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The State Educational Support for Adults scheme (“Statens Voksenuddannelsesstøtte” - Danish acronym SVU) is intended towards those active in the Danish workforce, who wish to participate in supplementary or further education

The scheme offers course applicants the opportunity to receive an income, while being away from work, to participate in specific types of education. The support payable is calculated on the basis of the number of working hours lost.

The SVU scheme is available to people employed or self-employed in Denmark, and is divided into two levels. The first is for participants in subsidized instruction at primary/lower secondary and upper secondary school (also called general education). The second is for participants in higher education. The requirements for the two levels differ slightly.

General conditions

The applicant must meet the following general conditions, regardless of the level for which SVU is sought:

  • The applicant must be aged between 25 and the Danish age of retirement. However, applicants between the age of 20 and 25 may also receive SVU for Danish for Adult Foreigners a.o, preparatory adult education, basic education for the dyslexic, or special instruction for adults
  • The applicant must be a Danish citizen, a resident in Denmark, or otherwise have an equal status (i.e. EU-citizen or EEA-citizen)
  • The applicant must have been enrolled, or been deemed eligible for enrolment in a SVU-approved education
  • The applicant must be actively participating in classes/studies
  • The applicant must not receive other forms of public funding intended to cover living expenses
  • The applicant must not be entitled to receive a salary from a work experience provider as a part of the education
  • The applicant must have been employed at his current workplace in Denmark for a minimum of 26 weeks.
  • The applicant must have entered into an agreement with his workplace regarding leave for education. (Not applicable for the Self-employed.)

General education

At this level, applicants may be granted SVU to participate in the following types of courses:

  • Preparatory adult education (PAE)
  • Special education for dyslexic adults
  • Basic adult education (BAE)
  • Single-subject instruction at primary and lower secondary level
  • Special instruction for adults
  • Instruction in Danish for adult foreigners
  • Higher preparatory individual subjects and higher preparatory courses (HF)
  • International Baccalaureate ("Studentereksamen")
  • Higher commercial examination (HHX), higher technical examination (HTX) and individual subjects from these
  • Entry examination to engineering courses

SVU is available for general education courses, organised either as full-time or part-time instruction, but students must receive at least three hours of instruction a week, and the course must have a combined overall duration of at least 37 hours.

Requirements for applying

The applicant must have been an "early school leaver" to qualify for SVU for general education. You are an "early school leaver" if:

  • You attended school for 8 years or less, supplemented by vocational training regardless of length.
  • You attended school for up to 10 years, supplemented by up to two-years of vocational training.
  • You attended school for up to 10 years, supplemented by vocational training regardless of length, if this has not been used for five years.

Vocational training that is no longer usable due to medical reasons may be disregarded on an individual basis. A foreign (non-Danish) educational background may be judged on an individual basis.
The “early school leaver”-rule does not apply to participation in Danish for foreign nationals, preparatory adult education, special education for dyslexic adults, or special instruction for adults.

Higher education

SVU is granted only for higher education courses that are also adult education courses - not for ordinary higher education courses that confer entitlement to benefit under the State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme (“Statens Uddannelsesstøtte” - SU). The following higher education courses confer entitlement to SVU:

  • Higher education courses that are available under the Act on open education and that are the subject of an executive order on education.
  • Supplementary educational activities intended to fulfill admission requirements, where such requirements have been laid down, which are offered under Section 2 subsection 2 of the Act on open education.
  • MA courses that are offered under Section 5 subsection 1 (1) of the Universities Act and that are the subject of an executive order on education.
  • Other supplementary and further education that is offered under Section 5 subsection 1 (1) of the Universities Act and that is the subject of an executive order on education.
  • Supplementary educational activities intended to fulfil admission requirements for graduate courses that are offered under Section 5 subsection 1 (3) of the Universities Act and that are the subject of an executive order on education.
  • Individual subjects on a part-time basis from the courses that the universities have been approved to offer full time (cf. Section 5 subsection 2 of the Universities Act).

SVU may be granted only for higher education courses that are full-time and have a duration of at least one week. Full time is defined as having a minimum of 1.154 ECTS points per week.

Requirement for applying

Applicants must also meet the following requirement in order to qualify for SVU for a higher education course:

  • The applicant must not have a completed any higher education.
  • Exceptions are, if you have not used your higher education for the last five years, or if you have a non-Danish higher education that you are unable to use in Denmark. If the latter is the case, you must apply for dispensation by describing the precise education, and where you took it, in a letter. The letter must accompany your SVU application, along with a photocopy of your original diploma or degree.

Length of SVU-period

The SVU economic support may be given for up to 40 weeks (of 37 hours). The minimum SVU grant is one full week of 37 hours. Participation in education that does not add up to a loss of at least 37 working hours will therefore not be eligible for support.

SVU administration

Danish Agency for Institutions and Educational Grants is part of the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Agency bears the overall responsibility for the administration of SVU. The Agency runs the SVU scheme in cooperation with a series of SVU administrators, including Adult Education Centers (Voksenuddannelses Centre - VUC’er) and other educational institutions. The educational institutions also fulfill certain administrative functions.