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Denmark - Public School System

The Danish public school system: how it works.

Kindergarten (Børnehave) - For children between 3 and 6 years old. All children living in Denmark have access to day care centres and kindergartens. For registration go to the office called 'Pladsanvisningen'  in your neighbourhood municipality. 
Kindergarten have an annual fee of 16.300 DKK.

Danish state schools from pre-school through high-school are free.

Pre-school (Børnehaveklasse) - Children 5 yrs old. Pre-school is optional but most parents send their children to pre-school at the age of 5.
Enrolment for pre-school also takes place in your local municipal office.

Elementary and middle school (Folkeskolen) - Compulsory education starts at 7 yrs old. Folkeskolen, the nine years compulsory education, includes both primary and lower secondary education (middle school). There is an optional 10th year of school which more than 60% of students choose to attend.

High-school/Upper secondary education (Gymnasiet) - After 9th or 10th grade students can pursue an high-school degree. High school consists of a 3 years course with various options to select from: mathematical, linguistic, musical, technical etc.
State-owned upper secondary education is free.

The vast majority of Danish students attends public schools, including the royalty!


The average school class size is around 20 students.

School schedule is from Monday to Friday; the day starts at 8 am and finishes around noon for younger students, at 3 pm for older students.

Lunch is not provided, so most students bring a packed lunch from home.

Entrance to University requires High School Diploma (Studenter Eksamen). A pass grade is between 6 and 13, although the number 12 is never used!).

Each University defines each year what is the minimum pass grade necessary to gain entry.

University is free.


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