issues. A new Aliens Act is introduced that contains a
contentious points system for immigrants. The system means that well-educated,
linguistic and professional people will be granted permanent residence permits
faster. The government also agrees to the Danish People's Party's demands to
investigate immigration costs. Immigrants should no longer have access to the
same social service as Danes.
Overall plan to lift "ghettos"
The government is launching a comprehensive plan for how 28 immigrant-tight
metropolitan suburbs should be lifted socially and economically. According to
the government, these suburbs can be likened to ghettos where Danish norms do
not apply. The plan includes increased police efforts against crime, but also
stops for immigration of more immigrants, daycare for children who know poor
Danish, restriction of family reunification for overseas residents, and more.
The plan is supported by the Danish People's Party, while the Left Opposition
presents an alternative plan.
Failed attack on Jyllands-Posten
A Chechen-chased man from Belgium is arrested by police after he accidentally
blasted a letter bomb inside a toilet in a hotel in Copenhagen. According to the
police, the letter bomb would have been used against the Jyllands-Posten
editorial staff in Aarhus.
The government presents a savings package
The government presents a savings package because the state must adapt to the
European Monetary Union's EMU requirement of a maximum budget deficit of 3 per
cent. The package means a stop for state and municipal spending increases, which
means that promised tax cuts cannot be implemented. It also means reduced income
for the country's pensioners.
First female foreign minister - and defense minister
Gitte Lillelund Bech from Venstre has been appointed in a large government
formation as Denmark's first female defense minister, while Conservative
People's Party leader Lene Espersen becomes the country's first female foreign
minister. In the new government, 9 out of 19 ministers are women.
The magazine apologizes to the Mohammed cartoons
The daily Politics apologizes for Muslims being violated by the publication
of the Muhammad cartoons. Other media accuse the newspaper of betraying freedom
of speech. With his apology, Politiken reaches settlement in disputes with eight
Muslim organizations. The editor-in-chief of politics hopes that the apology
will reduce tensions between the Danish media and the Muslim world.
New assassination attempt on the satirist
A man is shot to death by the police inside the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard's
residence in Aarhus. The man has tried to kill Westergaard, best known for a
controversial Muhammad cartoon in the Jutland Post 2005.