Higher Education Systems and Institutions, Denmark

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_429-1


Denmark is a small country situated in Northern Europe. It has a long history in higher education with the University of Copenhagen established in 1479 (Hansen 2000). Post-World War II history of HE is one of expansion organized in a setting of the Nordic welfare model. This means that welfare provision including higher education is based on the principle of universalism and funded through taxation. Further the higher education grant and loan scheme offering students financial support is generous compared to most other countries.

In Denmark, the higher education landscape is structured with four qualifications levels: a short-cycle academic professional level, a first-cycle bachelor’s level, a second-cycle master’s level, and a third-cycle PhD level. Educational programs are offered by three different types of institutions: academies of professional higher education, university colleges, and universities.

In this chapter, the Danish higher education landscape will be more...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access


  1. Aagaard, Kaare. 2017. The evolution of a National Research Funding System: Transformative change through layering and displacement. Minerva.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s112024-017-9317-1.
  2. Aagaard, Kaare, Hanne F. Hansen, and Jørgen G. Rasmussen. 2016. Mergers in Danish higher education: An overview over the changing landscape. In Mergers in higher education, ed. Romulo Pinheiro, Lars Geschwind, and Timo Aarrevaara, 73–88. Heidelberg: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ahola, Sakari, Tina Hedmo, Jens-Peter Thomsen, and Agnete Vabø. 2014. Organisational features of higher education: Denmark, Finland, Norway & Sweden. Working Paper 14. Oslo: NIFU.Google Scholar
  4. Dansk Center for Forskningsanalyse. 2016. Links between research policy and national academic performance. Main report. Aarhus.Google Scholar
  5. Danske Professionshøjskoler. 2016. Professionshøjskoler i tal 2016.Google Scholar
  6. DEA. 2016. Universitetsuddannedes vej ud på arbejdsmarkedet. København.Google Scholar
  7. Enders, Jürgen. 2015. Explainer: How Europe does academic tenure. The Conversation, June 29.Google Scholar
  8. Hansen, Hanne F. 2000. Dynamisk inerti: Universitetssektoren gennem 35 år. In Forandringer i teori og praksis –skiftende billeder af den offentlige sektor, ed. Marianne Antonsen and Torben B. Jørgensen, 275–312. København: Jurist- og Økonomforbundets Forlag.Google Scholar
  9. Hansen, Hanne F. 2012. Universiteter i en brydningstid: Bologna, Lissabon og den danske andedam. In Hvordan styres videnssamfundet? ed. Jan Faye and David B. Pedersen. Frederiksberg: Nyt fra Samfundsvidenskaberne.Google Scholar
  10. Hansen, Hanne F. 2014. ‘Quality Agencies’: the development of regulating and mediating organizations in Scandinavian higher education. In Building the Knowledge Economy in Europe: New Constellations in European Research and Higher Education Governance, ed. Meng-Hsuan Chou and Åse Gornitzka, 188–218. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Incorporated.Google Scholar
  11. Langfeldt, Liv, Siri B. Borlaug, Dag Aksnes, Mats Benner, Hanne F. Hansen, Egil Kallerud, Ernst H. Kristansen, Anntti Pelkonen, and Gunnar Sivertsen. 2013. Excellence initiatives in Nordic research policies: Policy issues – Tensions and options. Oslo: NIFU.Google Scholar
  12. Langfeldt, Liv, Mats Benner, Gunnar Sivertsen, Ernst H. Kristansen, Dag Aksnes, Siri B. Borlaug, Hanne F. Hansen, Egil Kallerud, and Anntti Pelkonen. 2015. Excellence and Growth dynamics: A comparative study of the Matthew effect. Science and Public Policy 42 (5): 661–675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Norden. 2013. The Nordic Region: A step closer to gender balance in research? Joint Nordic strategies and measures to promote gender balance among researchers in Academia. Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.Google Scholar
  14. Pinheiro, Rómulo, Lars Geschwind, Hanne F. Hansen, and Elias Pekkola. 2015. Academic leadership in the Nordic Countries: Patterns of gender equality. In Women’s voices in management, ed. Helena Desivilya Syna and Carmen-Eugenia Costea, 15–33. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  15. Rambøll. 2013. Evaluering af erhvervsakademistrukturen. Rapport. København: Styrelsen for Videregående Uddannelser og Uddannelsesstøtte.Google Scholar
  16. Rigsrevisionen. 2004. Faktuelt notat til Statsrevisorerne om økonomien på Centre for Videregående Uddannelser. København.Google Scholar
  17. Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet. 2016. Videnskabeligt personale på universiteterne 2015. København.Google Scholar
  18. Uddannelses- og Forskningsministeriet. 2017. Ph.d.-uddannelsens kvalitet og relevans. København.Google Scholar
  19. Udvalget for Kvalitet og Relevans I de Videregående Uddannelser. 2014. Nye veje. Analyserapport. København.Google Scholar
  20. Undervisningsministeriet. 1998. Det 21. århundredes uddannelsesinstitutioner. København.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark