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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe


National Support Services - Denmark

Styrelsen for Forskning og Uddannelse

Styrelsen for Forskning og Uddannelse

Bredgade 40
1260 København K



+45 3544 6200
+45 3544 6201
  • The organisation
  • Work programme
  • The team
  • Adult Learning in the country
  • National Stakeholders

The Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education is an agency in the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

The Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education has responsibility for all tasks that require particular expertise within the areas of research and education – across all institutions.

The agency has undertaken tasks which used to belong under the two former agencies: the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation and the Danish Agency for Higher Education. The former agencies were closed 31 December 2016.
The agency lays the foundation for further development of high-quality Danish research and higher education, and works to promote good international interaction in both research and education areas. The agency contributes to new analyses, and follows professional developments and discussions within the sector. The agency also manages tasks that support a high level of quality in national research infrastructure. It is also the Danish space authority.
Other areas covered by the agency include EU and global cooperation within education and research, international education programmes, assessment and recognition of foreign education programmes, accreditation, and the space area.
Moreover, the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education contributes expert knowledge in the provision of ministerial services and policy development in cooperation with the Department.


With a goal to contribute to the establishment of EPALE as a highly relevant and well-known reference point and an authoritative resource for the adult learning community as well as a networking platform where the adult learning community can come into contact with their peers from across Europe, the main objectives of the Danish NSS are:

  • To promote EPALE to all national adult education, learning and training stakeholders;

  • To motivate the adult learning sector to engage with and contribute to EPALE;

  • To attract users as well as site visitors to EPALE;

  • To support the development of EPALE as a multilingual platform;

  • To contribute to and support the further development of EPALE as an innovative platform providing the European adult learning community with unique features.

    In order to achieve this, the Danish NSS will perform the following main activities:

  • Initiate various promotion activities aiming at engaging new users, e.g. host conferences, produce testimonials, host information meetings, meet with stakeholders, produce promotion materials and establish a multiplier network;

  • Contribute with a considerable quantity of high quality content to the platform;

  • Cooperate with other NSSs on the implementation and further development of EPALE;

  • Support the multilingualism of EPALE by contributing content in both Danish and English and initiate translation of content.


The target group includes organisations and professionals providing adult learning, policy makers and departments of Ministries involved in adult education, universities and knowledge centres specialised in adult learning.


The main outputs, results and products foreseen are:

  • Two high profile conferences on themes in coherence with the thematic focuses of EPALE;

  • Video productions on adult learning in Denmark;

  • An increase in the number of Danish users of EPALE as well as Danish visitors to EPALE;

  • 6 Danish thematic landing pages;

Contribution of Danish high quality content to EPALE.

Emil Thirup-Sorknæs

Head of Section

Danish Agency for Higher Education


Tel. +45 72 31 83 18



Jesper Christian Pedersen

Head of Section

Danish Agency for Higher Education


Tel. +45 72 31 89 04















List of current materials produced for the EAPEL team in Denmark: Fil liste_over_visuelt_materiale_epale_2017.xlsx


Download our EPALE material 



The Danish tradition of lifelong learning

The Danish government's lifelong learning policy provides education for all citizens at all ages, and Denmark has a long-standing tradition of lifelong learning educational activity with a large number of adults participating in different education activities.


Education and training for adults at all levels

Adults wishing to receive education and refresh their competences can choose from a number of opportunities.

Adult education and continuing training


Denmark has a long-standing tradition of lifelong learning. In 2014, nearly one in three of the population in the 25–64 age bracket participated in formal and non-formal education and training including publicly or employer funded internal and private education programmes, and courses in connection with employment or as leisure-time education.


Education and training for adults at all levels


Adult education and training range from formal qualifying general education, continuing vocational training and adult higher education to non-formal education. Generally, the syllabus and examinations are adapted to the experience and interests of adults and most public programmes provide recognition of prior formal and non-formal learning.


Adult education and training programmes leading to formal qualifications for further education or for the labour market include:


  • Preparatory adult education (FVU): Offered to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills of adults who do not have sufficient qualifications to follow education and training or cope with the demands of working life.

  • General adult education (avu): General education at lower secondary level.

  • Higher preparatory single-subject courses (hf-e): General education at upper secondary level.

  • Adult vocational training (AMU): The main target group is unskilled and skilled workers in the labour market who need to update and/or develop their competencies. The continuing training programmes are developed and adapted according to the needs of the labour market.

  • Vocational education and training for adults (euv): Offers adults 25 years and older opportunities to acquire a VET qualification to become a skilled worker within the IVET system based on recognition of prior learning and work experience.

  • Further adult education programmes (VVU): Corresponds to the level of ordinary academy profession programmes.

  • Diploma programmes: Corresponds to the level of bachelor's programmes within the ordinary higher education system.

  • Master’s programmes within adult higher education: Corresponds to the level of master's programmes within the ordinary higher education system.


Non-formal education


A wide range of different schools operate within the framework of non-formal adult education ("folkeoplysning"). The most well-known are the Folk High Schools, which are residential schools providing general and non-formal education. The lengths of courses vary – from one week up to almost a year – and are attended by adults of all ages. They are non-formal courses meant to broaden general, social and democratic competencies. Other programmes of non-formal adult education are offered by Adult Education Associations and Day Folk High Schools, or can be university extension courses.


Video about the Danish education system

Follow this link to watch a video in English presenting the Danish education system.

  • Public authorities and national policy makers:

    Ministry of Education -
    Ministry of Culture (non-formal liberal adult education) -
    Ministry of Immigration and Integration -
    Ministry of Higher Education and Science (Further Adult Education, Diploma Level, Master Level) -
    Ministry of Employment
  • Public authorities and local policy makers:

    1. The 98 Danish municipalities (in charge of unemployed, inclusion and liberal adult education)

    2. Local Government Denmark (LGDK) -

      Interest group and member authority for all 98 Danish municipalities.
  • Social partners including employers and trade union organisations and national tripartite/partite councils and committees

The main providers of formal adult education in Denmark

Higher Preparatory Education (HF – Higher secondary)
General Adult Education (AVU – Lower Secondary)
Preparatory Adult Education (FVU – Basic skills - Primary)
AMU-centres and VET-colleges (provides continuing vocational education and training for adults

Danish Adult Education Association (DAEA) - an umbrella organisation catering for 34 countrywide member organisations, all working with non-formal (liberal) adult education.

  1. Folk High Schools  offer residential short courses (less than two weeks) and residential long courses (more than 12 weeks). Folk High Schools are private institutions. Some of them are linked to religious associations, trade unions or NGO's.

  2. Day Folk High Schools offer teaching with an educative or job-promoting aim for adults with little formal education and people in a personally or socially vulnerable situation. DFHS’s are private institutions.

  3. Danish University Extension courses offer educative instruction and lectures by the extramural departments of Danish universities. Provided by about 100 local committees.

  4. Study associations/evening classes  offer non-formal adult education to increase adult individuals´ overall subject-related insight and skills. Provided by private, local institutions. Most of them are part of five national adult education associations of which four are linked to political parties.

The Danish Language Centres

Organise 50 government approved language learning centres, mainly teaching Danish to 26.000 adult foreigners and immigrants -


The Danish Prison and Probation Service -

  1. Providing prison education to inmates