Association of the Danish 'Efterskole'


is the Association of the Danish 'Efterskole' which represents the interests of the 260 'efterskoler' including political interests, marketing and consultancy services related to management, economics and law. The association also institutes projects of educational and pedagogical development.

The efterskole is a unique Danish independent residential school, where students can choose to spend one, two or three years to finish their lower secondary education.  

Target group of the 'efterskole': 

Students between 14 and 18 years old.

About the 'efterskole':

Each Efterskole is a self-governing independent institution dealing with both the educational and personal development of the students. They embrace a common educational focus on enlightenment for life, general education and democratic citizenship.

The teacher is responsible for both teaching and supervision outside of school hours. This means that teachers and students are together all day from the time the students wake up until they go to bed. This often opens up for a close, personal and non-formal relationship between students and teachers.

The first Efterskoles were founded about 150
years ago. The schools were closely related to
the Danish Folk High School and the educational
ideas of N.F.S. Grundtvig (1789-1872) who wanted
schools to provide enlightenment for life rather
than formal vocational training. 

Freedom of the Efterskole
Compared to public schools the Efterskole has
substantial freedom in terms of eg. choice of subjects,
teaching methods and educational approach. These
vary in accordance with the school's political, religious
or pedagogical orientation. Freedom of the Efterskole is
assured by substantial state subsidies to both schools
and students.

Subjects and exams
Most Efterskoles offer the same subjects and final examinations as the public schools, and in addition many of them focus on special subjects like physical education, music or theatre, or offer various kinds of special education.

Number of schools and students
There are more than 260 Efterskoles spread across
Denmark, mostly in rural areas or near provincial
towns. At present approximately 27.500 students
attend the schools. Schools vary in size from 25 to 500
students but most of them have a minimum of approx.
100 students. The number of students has increased
considerably within the last 25 years.

Short film about the 'efterskole'
The film is in English and gives an excellent introduction to what an 'efterskole' is. Start the film at

Student quotation:

" Going to Efterskole is the best decision I've ever
made. I've learned a lot about working together with
others, and I have gotten to know myself 100%.
And the best part is that I have made friends for life."



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