Studying at UCPH as a refugee
Information for Ukrainian refugees – updated on 2 May 2022
On this site, you will find information aimed at Ukrainian refugees in Denmark who wish to study at UCPH. If you are a refugee but not from Ukraine - please continue reading at the bottom of this page.
The following rules for admission to UCPH and the Danish state education grant (known as “SU”) apply from 25 April 2022:
Are you a Ukrainian citizen and have a residence permit in Denmark under the law on temporary residence permits for displaced persons from Ukraine (the Special Act)? In some situations, you will then be able to be equated with Danish citizens in relation to tuition fees and the right to the Danish state education grant (SU). SU is a monthly grant that students receive from the Danish state to cover the cost of living. Only students who have been admitted to an entire bachelor’s or master’s degree programme can receive SU. Guest students cannot receive state educational grants (SU). Find more information about SU here.
You can apply for admission to UCPH in the following 3 ways:
(i.e., for 1 or 2 semesters)
- As a Ukrainian citizen with a residence permit in Denmark under the law on temporary residence permits for displaced persons from Ukraine, you can, on an equal footing with Danish and other EU citizens, pay to follow courses at the University of Copenhagen. You can find information about applying and the tuition fees here: https://studies.ku.dk/visiting/guest/
- If you are enrolled as a guest student, you are not eligible for SU.
- As a student, you can apply for housing through, for example, Housing Foundation Copenhagen.
Application deadlines for admission to UCPH (guest students)
Although the application deadlines for admission to UCPH’s guest student programme are 1 May and 1 October, UCPH’s faculties will show flexibility, which in principle allows admission outside the two deadlines. However, this does not apply to courses that do not have any study places available. UCPH is also working to establish an agreement with Ukrainian institutions on the possibility of exchange agreements through the Erasmus programme.
Contact UCPH regarding admission as a guest student
Contact us by e-mail if you are considering applying for admission as a guest student at UCPH (i.e., for 1 or 2 semesters). We will then help you find out what your options are.
We usually respond within 5 days.
A master's degree programme in Denmark takes 2 years
If you, as a Ukrainian citizen, are admitted to an entire master’s degree programme (2 years) in accordance with the law on temporary residence permits for displaced persons from Ukraine, you are equated with Danish citizens. Therefore, the following rules apply:
- If you are a Ukrainian refugee and enrolled on an entire master’s degree programme (2 years), you do not have to pay for your education.
- As a Ukrainian refugee and applicant, you must, in the same way as other students, live up to the qualification requirements for the English language and the specific entry requirements for the education you are applying for. However, some master’s degree programmes are only available in Danish
Flexibility can be shown in relation to the form of documentation that you would normally need to be able to present.
Application deadlines for admission to UCPH's master's degree programmes
Although the application deadline for autumn admission to the master’s degree programmes was 15 January for non-EU citizens, and 1 March for EU citizens, UCPH’s faculties will show flexibility towards Ukrainian citizens. This means that as a Ukrainian refugee, you potentially have the opportunity to be admitted to a master’s degree programme outside the application deadline if study places are available on the programme that you would like to start.
Contact UCPH regarding admission to a master’s degree programme for Ukrainian citizens
Are you a refugee and do you wish to enroll in a master's programme at UCPH? Find the right faculty below.
We will then help you clarify your options regarding admission to UCPH (We cannot answer questions regarding SU, free tuition, and housing).
We usually respond within 5 days.
A bachelor's degree programme in Denmark takes 3 years
If you, as a Ukrainian citizen, are admitted to an entire bachelor’s degree programme (3 years) in accordance with the law on temporary residence permits for displaced persons from Ukraine, you are equated with Danish citizens.
Therefore, the following rules apply:
- As a Ukrainian refugee, you do not have to pay for your bachelor’s degree education.
- You must have passed the quota 2 test on 24 April. (Find out what “quota 2” is)
- As an applicant, you must live up to the qualification requirements for the Danish language and the specific entry requirements for the education you are applying for. The possibility of admission to a bachelor’s degree programme in 2022 closes for Ukrainian applicants on April 24.
Contact UCPH regarding admission to a bachelor’s degree programme
Contact us by e-mail if you are considering applying for admission to one of UCPH’s bachelor’s degree programmes. We will then help you clarify your options regarding admission to UCPH (We cannot answer questions regarding SU, free tuition, and housing).
We usually respond within 5 days.
SU and housing
If you, as a Ukrainian student, are enrolled on an entire master’s degree programme or an entire bachelor's degree programme, you are entitled to SU. If you are enrolled as a guest student, you are not entitled to SU.
As a student, you can, for example, apply for housing through Housing Denmark Copenhagen.
Find out more about how to find an apartment in Copenhagen.
The University of Copenhagen aims to attract international talents from all over the world. International talents strengthen the diversity of our campuses and classrooms.
We believe that refugees constitute a significant resource and that education and quick entry to the labour market is the best way to integration for refugees. The University is committed to this objective and is in dialogue with the Danish government, local authorities, and private companies on how to ease access to education and help refugees into Danish society.
On the following page you can find information on how to apply for a study program at the University of Copenhagen
- Studying at the University of Copenhagen
If you have been granted asylum in Denmark, you can apply to study at the University of Copenhagen. Are you looking for vacant jobs at UCPH - you will find the right information here.
Who can apply?
If you have not yet been granted asylum in Denmark (i.e. you are an asylum seeker), you cannot apply to a study program or for a vacant position at the University of Copenhagen.
To learn more about the different types of asylum, please visit the official portal for foreigners in Denmark, newtodenmark.dk.
Scholars at Risk
The study structure at the University of Copenhagen is divided into three levels and follows a 3 + 2 + 3 structure. Three years of undergraduate studies lead to a Bachelor's degree, and an additional two years lead to a Master's degree. Only the structures of a few degrees differ from this model.
All Master's degrees obtained from the University of Copenhagen can be extended by three more years of postgraduate work leading to a PhD degree.
SU – State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme
Refugees who have been accepted into a study program at the University of Copenhagen must apply for equal status with Danish citizens to be eligible for educational support (SU).
You can read more about how to receive SU as a foreign citizen at Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education's website.
Give refugees access to education
New thinking in education is called for if Denmark is to deliver a truly humanitarian effort while benefiting from the many well-educated refugees who are entering the country, the University of Copenhagen says in a press release.
Assessment of your qualifications
Please visit the website of the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education for general information about admission to higher education in Denmark and assessment of qualifications.
It is a good idea to get the agency’s assessment of your foreign qualifications before you apply for admission to higher education.
Each autumn, the University offers a preliminary assessment of your educational credentials. Usually, you can send your diplomas between 1 October and 22 November. In 2020, you will be able to find the exact dates on this page well in advance. The assessment will show to what degree your educational credentials (degrees, diplomas or certificates) meet the University of Copenhagen’s admission requirements for each of your chosen bachelor’s degree programmes. You need to attach all your examination documents in order for us to carry out the assessment. You will receive a detailed assessment within 6-8 weeks from applying. The preliminary assessment is only valid for admission to bachelor’s (undergraduate) programs at the University of Copenhagen.
Refugees who have a temporary residence permit with the possibility of permanent residence are exempted from paying tuition fees for their studies in Denmark and at the University of Copenhagen.
Read more about tuition fees at studyindenmark.dk.
Admission to UCPH’s bachelor’s degree programmes
All bachelor's programmes at the University of Copenhagen are taught in Danish.
The Danish admission system is built around upper secondary school education. The University of Copenhagen welcomes applications from students of all nationalities and with upper secondary school / high school diplomas from all countries.
In order to be eligible for admission to a bachelor’s degree program, you need to fulfil the following admission requirements:
- General admission requirement incl. a grade point average equivalent to the Danish 6.0*
- Specific admission requirements
- Danish language qualifications
* Please note that the grade point average requirement does not apply to theology and musicology.
Specific admission requirements
All degree programs at the University of Copenhagen have some specific requirements, which must be met. These are some certain Danish course levels: A, B and C, corresponding to international advanced level, intermediate level and elementary level respectively. These levels need to be met, either in the upper secondary (high) school education or during further studies at college, university or as supplementary courses.
All applicants need to fulfill the requirement of their mother tongue at the highest level (corresponding to Danish A) and English B-level. The other specific requirements are usually Mathematics A or B, Natural Sciences A or B, History B or foreign languages A or B.
Therefore, all applicants must include information and transcripts of levels obtained in the relevant subjects (for example A / O level, AP-level or European A1-C2 levels). We also need to know the number of years studied in upper secondary (high) school or college / university - and in some cases the number of taught hours in the subject.
Your diploma results will be converted to the Danish subjects and levels according to the rules set by the Danish Agency for Higher Education. Please see their handbook of international examinations for more details (information in Danish only).
See the checklist of the documentation you need to provide and the specific requirements for all study programs (in Danish only).
When and how to apply?
Enrolment for Bachelor’s degree programs takes place once a year - on September 1st. The only exception is the degree course in Economics where students are usually enrolled twice a year - on 1 September and 1 February.
All applicants with foreign examinations (regardless of nationality) must submit their application before 15 March for enrolment 1 September. You apply for admission to the University of Copenhagen's Bachelor's degree programs via www.optagelse.dk. Please note that the information at www.optagelse.dk regarding the University of Copenhagen is in Danish only, as all of our Bachelor's degree programs are taught in Danish.
General admission requirement and quota 2
The general admission requirement is that you have accomplished upper secondary (high) school education. The requirement may vary depending on which country you have obtained your education from. For some countries, the secondary (high) school education is not enough and needs to be supplemented with one or two years of higher education or equivalent supplementary studies.
Please note that it is the country where you have completed your education and not your nationality / citizenship that determines what rules apply to you. Your citizenship is only important in relation to tuition fees.
In addition to having completed upper secondary (high) school education, all applicants with an exam outside of EU / EEA countries have to attend a quota 2 test and an oral or written interview in order to apply for admission to a bachelor's degree program in quota 2. Read about the quota 2 test on our webpage (In Danish only as the test will be conducted in Danish).
You can read more about foreign qualifications for admission to higher education in Denmark at the website of the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education.
Danish language qualifications
As the University of Copenhagen only offers Bachelor's degree programs taught in Danish, all applicants with foreign examinations need to fulfill Danish language qualifications. This means that you need to have academic language skills in Danish: writing, reading, understanding and speaking Danish at a high level. You can obtain Danish language qualifications by passing the 'Studieprøven i dansk', which is a nationally recognized test for foreign language speakers administered by numerous language schools in Denmark.
In general, admission to a Master’s program requires successful completion of a relevant and recognized university degree equivalent to a Danish Bachelor’s degree in level and content. The admission requirement and procedures for the specific Master's programmes are described in the presentation of the individual programmes.
When and how to apply for master's studies?
Enrolment takes place once or twice a year depending on the Master's program. Deadlines may vary among the programmes. Please consult the individual program description for information about deadlines (for the program you are interested in).
If you wish to apply for admission to a Master's program, you must use the online application portal. Read more on how to create an application on the online application portal.
Each Master's program has its own deadlines, admission requirement and regulations for the exact documentation which needs to be provided along with the application. Before you submit your application, please review the website for the program you wish to apply to.
For more information about Master’s programmes go to studies.ku.dk/masters.
I'm a student - not a refugee!
Nada Alkis was living a normal life as a student in Damascus when the civil war forced her and her family to fee in 2012. 3 years later, she is a student once again. This time at UCPH, where she studies Pharmaceutical Sciences. Read about Nada's life as a student.
Guide to studying in Denmark
Do you think that the Danish higher education system is a jungle? Student Refugees is a student-driven project guiding potential students with refugee status to navigate within the higher education programs in Denmark. You can also visit Student Refugees at their Facebook-site.