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Higher education in design, conservation, architecture and libraries has been moved from the Dept. of Culture.


A 2012 report on internationalisation of education indicates that this is a priority area.

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Denmark/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.1 Institutional overview

The Ministry of Culture is responsible for most of the higher education and training in the arts. However, as of 3 October 2011 higher education within architecture, design, and preservation, along with the Royal School of Library and Information Science were moved from the Ministry of Culture to the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.


The higher arts education institutions under the Ministry of Culture include education in theatre, acting, dance, film, art, and music.

The largest schools are the schools of architecture, the Royal School of Library and Information Science and the schools of design, which together account for two-thirds of all students – and which are now under the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education. The four music academies account for roughly one-quarter, while the remainder of students are distributed among film, theatre, the visual arts, and arts and crafts studies.

All of these institutes have no tuition fees. To be admitted to most of the courses, students have to pass an exam.

Amendments, aims and debates

The Ministry of Culture used to be the main governmental body responsible for arts education and training in Denmark. In the last years the main focus and initiatives have been: 1) to create larger and more viable professional environments, 2) to improve the quality of the training, 3) to improve employment for graduates, 4) to strengthen the international profile of the training.

The focus on increasing employment after training at the higher arts institutes has led to a decision by the Ministry of Culture to lower the number of students admitted to courses as there is concern that too many are being educated for too few jobs. Moreover, the school managements are obliged each year to deliver a report on what the institution is doing to improve the employment of the graduate students. In 2009 advisory boards have also been established, including representatives from the labour market, with the purpose of having a systematic dialogue between the educational institutions and the labour market and thereby developing more opportunities for employment. It is also a goal that the education institutions have to focus on entrepreneurship with the purpose to improve the chances of future employment in the business world.

To improve the profile of the individual institutions, there have been initiatives to raise the quality of education e.g. the yearly budget for the institutions has not been decreased, even though the number of students has. In 2010, several of the institutions were merged to create larger administrative and professional institutions within the areas of music, acting and design. Attracting foreign students to the Danish higher arts institutions is still an important focus area.

The Bologna process has had a big impact on the Danish higher arts institutes. The institutions have introduced Bachelor's degrees and new Masters Degrees. It is also a part of the Danish policy in this area to create international transparency through accreditation and internal quality assurance.

All the courses are expected to follow the developments of new technology in order to prepare the students for the labour market, although there have been no specific programmes.

It is still too early to predict changes in policy relating to the structural changes of institutions between the Ministry of Culture, and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education. However, a recent report from February 2012 (Internationalisering ved de kunstneriske og kulturelle vidergående uddannelsesinstitutioner) that focuses on the internationalisation of educational institutions within the cultural and arts sectors indicates that this is a prioritised area. The content of the report builds on data from the period 2007-2009 and does therefore not take recent structural changes into account. The report is, all the same, a valuable document in terms of the role internationalisation plays in the policies of institutions of cultural education. The report recommends that specific strategies of internationalisation will be made, that a specific code of conduct will be developed, that the institutions within cultural and artistic education develop a language policy that these institutions align with national strategies on internationalisation, and improve in terms of branding and marketing. Furthermore, these institutions are encouraged to send their students abroad, to establish focused agreements on international cooperation, to document information and progress within the area and create sustainable networks.

Chapter published: 11-04-2012

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