June 24, 2019: Visit to the Danish Ministry of Education

Danish Ministry of Education: Department of quality and education

Options and support for students with disabilities: Presentation by Signe Højsteen, who has worked with various organisations and worked with UN goals regarding quality of education. See Signe’s presentation on our Resources page.

History: In Denmark we have a long tradition of having education opportunities for people with disabilities, but initially it was limited to certain disabilities, but a lot of process has happened over the 2000’s e.g. in the past it was the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Services, but that changed so currently it is the responsibility of the Danish Ministry of Education.

Establishment of equality: If you are qualified, you can get work, which means it creates equal opportunities – This also leads to more participation both educational and societal.

Focus: There is also a focus on constant convincing the State that this is the most cost-effective method compared to early retirement.

About support: Accommodation and support is provided by the State directed towards higher youth education, and not for public schools because the municipalities are obligated to provide direct support in that case.

Kinds of support:

  • Assistive devices e.g. computers, special program, sign to speech
  • Private secretary: Gets books and helps the student go to the toilet.
  • Personal assistant: Structure of reading plan, when to hand papers in and how to socialise with other people.
  • Hearing aid: Sign language.

Accommodation for exams and testing: Headmaster is responsible with you and the teacher to give you more time and a silent location. Cheating is not accepted, but structuring time is allowed. To get more time you need to contact your educational institution that signs an application for Danish Ministry of Education. She pointed out the fact that you should inform about it before starting your education, so you can get support early on. The educational institutions are obligated to send an application and there is a short deadline to send application.

Document is needed for support and environment you are in is important.

The Danish system:

General statistics: Higher education.

What is youth education from when you reach the age of 15. HEI from the age of 18.

Education is free and this applies for scholarship, too. Students with disabilities can get additional allowance, but the state is rather critical about giving extra allowance. Highest allowance in the world  …and the tax is approximately 30%

Scholarship: More and more people get one.

Student that receive SPS: Due to application you can see the different disabilities in the statistics. From this they can see if they are getting good at supporting them. We are getting more attentive, supportive. You can also see more people have psycho/social disabilities and the changes in groups.

New development: August the 1st – Shorter education SPS – Obliged to give support – It is exciting and frightening. Also collecting knowledge about students – How about they finish education.

Complaint procedure: 1 of 12 was changed – the complaints were sent to a special complaint board, where a from a disability organisation will join in the decision.

Number of recipients of SPS: More and more students over the years and more enter educational institutions.

Psycho/social disabilities: Results for higher education are not as good as they want to but lacking behind.


  • Scholarship is given from 18 years old – Not talking about compulsory education – 7% in special school. Individual education for people with disabilities – No allowance.
  • Who does documentation? Specialised doctor/hospital department, it is not long process.
  • How do you identify people with reading disabilities? A national test of people’s ability to read.
  • Early intervention: Ministry of Social Affairs. Social development and supporting parents are done by a down-up approach instead of top-down, also municipalities can choose to structure and support.
  • eLearning: In Denmark it is individualised, so it is not an issue in Denmark to have access.
  • How is obligation inferred? Explanation in Act Guidelines prepared by the department. Educational institutions have not gone against the law.
  • Could you go more in detail about the law regarding people with disabilities? Since the 1980’s Denmark has had 4 principles for disability from UN’s standard rules for disability.
  • Funding – Taximedia: more student equals more funding, there has however been too high drop-out rates due to Psycho/social overrepresentation.


Summarised by Hüseyin Koc
Photos (mainly) by Asta Slapikaitė