Why should I study in Denmark?

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How to Study in Denmark

Denmark has more than 5,840,000 inhabitants and is one of the smallest European countries. Situated in the northern part of Europe, Denmark has many islands and a beautiful landscape. However, not only the landscapes make Denmark a great country to study in; Denmark also has progressive and innovative cities like Copenhagen.

The Danish Higher Education System

Due to the Bologna reforms, the higher education system is structured three-tiered for the majority of subjects and programmes: bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.

Currently, there are 38 higher education institutions in Denmark, of which almost all are public institutions. In 2018, approximately 260,000 students were enrolled at Danish universities and universities of applied sciences. It becomes apparent that Denmark is quite internationally orientated since more than every tenth student is an international student.

Denmark’s Higher Education System in International Comparison

In this section, we highlight the overall performance of Danish universities on the institutional level per U-Multirank dimension. The table below shows the national breakdown of Danish universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), versus below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture on the country’s strengths and areas for improvement. It becomes apparent that in general Denmark’s HEIs perform strongest in U-Multirank’s international orientation, knowledge transfer and teaching & learning dimensions.

National performance: Denmark

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 22% 33% Research 19% 58% Knowledge Transfer 42% 50% International Orientation 10% 81% Regional Engagement 10% 60%


How much does it cost to study in Denmark?

As an EU/EEA or Swiss student, you do not have to pay tuition fees for your studies in Denmark. Under certain conditions, it is even possible to participate in the Danish educational grant. All students, who are not from the EU/EEA or Switzerland, will need to pay tuition fees ranging from 6,000 and 16,000 EUR per academic year. For detailed information about the fees, check the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Addition of information on fees and financial support

Source: Eurydice 
Reference year(s): 2020/2021


In this section we highlight the fees for studying in Denmark. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.

  • National and EU/EEA full-time short-, first- and second-cycle students do not pay fees.
  • International students, defined as students from outside EU/EEA, pay fees set by higher education institutions.

Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.

Financial Support

In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in [insert country name]. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances.  How these terms are defined, are outlined below:

  • Grants are provided in the national currency and are differentiated between merit-based and need-based (or universal, where applicable). All main public financial support that does not need to be paid back is included, with the exception of grants for study abroad (i.e. mobility grants). Information is also presented on the proportion of students (in the short, first and second cycle) who receive grants.
  • Loans: information focuses on the existence of a student publicly-subsidised loan system and the percentage of students that take out a loan. Information on the interest rate and modalities for the repayment of loans may also be provided.
  • Tax benefit is any tax relief that is granted to parents whose child is a higher education student or to students themselves. The information aims to cover the amount of the tax relief, how it can be claimed and who is eligible to apply.
  • Family allowances for students' parents: this part provides information on their amount and the eligible population.
  • State grants are available to all full-time Danish students who are active in recognised educational programmes, and whose income does not exceed a defined amount (DKK 13,542 per month in 2020) in the month where the student receives the grant. For students living with their parents, the grant amount depends on the parental income. In 2020, for students who live with their parents, the minimum grant is DKK 970 per month for 12 months per year and the maximum amount is DKK 2,691. The grant amount for students living independently is DKK 6 243 per month for 12 months per year. International students (EU and outside EU) must fulfil some special conditions to be placed on an equal footing with Danish citizens and receive state education support. About 92% of first-cycle and 77% of second-cycle students received grants in 2019.
  • Extra grants are available for students who become parents when they live with another recipient of education support (DKK 2,494 per month in 2020) and for single parents (DKK 6,243 per month). Additional grants of between DKK 5,569 and 8,880 per month before taxes are available for students with a disability when the student is not able to work while studying.
  • Due to the COVID-19 situation, an extra one-time payment of DKK 1,000 was issued in October 2020 for all students who received public grants in April 2020.
  • The grants are annually regulated; new amounts will apply for 1 January 2021. All grants are taxable; the payable amount depends on individual circumstances. The amounts shown are for the year 2020 and before taxes.
  • State loans of up to DKK 3,194 per month are available to all full-time students who are entitled to a state grant. Supplementary student loans up to DKK 1,598 per month are available for students who are parents. An 'end-loan' of up to DKK 8,241 per month is available for students who have used all their state grants and who have no more than 12 or 24 months left of their educational programme. During the period of study, a 4% annual interest rate applies. Students must start paying back no later than one year after the end of the calendar year in which they graduate. The loan must be repaid within 15 years. 19% of first-cycle and 25% of second-cycle students made use of state loans in 2019.
  • In 2020, students who were in active status in 2019/20 may obtain additional loans under certain conditions due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • No tax benefits for students' parents or family allowances are in place.

What are the entry requirements for Danish Universities?

If you are an EU citizen, or from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, and if you have a school-leaving certificate that qualifies you for higher education, it will usually allow you to study in Denmark, too.

As a Non-EU, EEA or Swiss applicant you will have to prove that your school-leaving certificate qualifies you to start a higher education degree. Additionally, you are required to prove your English language skills. Some universities may have their own additional regulatory terms, which you should study at the individual university pages. 

How to get a Scholarship in Denmark?

No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Denmark. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.

Do I need a Student Visa for Denmark?

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens are not required to obtain a visa. For a stay longer than three months you have to request a residence permit prior or after your arrival.

Generally, all non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens need to obtain a visa. Also, you must have a residence permit prior to your arrival in Denmark. For a Danish residence permit, you will have to prove that you have been accepted as a student at a university, that you can support yourself financially and that you can speak and understand Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English or German as a language of instruction. For further information, click here.

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