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Funding for Danish Universities

Danish universities primarily finance education and research with public funding allocated in the annual Danish Finance and Appropriations Act. As an additional source of funding, the universities engage in open competitions as well as providing public sector consultancy.
Rune Skov Hansen
Tlf.: +45 72 31 85 66
Email: rsh@ufm.dk
Raeed Ali
Tlf.: +45 72 31 89 12
Email: rea@ufm.dk

Danish universities receive funding for higher education and basic research through four main channels: government grants for higher education, basic research grants, ministerial grants for providing research based public sector consultancy, and research grants awarded through open competitions.

Public Funding

The public funding of Danish universities is determined in the annual Danish Finance and Appropriations Act and allocated to the main objectives of the universities – higher education, basic research etc.

The table below shows the development in public funding of Danish universities from 2015-2019 (million DKK).


2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Education Total 7,933 8,423 8,272 8,134 7,974
Taximeter Scheme 7,227 7,734 7,578 7,463 5,246
Completion Bonus 848 813 788 815 -
Basic Funding - - - - 1,965
Results Based Grants - - - - 508
Quality Fund - - - - 75
Basic Research Funding Total 9,837 9,829 9,848 9,890 9,925
Research 8,948 8,960 8,938 9,048 9,049
*Other Grants 889 869 1,010 842 876
Total Funding 17,770 18,252 18,220 18,024 17,899

Source: The Danish Finance and Appropriations Act for 2019

*Including grants for public sector consultancy, libraries, museums, etc.

Funding for Higher Education

Danish higher education is primarily funded through the central government’s financing system that combines activity and performance based grants as well as fixed and individual subsidies.

Funding for Research Activities

The universities’ research budgets are predominantly comprised of the basic research grants allocated by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The basic research grants are allocated at the institutional level to ensure basic research of high quality, and as such it is the universities individually that manage the internal allocation and prioritisation of research. Besides the basic grants, the universities also conduct research through private and public competitive research funding as well as providing research based public sector consultancy.

last modified Sep 13, 2019