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Denmark

Denmark

6. Education and Training

6.5 Cross-border learning mobility

On this page
  1. Policy framework
  2. Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education
  3. Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work
  4. Quality assurance

Policy framework

Information and guidance on cross-border mobility in Denmark

In Denmark, gribverden.dk provides information and guidance to higher education students on outward learning mobility. 

Furthermore, higher education institutions provide personalised services to students on outward mobility.

 

Foreign language preparation for young people in Denmark

ISCED 0–3: Act on Primary and Lower Secondary Education (Folkeskoleloven, LBK nr 1396 af 28/09/2020)

  • One compulsory foreign language learning (English) from the 1st to the 9th/10th grade.
  • Two compulsory foreign language learning (German/French and English) from the 5th to the 9th/10th grade.

 

Mandatory English lessons in upper secondary education: Act on General Upper Secondary Educations (Lov om de gymnasiale uddannelser, LBK nr 1428 af 28/09/2020). Students attending upper secondary education must take English as a compulsory foreign language until the age of 18. This is true for the following upper secondary programmes: STX (general) and HTX (technical). In one programme, HHX (business), English is compulsory until the age of 19.

 

Second foreign language lessons in upper secondary education: In STX (general) and HHX (business), a second foreign language is mandatory for two years. In HTX (technical), there is no second foreign language, so these students can finish studying their second foreign language at the age of 16, before entering upper secondary education.

In the two-year HF programme, English is compulsory at B level (intermediate level).

 

Foreign language training in vocational education and training (VET): Act on Vocational Upper Secondary Educations (Lov om erhvervsuddannelser, LBK nr 1395 af 28/09/2020). Foreign languages are not compulsory for all VET students. The duration of a VET education programme is usually 3–5.5 years. Approximately 35 VET programmes have a foreign language (English) out of a total of 102 programmes.

There is no second foreign language in any VET programme.

 

Portability of the state education grant

Act on the State Education Grant (Lov om statens uddannelsesstøtte, LBK nr 1037 af 30/08/2017)

The Danish state educational grant (SU) is a study grant awarded for credit and degree mobility.

In order to obtain SU for a whole study programme abroad, the young person must fulfil the general conditions of being granted SU. Also, the Danish education institution must accept the study period abroad as part of the current Danish study programme. Support for study programmes outside the Nordic countries is granted for a maximum of 4 years.

If a student is entitled to SU, the student is also entitled to obtain a student loan.

In order to be eligible for support to a general upper secondary education programme in a Nordic country, the education programme must give access to higher education programmes in Denmark. Furthermore, the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science has minimum requirements for certain subjects.

It is also possible to apply for a state educational grant for general upper secondary education programmes outside the Nordic countries. The following education programmes are approved for support:

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Option international du Baccalaureat
  • European higher general examination programme at the European Schools
  • Higher general examination programme at the Duborg School in Flensburg or the A.P. Møller School in Schleswig

 

Students can also apply for a tuition fee grant.

 

Study abroad scholarship scheme (Udlandsstipendieordningen, LBK nr 1037 af 30/08/2017)

Students who wish to study abroad can apply for a scholarship for up 2 years. The scholarship is intended to partly or wholly cover the tuition fees at certain study programmes in other countries.

There is a maximum limit to the study abroad scholarship. The maximum amount of the scholarship corresponds to the sum received by a Danish education institution for a corresponding study programme in Denmark. Should the tuition fee at the foreign education institution be higher than the Danish scholarship, the young person must pay the remainder of the fee him/herself or apply for a loan (udlandsstudielån). The loan will cover the difference between the Danish scholarship and the tuition fee.

For portability restrictions, see the Mobility Scoreboard.

Special support during studies (SPS; see section 6.6) can be awarded for credit and degree mobility.

 

Disadvantaged learners in mobility programmes

There is no national target for the participation of students with a low socio-economic background in mobility programmes. In Denmark, the state education grant (SU) is available to all students at state approved education programmes and provided to more than 50% of students.

 

Recognition of learning outcomes through the use of ECTS

Since 2001, the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) has been implemented in Denmark. This is evident from the ministerial order on exams in some higher education programmes (BEK. nr. 1021 af 20/11/2000). In 2021, the ECTS system is still in place, for example at the universitites.

 

Recognition of qualifications

In Denmark, the Act on assessment of qualifications obtained abroad (Lov om vurdering af udenlandske uddannelseskvalifikationer, LBK nr 579 af 01/06/2014) provides better opportunities for the recognition of qualifications obtained abroad.

In Denmark, there is no additional recognition procedure for higher education qualifications issues in EHEA countries.

 

Main cross-border mobility programmes for students in formal education

Depending on age and type of education, young people can apply for participation in the following programmes for cross-border mobility in formal education.

The Nordic Agreement on Cooperation on Upper Secondary School Education

The Nordic Agreement on Co-operation on Upper Secondary School Education gives all young Nordic citizens the right to take part in upper secondary education in another Nordic country. The agreement commits the countries to give learners from other Nordic countries access to secondary education under the same conditions as nationals. The agreement also guarantees that the countries will not seek compensation for educating each other’s students, as this could constitute a direct obstacle to freedom of movement for students in upper secondary education in the Nordic region.

The Nordic countries also undertake to work to recognise education obtained through studies in another Nordic country.

In order to be eligible for support to a general upper secondary education programme in a Nordic country, the leaving certificate must give access to higher education programmes in Denmark. Furthermore, the Danish Agency for Institutions and Educational Grants demand a certain level in specific subjects.

It is also possible to apply for a state educational grant for general upper secondary education programmes outside the Nordic countries. The following education programmes are approved for support:

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Option international du Baccalaureat
  • European higher general examination programme at the European Schools
  • Higher general examination programme at the Duborg school in Flensburg or the A.P. Moller school in Schleswig

Students may also apply for a tuition fee grant.

 

Work placements abroad (PIU - Praktik i udlandet)

The PIU programme aims to further internationalisation in the field of vocational education by giving vocational education and training (VET) students and apprentices the opportunity to complete either part or all of their practical training  abroad as part of their Danish education. The PIU programme provides financial support  to mobility for VET students and apprentices if the Danish education institution or the Danish company where the apprentice is employed has pre-approved the training arrangement with the company abroad..

The type and amount of funding depends on whether the student has an education/training agreement with a Danish company or not.

When the student has entered into a training agreement with a Danish company

  • The training period abroad is defined as a placement.
  • The Danish company enters into an agreement with an enterprise abroad.
  • The student must be paid according to the Danish collective agreement. If the trainee salary is lower in the destination country, the Danish employer must cover the difference in the salary.
  • The Danish employer must cover the travel expenses. The Employers’ Reimbursement Fund (Arbejdsgivernes Uddannelsesbidrag, AUB) partly/fully reimburse the employers’ expenses in relation to the training period abroad.
  • The training period must be at least one month.

 

When the student has no training agreement with a Danish company

  • The student ( possibly assisted by the VET school) must find a company abroad and enter into a training agreement.
  • The Danish VET school must assess the training opportunities and pre-approve the training arrangements.
  • The student and company abroad enter into a training agreement.
  • The student is paid according to local agreements.
  • The Employers’ Reimbursement Fund (AUB) covers travel and moving expenses.
  • The AUB covers 50% of the housing expenses, maximum DKK 2500  each month.
  • AUB covers travel expenses when the student takes the school-based part of the VET programme in Denmark.
  • AUB pays a stipend to cover living expenses the student takes the school-based part of the VET programme in Denmark.
  • AUB covers expenses for visas, insurances and some other costs
  • The maximum amount of funding is 32,000 DKK for a 12 month period

Each year, about 1,500 vocational education and traning (VET) students are granted a mobility award from the PIU programme.

 

Nordplus

Nordplus is the Nordic Council of Ministers’ mobility and networking programme in the area of lifelong learning. The Nordplus programme offers financial support to a variety of educational cooperations between partners in the area of lifelong learning from the eight participating countries in the Baltic and Nordic regions and the three autonomous regions Greenland, the Faroe Islands and the Aaland Islands. Nordplus consists of five sub-programmes: Junior, Higher Education, Adult, Horizontal, and Nordic Languages. The Nordplus Junior programme makes it possible to apply for grants for cooperation with schools in the Nordic and Baltic countries, such as project partnerships, pupil and teacher exchanges, and work experience for pupils. Nordplus Junior is aimed at preschools and primary and secondary schools, both theoretical and vocational programmes, as well as vocational schools/apprenticeships.

Extended schools in arts and culture that are part of a national or regional school syllabus can apply as coordinators. Pupils, teachers, and other educational staff can participate. Funding is available for various activities, including mobility activities: preparatory visits, class exchanges, pupil exchanges, and work experience. The Nordplus Higher Education programme is a mobility and network programme in the higher education sector, on bachelor and master levels, for the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Individuals cannot apply for grants directly from the Nordplus administration but they can participate in the activities via their home institutions.

The aim of the programme is to create a collaboration between the institutions that participate in the programme through exchanges, experience, good practice, and innovative results. The programme also supports collaboration between higher education institutions and other organisations.

The programme supports a range of activities, for instance student and teacher mobility in universities and university colleges. Individuals cannot apply for grants directly from the Nordplus administration but can participate in the activities via their home institutions.

The programme supports different types of mobility:

  • Long-term student mobility from 3 to 12 months
  • Short-term student mobility from 1 to 2 months
  • Express mobility under 1 month

 

The Nordplus Horizontal programme supports innovative projects and networks spanning more than one education sector in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Any institution or organisation working with education and lifelong learning can apply. Grants are awarded for a wide spectrum of themes and activities, for instance entrepreneurship, integration, active citizenship, the environment, art and culture. The programme does not support individual mobility unless such mobility is linked to project and network activities.

The Nordplus Nordic Languages programme supports institutions and organisations in the field of Nordic languages in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The programme targets all levels of education and is open for institutions, organisations and actors interested in working with or promoting the Nordic languages. The programme focuses on activities that improve language comprehension of the Nordic languages among children and young people, for instance methods of teaching, the development of teaching plans, language technology projects, etc. Nordplus Nordic Languages does not award grants for individual mobility except for preparatory visits to support the planning and preparation of projects and applications. The length of the preparatory visit is a maximum of 5 days, and up to two representatives from each involved organisation can participate.

The Nordplus programme also includes Nordplus Adult. Read more about this part of the programme in the section further below about mobility in the context of non-formal learning.

 

Erasmus+ 2021-2027 – formal learning

Erasmus+ is the EU programme in the fields of education, training, youth and sport. It promotes and supports learning mobility for individuals and groups inside and outside the formal education system, and it promotes and supports cooperation between organisations and institutions. In the 2021-2027 programme period, three cross-cutting priorities are the centre of attention; namely inclusion and diversity, digitalisation, and green sustainability. The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science administers the Danish part of the programme.

The mobility of learners and staff is the flagship activity of Erasmus+. Young people in formal education from primary schools, general and vocational secondary schools and higher education institutions can participate in mobility activities such as student exchanges and visits, training and study abroad programmes. Through the unique experience of living, studying, training or travelling abroad, participants are expected to gain self-confidence and soft skills, discover different cultures and build networks of interpersonal and professional relationships with people from other countries.

Erasmus+ also supports cooperation projects between educational institutions at all levels of the formal education system. In such projects, young people may have the opportunity to participate in activities focusing on, among others, better use of new technologies, innovative teaching, and training and learning methods.

Finally, Erasmus+ supports non-formal and informal learning for young people. Read more about this part of the programme in the section below about mobility in the context of non-formal learning and of youth work. For a complete overview of the Erasmus+ programme, see the 2021-2027 Erasmus+ programme guide.

 

Scholarship to study abroad (Udlandsstipendieordningen)

Students can apply for a scholarship to study abroad (udlandsstipendium) lasting up to 2 years. The scholarship aims to partly or wholly cover the tuition fees at certain study programmes in other countries. The scholarship covers study periods and whole study programmes at master’s level. The amount corresponds at most to the sum received by a Danish educational institution for a corresponding study programme in Denmark. Should the tuition fees at the foreign educational institution be higher than the Danish scholarship, the young person must pay the remainder of the fee him/herself or apply for a loan.

Study periods abroad (credit mobility) that form part of a Danish study programme. The study period abroad must be fully credited by the Danish education institution. The study abroad scholarship can be awarded for up to 2 years. However, the student can only receive the scholarship for a maximum of 1 year if he/she wishes to study abroad in connection with a short-cycle education programme.

Whole study programmes at master’s level abroad (degree mobility). To obtain a scholarship for a complete study programme at master’s level, the programme must be included in one of the lists of approved study programmes (fast track list or the special list concerning studies of an artistic or cultural nature (listen over kunstneriske og kulturelle uddannelser)) and it must be approved as eligible for the student grant (SU).

The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science administers the stipend. On the agency’s website, young people can find information regarding the general conditions required in order to be awarded the scholarship for studies abroad.

There is a maximum limit to the study abroad scholarship.

 

Youth Card transportation discount in Denmark

Students living in Denmark and studying in the region of Oresund in Sweden or in the Flensburg region in Germany may be entitled to a discount on the daily transportation to the education institutions. Students must be eligible for an ordinary Youth Card and the education programme in Sweden or Germany must be approved as eligible for the state educational grant by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science.

 

Denmark–USA programme

The Denmark–USA programme aims to support transatlantic cooperation within vocational education and training. Among others, the programme provides grants to study abroad stays and internships for vocational education and training students.

The programme is based on a memorandum of understanding between the Danish Ministry of Education and the US Department of Education, signed in 2000. The memorandum has been extended several times.

The programme provides funding for travel expenses, accommodation, insurance, and visa, but not daily allowances. The funding cannot exceed the actual documented expenses.

In 2017, 120 students received a mobility grant from the DK–USA programme.

 

Fulbright Denmark

Fulbright Denmark is based on a bi-national treaty from 1951 between Denmark and the USA. Both governments support the work economically through annual allocations on their state budgets, and today Fulbright Denmark receives additional support – financial and in-kind – from many other places. Fulbright Denmark offers grants to both Danes going to the USA and Americans coming to Denmark.

Grants for Danes:

  • Fulbright for graduate and PhD students
  • Fulbright for scholars (postdoc, assistant professors, associate professors, or professors at a higher Danish education institution).

Since the Fulbright Program began in Denmark in 1951, over 3500 Danes and Americans have participated, working on mutual understanding and sparring with the world’s elite within their fields. Over the last 20 years, the number of annual scholarships awarded by Fulbright Denmark to Danes and Americans has varied between 25 and 50.

 

UArctic and North2North

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organisations concerned with education and research in and about the North. Through the program North2North, the network provides funding for student exchanges and courses focusing on the North.

The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science administers Denmark’s participation in the network.

 

Promoting mobility in the context of non-formal learning, and of youth work

Several opportunities exist for young people to participate in international projects, exchanges and other voluntary cross-border activities. The following four programmes are the main channels for mobility in the context of non-formal learning and youth work.

Erasmus+ – non-formal learning for young people

In the Erasmus+ programme, the mobility of learners and staff is the flagship activity, not only within formal education but also within non-formal education. In this context, young people have the opportunity to travel abroad as part of a project between two organisations or informal groups of young people. From 2022, young people with ‘fewer opportunities’ also have the opportunity to go on an interrail travel through Erasmus+.

Erasmus+ also supports cooperation projects between organisations focusing on non-formal learning activities for young people. Cooperation projects focus on capacity building, strengthening networks and furthering internationalisation. As part of such projects, young people have the opportunity to travel and participate in the planned activities.

Erasmus+ is funded by the European Commission, and in a Danish context it is administered by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science.

 

The European Solidarity Corps

Like Erasmus+, the European Solidarity Corps is funded by the European Commission and (in Denmark) administered by the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science.

The European Solidarity Corps consists of two tracks. On the one hand, the corps provides young people the opportunity to volunteer in existing projects all across Europe. On the other hand, the corps provides young people the opportunity to set up and implement small projects either as part of an organisation or as part of an informal group.

Nordplus Adult

The Nordplus programme, previously mentioned in the section about cross-border mobility for students in formal education, also provides cross-border opportunities within the sphere of non-formal learning.

Nordplus Adult includes all parts of adult learning – formal, non-formal, and informal learning –  in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The objective of the programme is to generate development of the sector. Among other things, the programme awards grants for mobility projects. The exchange of adult learners must be between Nordic/Baltic institutions and organisations. The aim of the exchange is to provide the participants with new competences and/or professional skills and insight into other cultures and learning environments.

Programmes under the Danish Youth Council

Finally, The Danish Youth Council (DUF) administers two programmes funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

The first programme is called Ambassadors for Dialogue. It is funded by the Danish–Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) Youth Pool and supports the Ambassadors for Dialogue in Denmark, Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia as well as a partnership between the KFUM scout organisation in Denmark and the Tunisian scouts.

The other programme is called the Global Youth Programme. All DUF member organisations are eligible for a pool for international partnership projects. The partnerships must strengthen democracy, youth influence and participation, and organisational life. Partner organisations in the countries on the OECD’s DAC list can apply together with the Danish organisation. Currently, around 50 partnerships are funded.

For more information about cross-border activities administered by the Danish Youth Council, see section 9.6, ‘Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation’.

 

Quality assurance

Mechanisms for quality assurance of cross-border learning for young people in Denmark

In Denmark, no uniform quality assurance system for any of the mentioned programmes exists. Each mobility programme has its own system and is subject to the respective rules and regulations of the funding providers. The section here mentions some main tendencies.

Quality assurance in Erasmus+

The quality of projects funded by Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps is assured in the application process through pre-defined award criteria (e.g. the project design and how applicants will ensure the outcome and impact of the project). Furthermore, in some instances, an accreditation of the organisation is necessary prior to the application process.

Furthermore, the national agency (in Denmark, the Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science) can carry out technical and financial checks and audits in relation to the use of grants, as well as the monitoring of projects on the spot. Furthermore, in some actions, organisations are asked to submit an interim report, and all beneficiaries are obliged to submit a final report. If the activities generating the grant are not implemented or if the quality of the realised activities/outputs is of insufficient quality, the funding can be reduced.

Quality assurance in Nordplus

During the award process, quality assurance mechanisms take place according to pre-defined award criteria. Furthermore, all parties receiving funding from Nordplus must submit a final report. The final report must answer questions concerning how the activities were carried out, how the results were obtained, and how the grant was used. For projects longer than 18 months, an interim report must be submitted halfway through the project period. The final report is divided into a contents section and a financial section. The financial report must be authorised by a finance unit of the participating institution or organisation.

Furthermore, Nordplus can carry out follow-up visits and audits in relation to the use of grant.

Quality assurance in other mobility programmes

The small mobility programmes have a variety of quality assurance mechanism. Often, beneficiaries are obliged to document the realised activities. This could be in the form of a final report, and for longer projects also an interim report. The final report may consist of an activity report (realised activities and how the results were obtained) and a financial report (how the grant was used). Some programmes oblige beneficiaries to hand in accounting reports, some of which should be verified by an auditor.

Furthermore, the quality assurance mechanism may be in the form of an approval of the study abroad period by the Danish education institution, for instance in the Danish Work Placements Abroad (PIU) programme, where the Danish education institution must approve the training agreement.

For quality assurance in the Ambassadors for Dialogue programme administered by the Danish Youth Council, see section 9.4, ‘Raising awareness about global issues’.