In the land where education is everything, tutoring is taking off like a train

Highly common in other countries, private lesson businesses were non-existent in Denmark until the beginning of 2013

It often surprises those not familiar with Danish ways when they are asked so many questions about their ‘education’ – particularly when they have a career that goes back decades and their university days feel like they were spent in a previous lifetime.

So it might shock many to know that in a country where a good education is such an important life-goal, few people get outside help. 

Until very recently, Denmark had virtually no private tutoring – it was a gap in the market that Rune Sørensen, the country manager of myAcademy, could not ignore. 

“While every second pupil receives extracurricular tutoring in Asia and every fifth in France, in Denmark it’s roughly one in a hundred,’’ explained Sørensen.

Highly-skilled tutors
Headquartered in Stockholm, myAcademy branched out into Denmark in early 2013, and it could not have got off to a better start.

“We were lucky at the beginning,’’ Sørensen recalled. “We launched the Danish branch in January 2013, and in February there was the school lockout. Due to this we had a lot of customers right away.’’

And now, barely two years later, its annual revenue in Denmark is already in the double-digit millions. It has created 2,500 jobs – 500 of which are in Copenhagen – mostly for students. 

“I had great difficulties with spelling as a child," recalled Sørensen. “And I remember my father struggling to find someone who could help me with it after school." 

MyAcademy not only makes it easy for parents of public and upper-secondary school students to find a tutor, but also ensures that these tutors are “highly skilled” – which usually means they are studying the subjects at university level.

And it is also a friend of the state, as it has turned something that was formerly a black-money affair into a profitable and tax-paying business.

No wealth gap
Ahead of launching in Denmark, the company was careful to assess the local market. 

In a country where the social gap tends to be pretty small and ‘elitism’ is frowned upon, myAcademy did not want to set up a business that solely enabled well-off parents to benefit from paying off for supplementary education that might give their children the edge in the hunt for the top grades and jobs. 

“Our lesson packets are priced very reasonably,” contended Sørensen.

“We’ve figured only 10 percent of the poorest people in Denmark couldn’t afford our services. This percentage is so small it won’t influence a social gap in education.”

Motivation is key
Research has shown that “motivated” pupils will come from various social backgrounds, not just the affluent ones.

However, some parents and pupils will have different priorities, concedes Sørensen.

“Maybe they’d rather invest in a new iPhone, dance or guitar lessons or any other amount of hobbies and things, than supplementary tutoring,” he said. 

Globally competitive
Extra tutoring is becoming increasingly more important in the competitive global market place, contends Sørensen.

“The reality is if we want to keep up with the up-and-coming workforce of Asian countries for example, we have to invest more into the education of our younger generations," he said. 

Keeping up with the Jensens
And in Denmark particularly, where workers are remunerated by their education rather than their experience, the number getting university degrees has more than tripled since the 1980s. 

“Getting into university is a lot more competitive than it used to be,” Sørensen continued. 

“Good grades are important. We are here to help achieve this through a stress-free and fun approach, by motivating and giving pupils confidence, and by making sure the pupil is getting the most they can out of our lessons. 

“By combining experience and knowledge with fresh and dynamic teachers, we really strive towards an excellent learning experience for the client.’’



Every tutor is given a three-hour workshop upon employment to take on board myAcademy’s maxims concerning effective teaching, motivating students and setting targets

The workshop, tests and lesson structures are tailored by professors – some of whom have over 30 years of experience in the field 

Goals are set at the beginning of each unit (20+ sessions). Following each session, parents are sent a report by the tutor, including lesson outlines and their child’s progress 

In the case of two bad reports in a row, myAcademy contacts the parents to discuss potential causes: i.e whether a change of tutor might be beneficial

The clients and tutor are given access to an agreed-upon time-table, so that cancellations and rescheduling can be conveniently sorted out and kept to a minimum. Parents can log on anytime they like for overviews