The former Danish Government’s political agreement on VET includes initiatives aimed at giving skilled professionals more and better opportunities to enter higher education. The initiatives came into force in the summer of 2019.

VET no barrier to higher education

Traditionally, employment was the prevailing pathway for VET graduates. In changes in the law on VET with effect from August 2019, VET is no longer defined as focused on professional qualifications only; it should enable progression to higher education as well. By amendments in law, VET leads to both professional and study qualifications.

By introducing this change, the Ministry of Children and Education hopes to improve higher-education opportunities for VET professionals. Also, all VET upper secondary level graduates are now eligible to access supplementary examination courses; previously this required reaching a threshold (C-level) in examinations. This change aims at helping VET students to supplement their education with courses giving access to higher education upon completion of upper-secondary VET.

More skilled professionals in higher education

An analysis conducted by the Economic Council of the Labour Movement (Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd, AE) indicates that an increasing number of the VET-educated are entering higher education. The AE study shows that one in five of those who graduated from VET in 2011 was enrolled in higher education within five years of their graduation. Approximately 7% of the 2011 cohort of VET graduates was enrolled in higher education within a year of their graduation.

According to the AE study, most of the 2011 VET graduates who entered higher education were enrolled in academy profession  (KVU - 41.9%) or professional bachelor and diploma programmes (51.1 %). Only 7.9% were enrolled in a university programme. The study does not say how many students with a VET background have completed their higher education.