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Principles for education in Denmark

Quality assurance, lifelong learning and active participation are important features of the Danish education system.

Education for all

Danish education aims to ensure that all people acquire knowledge and competencies that qualify them to take an active part in society and contribute to its further development. Education is open to all and generally free of charge.

Other characteristic features of the Danish education system include:

High standards

The quality of Danish education is assured in many ways. It is mainly regulated and financed by the state, and all public educational institutions are approved and evaluated on an ongoing basis.


Danish educational institutions must provide their students with knowledge and competencies for them to use in future careers and life in general. Accordingly, institutions seek to ensure that education programmes are high quality, of relevance to society and oriented towards meeting the needs of the labour market.

Lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is a key principle in Denmark. The idea comes all the way back from the 19th century Danish clergyman and philosopher N.F.S. Grundtvig, who argued that a prerequisite for active participation in a democratic society is lifelong education for all citizens.

Active participation

Treating pupils and students as independent individuals with a right to form their own opinion and a duty to participate actively in discussions is a matter of course in Danish education. This also prepares students to become active and democratically minded individuals who are engaged in society.

Project work

In addition to attending classes, pupils and students carry out project work, either alone or in small groups at all levels of the education system. Interdisciplinary activities are also an integral part of Danish education.