Copenhagen’s Adult Education Centre Print
Adult education at VUC
In Denmark adult education programmes are offered at Adult Education Centres - in Danish VoksenUddannelsesCenter or, in short, VUC. KVUC – the VUC of Copenhagen – is one of a total of 30 VUCs spread geographically throughout the country.
Since January 2007 the VUCs have been self-governing institutions financed by the Danish state via taximeter funding. The Ministry of Education issues the legislative framework according to which the adult education centres work.
Each VUC is headed by a principal who answers to the centre board, which has overall responsibility for the running of the institution and its activity.
KVUC – where we are and what we do
KVUC is a large VUC housed in two spacious and well-appointed buildings both situated in the centre of old Copenhagen.
As of January 2016 the number of students (full time equivalent) was 3.646, and the number of employees 496.
In Denmark one of the main policy targets concerning education is that by 2015, 95 % of a year group of young people must have completed a youth education, i.e. a full programme of upper secondary education.
The target group of KVUC – mostly adults between 18 and 30 years of age in the Copenhagen area - is certainly heterogeneous: Some need help to build an entirely new basis, either to get back on the track of education or to enhance their position on the labour market. Others need to solidify or supplement their competences. What they have in common is that a second chance to start a fresh is crucial for their future prospects.
In order to accomplish this mission KVUC is continuously developing its system of study programmes and courses as well as adopting new learning strategies. Key values in this process are accessibility and flexibility. Study schedules are customized to match the different backgrounds and correspondingly diverse educational needs of our students.
KVUC – our programmes and courses
General adult education - avu
Avu is equivalent to lower secondary education.
The target group includes young as well as mature adults, who never completed their lower secondary education or need to improve or supplement their basic skills.
A certain number of completed avu levels qualify the students for admission to continued education on a par with the school-leaving certificates obtained after the Folkeskole.
Higher preparatory examination - hf
Hf is a programme of upper secondary education .
The target group includes young as well as mature adults – e.g. drop-outs from upper secondary schools.
A complete hf exam gives access to short, medium, as well as long-cycle higher education at universities or other institutions of higher education.
Supplementary examination courses at upper secondary level - gsk
Gsk provides courses specially designed for those who need to supplement their upper secondary education by passing exams in specific subjects/levels required for admission to certain programmes of higher education.
Preparatory education for adults - fvu
Fvu provides courses in basic reading, writing, and mathematics.
Fvu is used to meet students’ individual needs to enhance their basic skills and can be combined with courses in any of the other programmes.
Courses for dyslectics - obu
Obu provides special courses for dyslectic students.
Individual study guidance and flexibility
Student advisers assist the students in designing individual study schedules - often combining elements from the programmes and courses listed above. Studies can be part-time or full-time. Students have a number of possibilities of getting financial support – most importantly, the Danish State Education Support (SU) provides grants and loans to full-time students.
The avu and hf programmes are provided as complete units, but also as single-subject courses/exams, thus permitting students to piece together a full programme step by step.
In most programmes and courses students now have a choice between regular classroom-based teaching and distance learning via the internet – at KVUC the latter is named “flex”.
Distance learning allows students to study in their own home and control their own pace, while taking advantage of full tutor support. Many students prefer to mix the two kinds of teaching, taking some courses in the “regular” way, others as “flex”, and so make the best of both worlds.
The students at KVUC – the present picture
In the year 2015 the number of students at KVUC was 14.146. Most of the students are between 20 and 30 years of age, and many are full-time students. Some study at KVUC for 6 months, while others stay for two or three years.
Most of the courses at KVUC are very intensive and compleeted in no more than 15 weeks. Approximately 20 % of our students now choose distance learning - flex. The subject Danish as a Second Language is particularly designed to meet the needs of our bilingual students and is provided at all levels.
Statistics prove that the students at KVUC make the most of their second chance to either build or solidify their educational basis: The number of avu students continuing their studies at hf is still increasing, and every year 80 % of the hf students who complete a full programme move on to higher education.