Vocational education takes 2-5 years and can follow on from compulsory education. The aim is to prepare students for the world of work and industry, rather than the more academically-orientated types of secondary education such as the Gymnasium. However there are some cases in which students who have successfully completed their course in vocational education can go on to study at university.
Vocational secondary education
The 3-year HHX (Higher Commercial Examination) and HTX (Higher Technical Examination) courses are offered at business and technical colleges, preparing students for higher education in line with general upper secondary education. However, these courses are more specifically aimed at students who want to progress onto business or technical courses, and combine classroom study with practical work placements.
Open youth education and training
These courses are specifically aimed at students who want to progress into industries such as building and construction, crafts, mechanical engineering and many more. The vocational education and training programme (VET) is the most prominent vocational training course in Denmark combining theoretical and practical training both in the classroom and out on placement. Once a student has passed their course they are then qualified as skilled workers able to enter the labour market. Qualified students also have the option of applying to further higher education in particular specialist courses.
Health and social care students are able to enrol on a social and health education (SOSU) course that takes place at special SOSU colleges. There are other specialist courses for other fields of industry such as agriculture, forestry and maritime studies.
Vocational education fees and admission
There are no fees to pay for enrolling on a vocational course in Denmark. The duration of the course can be anything from one and a half to five years. Possible fields of study include technical vocational studies, health and social care and agricultural studies. Once the student has successfully passed the course, they are then qualified to work in their respective field of study.
Foreign students who wish to enrol on a vocational course in Denmark must abide by the same conditions as Danish students. Each school or institution will assess whether or not each student matches the required criteria to be accepted onto the course. This includes whether the foreign student has a sufficient grasp of the Danish language, and there may be a language test before a place on the course is offered. However, the school can also decide to offer the course to be taught in a foreign language.
During the classroom teaching period of a vocational course, students receive a weekly allowance. The amount is higher for students who are over the age of 18. During work placements the students will receive a standard trainee wage from their company.