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University of Copenhagen or Aarhus University?

Aarhus

The University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University are two of Denmark’s top universities. The two institutions may have plenty in common: excellent academic and employer reputations, a strong international outlook and both based in vibrant Danish cities; but they also have several key differences.

To help you decide, we have compared one against the other for overall university ranking, subject strengths, location, fees and living costs and availability of financial support.

So, which one will you choose? 

 

University of Copenhagen

Aarhus University

·      Ranked joint 76th in the world

·      Ranked 83rd in the world by academics and 245th by employers

·      23st in the world for faculty/student ratio

·      431st research impact (citations per faculty member)

·      160th for percentage of international faculty members, and 456th for international students

·      Ranked 147thin the world

·      Ranked 135th by academics and 227th by employers

·      469th in the world for faculty/student ratio

·      98th for research impact (citations per faculty member)

·      197th for percentage of international faculty members, and 589th for international students

Subject strengths, based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

 

·      Ranked among the world’s best for 37 subjects; in the top 50 for 19 of these.

·      Ranked in the world’s best for 38 subjects; in the top 50 for seven of these.

 

 

Location

·      Located in the city of Copenhagen, the capital and most populous city of Denmark

·      Situated on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager

·      Located in the city of Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city

·      Situated on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula

Tuition Fees

 

·      All EU/EEA/ Swiss citizens are exempt from tuition fees

·      €10,000 to 17,000 (US$10,860 to $18,470) for non-EU/EEA undergraduates

·      DKK 75,000 per year (around US$10,920, for two years) for master’s programs

 

·      All EU/EEA/ Swiss citizens are exempt from tuition fees

·      €8,000 to 15,300 (US$8,690 to 16,620) for non-EU/EEA undergraduates

·      EUR 8,000 to 15,300 for master’s programs

Financial Support

·      Wide range of scholarships and loans for overseas students

·      Wide range of scholarships and loans for overseas students 

 

QS World University Rankings ® 2021

The University of Copenhagen outranks Aarhus University in the university rankings, but overall both universities perform well among the top 150 universities worldwide. The differences between the two universities are marginal, so it’s important to decide which factors are important to you when applying.

The University of Copenhagen performs better for academic reputation, placing 83rd compared to Aarhus University’s 135th. However, when it comes to employer reputation, Aarhus University performs better, ranking 227th in comparison to the University of Copenhagen’s 245th. However, graduates from both universities are highly sought after by employers.

Aarhus University scores higher for citations per faculty - an indicator that aims to reflect the influence attained by research produced at each institution – with a rank of 98th, compared to the University of Copenhagen, in 431st. Copenhagen takes the lead when it comes to the faculty-student ratio (number of students per academic staff member).

When it comes to international diversity, both universities earn high scores. The University of Copenhagen narrowly takes the lead for both the international faculty and international student indicators. 

Subject Strengths

Copenhagen University

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 shows us how the two universities compare for different subjects.

The University of Copenhagen features 37 subjects in the rankings this year, with 19 of these in the worldwide top 50. Aarhus University makes 38 appearances in the subject rankings, with seven of these subjects appearing in the world top 50.

See the below table to see how the universities compare for each subject:

University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020

 

University of Copenhagen

Aarhus University

Accounting & finance

--

101-150

Agriculture & Forestry

18=

37 

Anatomy & physiology

17 

--

Anthropology

22

34 

Archaeology

28 

27 

Architecture

101-150

--

Arts & humanities

66 

110=

Biological sciences

24 

101-150

Business & management

--

151-200

Chemistry

101-150

151-200

Classics & ancient history

42 

--

Communications and media

40=

36 

Computer science & information systems

101-150

51-100

Dentistry

29=

--

Development studies

11 

51-100

Earth & marine sciences

51-100

101-150

Economics

51-100

101-150

Education & training

101-150

51-100

Engineering (chemical)

--

201-250

Engineering (electrical)

--

201-250

Engineering (mechanical)

--

251-300

Engineering & Technology

251=

197=

English language & literature

51-100

51-100

Environmental sciences

42 

51-100

History

51-100

51-100

Law

--

201-250

Life Sciences & medicine

18 

86=

Linguistics

101-150

201-250

Mathematics

51-100

201-250

Medicine

38=

51-100

Modern languages

101-150

151-200

Natural Sciences

80=

197=

Nursing

--

51-100

Pharmacy

24=

--

Philosophy

39 

151-200

Physics & astronomy

51-100

201-250

Politics

38 

51-100

Psychology

101-150

101-150

Social policy & administration

--

36=

Social Sciences & Management

101 

145=

Sociology

38 

--

Sports related subjects

7=

--

Statistics

51-100

101-150

Theology, divinity & religious studies

44 

38 

Veterinary science

10 

--

Location

Copenhagen

Copenhagen is the largest of the two cities. The cost of living is generally a lot cheaper in Aarhus, with rent prices 30 percent lower than in Copenhagen. Both cities have a large art and cultural scene.

Copenhagen is Denmark’s capital city and most populous city of Denmark, located on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager. The city is home to the Royal Danish Opera House and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, plus plenty of new galleries and modern architecture. The city is easy to get around, with the public transport infrastructure of Copenhagen renowned for its efficiency and reliability.

Aarhus is Denmark’s second-largest city and is located on the East coast of the Jutland Peninsula. Aarhus is home to a variety of galleries, exhibitions and art museums, including the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, which lets you view the city from a rainbow panoramic skywalk. Getting around Aarhus is easy, with the city’s extensive network of buses and trams, as well as Denmark’s first light rail, Letbanen.

Fees & Living Costs

Aalborg University

The following table gives a rough overview of how much you can expect to pay for full-time courses per year, depending on your study level and nationality.

Check the university websites for exact rates, and bear in mind there is significant variation in the amount charged for postgraduate courses, and for non-EU students on undergraduate courses, depending on the subject. 

If you’re a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will not be required to pay tuition fees for any Danish universities, as tuition is free at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Annual tuition fees at the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University (2019/20, full-time)

 

University of Copenhagen 

Aarhus University 

Undergraduate (EU students)

Free for EU and Swiss students

Free for EU and Swiss students

Undergraduate (non-EU students)

€10,000 to 17,000 (US$10,860 to $18,470)

€8,000 to 15,300 (US$8,690 to 16,620)

Graduate (EU students)

Free for EU and Swiss students

Free for EU and Swiss students

Graduate (non-EU students)

DKK 75,000 per year (around US$10,920

€8000 to 15,300 (US$8690 to 16,620) 

Financial support

Although education is free for Danish students, as well as those from the EU, EEA and Switzerland, Denmark has a generous funding program for overseas students. 

The Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education is the main provider of grants in Denmark and students can decide how they use these grants, and how often they receive the grant money throughout the year.

University of Copenhagen

The University of Copenhagen offers several tuition waivers and grants through the Danish Government Scholarship Program to graduate students from outside the EU. It isn’t necessary to apply for these scholarships as the university will contact those nominated through email and they can either accept or reject the scholarship.

University of Copenhagen undergraduate and postgraduate students can also apply for the William D. Ford loan program, which consists of several different types of loan, including: subsidized loans, for undergraduate students and based on financial need; unsubsidized loans, for postgraduates and not based on financial need; and PLUS loans, unsubsidized loans for graduate students to pay for education expenses.

Find out more about these loans and scholarships on the University of Copenhagen’s website.

The university also offers a range of country-specific scholarships and loans which you can find out about here

Aarhus University

Aarhus University offers four scholarship programs for fee-paying graduate students (i.e. non-EU students) These are funded by the Danish state and apply to four different subject areas: arts, business and social sciences, science and technology, and health. These scholarships generally include a full tuition waiver and a monthly scholarship for a maximum of 23 months.

Aarhus University is also approved for the William D. Ford loan program, which offers financial support to American students - you can learn more here.

Foreign students enrolled in Danish degree programs at Aarhus University are not eligible for domestic financial support. Exceptions are made on the basis of specific conditions, for refugees and other foreign students, provided that they have been living and working in Denmark long enough.

The university also offers a range of country-specific scholarships and loan programs for Russia, Canada, the US and Mexico.

You can find out more about the scholarships offered by the university here.

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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