Educational and vocational guidance
Educational and vocational guidance is given high priority in Denmark. The overall structure and seven national targets in the field of guidance are defined in the Act on Guidance in Relation to Choice of Education, Training and Career, which was adopted by the Danish parliament in April 2003. Subsequently, the 2003 has been amended twice: in 2006 and 2007. Please, click for a summary of the amendments. The Ministry of Education is responsible for continuous supervision and development of guidance services in the educational sector.
The Act on guidance is primarily targeted at young people up to the age of 25 years but it also concerns services for adults wishing to enter a higher education programme. Read more about the main aims of Danish guidance.
Two different types of guidance centres exist:
- Youth guidance centres with responsibility for guidance related to the transition from compulsory school to youth education
- Regional guidance centres with responsibility for guidance related to the transition from youth education to higher education.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for a national guidance portal: www.uddannelsesguiden.dk or simply www.ug.dk. UddannelsesGuiden means the "Education Guide". It provides information on:
- Education and training possibilities at all levels
- Labour market conditions and statistics
- Study programmes taught in English at Danish colleges and universities
Other features include an electronic career planning tool, as well as a section with an electronic news service, a quarterly journal and various resources, especially aimed at guidance practitioners.
The Minister of Education has established a National Dialogue Forum on Guidance in order to secure a close dialogue between the Minister and relevant organisations, institutions, guidance counsellor associations, end users and individuals holding a leading position in the field of guidance.
Quality in guidance is a topic that is continuously debated in Denmark. One way of enhancing the quality of guidance provision is to improve the qualifications of the guidance practitioners. Six university colleges in Denmark offer a one-year modular common training programme at diploma level for guidance practitioners across sectors. Furthermore, the Danish University of Education offers a one-year Master of Education programme in guidance counselling. With an amendment in 2007 of the 2003 Act on guidance, it is now a requirement that guidance practitioners working in the education system complete the diploma programme or, alternatively, that they – through assessment and recognition of prior learning – can document that they hold the required qualifications. Please, click for more information about training of guidance practitioners.
The Division for Guidance in the Danish Ministry of Education is actively involved in international cooperation in the field of guidance, and the main aims and elements of the Danish guidance reform are very much in line with the EU Resolution on Lifelong Guidance and with EU and OECD recommendations on guidance policies and practices.
In June 2007, another comprehensive plan for adult guidance services was agreed upon by the Danish Parliament. This plan focuses primarily on improving information and guidance services related to adult and further education and training. Four new initiatives will be implemented over a three-year period: adult guidance networks - A National Centre for Competence Development - An Internet-based guidance portal - A National Adult Guidance Council. Click for more information about adult guidance.
eGuidance was launched in January 2011 and provides individual and personal guidance to all citizens via various virtual communication channels:
eGuidance is for everyone who wants information about education and employment and may also refer users to other guidance tools (www.ug.dk) and institutions for further guidance.
eGuidance is especially targeted resourceful young persons and their parents to give them easy access to independent information and guidance and hereby motivate the young people to continue the search and clarification process on their own.
eGuidance plays a central role as a guide to the national guidance portal, communicator of guidance information etc.
The users can contact eGuidance during days and evenings as well as on the weekends. Many people appreciate that they can get in touch with a guidance counsellor for example on a Tuesday evening or Saturday afternoon.