Danish community colleges are very different to those in most other countries. They view themselves as places of free learning, where people of any age can learn and further develop their skills. People come to the colleges and live on campus together for between two weeks and four months. The participants also get to decide which fields they would like to study, from languages, arts, and sports, to issues such as human rights.
This system exists in all Scandinavian countries. Most learners are between 18 and 24 years old, but older people also attend the institutions because community colleges are understood as places of lifelong learning. Unlike in other educational institutions, the Danish community colleges do not primarily aim to prepare learners for a specific occupational path, rather, they attempt to develop and improve a person’s general level of education. The time spent on campus is aimed at helping participants to get to know themselves better and to find a place in life and society. Although there are clear teaching structures, the relationship between teachers and students is flexible, and students have a number of rights to participation. The sense of community is promoted through shared life on campus, which also includes having fun with one another outside of the classroom.
The courses provided by the Danish colleges are largely subsidised by public funds, which means that participants only have to pay around € 170 a week.