Upper secondary and vocational education in Greenland

Unge i Norden - Grønland
Mats Bjerde
Here you can obtain an overview of secondary and vocational education in Greenland.

Secondary and vocational education covers the study and training programmes you can take after completing primary school. This could for example be a preparatory programme for academic education (GUX), or a practical programme oriented towards a particular profession (EUD).

The Nordic countries have agreed to recognise each other's examinations qualifying for admission to higher education. A person who is eligible to apply for admission to programmes of higher education in the Nordic country of their permanent residence is also eligible to apply for admission to higher education programmes in the other Nordic countries. The Nordic countries have also agreed to give each other's students access to their general and vocational upper secondary education programmes on the same terms as their own citizens.


Upper secondary education – GUX

In Greenland, the upper secondary programme GUX may be taken over two, three or four years. GUX is an academically-oriented preparatory programme that prepares the student to enter higher education. In Greenland, a GUX diploma can be used to apply for admission to programmes of higher education in Greenland, Denmark, the Nordic countries and elsewhere.

GUX students first take a six-month basic course, which is the same for all secondary school students in the country. This is followed by a 2½-year course in a study area. There are nine different study areas that can vary from school to school.

Besides serving a preparatory purpose for higher education, GUX also provides a general education and thereby aims to be identity-forming and to create reflection among young people concerning their own cultural values and those of others.

There are four upper secondary schools in Greenland, which together have around 1,300 students:

  • Aasiaat
  • Nuuk
  • Qaqortoq
  • Sisimiut

The upper secondary school in Aasiaat also offers a two-year GUX programme for adults aged 23 years of age and upwards. In addition, a one-year upper secondary supplementary course (GSK) is provided by the upper secondary school in Sisimiut, through which you can improve your individual upper secondary grades or supplement them to a higher level, if this is for example required for admission to a programme of higher education.

Online upper secondary education - eGUX

A two-year online upper secondary programme is available from eGUX Sisimiut.   Here the student can take a full two-year programme leading to the upper secondary school leaving examination. The student can choose between two study areas, and the subjects may also be taken as individual subjects (eGENK).

In addition, the upper secondary school in Sisimiut offers a one-year online secondary school supplementary course (eGSK), similar to GSK.

Vocational programmes – EUD

A vocational programme is oriented towards a particular trade or profession, which the student, after completing the programme, will be capable of entering without further study. A vocational programme in Greenland may have a duration of from one to five years.

During the programme, the students attend both classes and practical training. Some vocational programmes take place exclusively in Greenland, while others involve periods of school attendance in Denmark.

A wide range of programmes are available, divided between eight overall study areas:

  • Nutrition and foodstuffs
  • Fishing and maritime
  • Crafts and mechanics
  • Office and commercial
  • Art and culture
  • Pedagogy and health
  • Transport and technology
  • Tourism and agriculture

To be eligible to take a vocational programme, you must be enrolled in a technical school and have found an internship placement.  

Various educational institutions in Greenland offer vocational programmes:

Creative vocational training

The art school in Nuuk offers one-year art courses for young people who wish to become artists. The programme does not provide qualifications in itself, but should be regarded as preparation for applying to Danish or foreign art schools.

The National Theatre of Greenland offers a two-year drama training programme for applicants over the age of 18 who have passed an entrance examination. The school holds admissions every two years.

Kalaallisuuliornermik Ilinniarfik, based in Sisimiut, offers a two-year basic education in sewing Greenlandic national costumes. Students have the possibility to take a subsequent six-month thesis course. Admissions are held every second year.

State educational grants in Greenland

In order to receive a Greenlandic student grant, you must be:

  • A Danish citizen
  • Resident in Greenland
  • Enrolled in an educational programme and actively studying.

Danish and Faroese students who are Danish citizens satisfy the conditions if they are resident in Greenland and actively studying.

If you do not meet the conditions, but can document a special connection with Greenland, you can apply for an exemption.

If you are not eligible for a Greenlandic student grant, you can in most cases take a student grant from your home country instead.

Student accommodation in Greenland

Student accommodation is available in the Greenlandic study towns, administered by the individual educational institutions.

In Nuuk, most student accommodation is administered by the Joint Office of Student Accommodation (KAF).

When you enrol in a Greenlandic study programme, the study administration at your educational institution can provide assistance in finding student accommodation.

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