International Education

Norway

Education

Higher Education in Norway
Higher education plays an important role in Norwegian society where over 20 percent of the population complete higher education programs. Norway's higher education system includes a number of state-run universities and university colleges as well as a number of private, specialized schools.

The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, known as NOKUT, is responsible for accrediting institutions and programs of higher education. The Ministry of Education and Research is the agency responsible for education in Norway. Higher education tuition is free at both undergraduate and gradaute levels for Norwegian students as well as international students at public universities and university colleges, with the exception of some specialized programs.
Minimum admissions requirements include completion of Norwegian secondary school and Norwegian and English language competency. For some specialized programs, students may have had to take courses in specific subject-areas and/or pass an entrance exam. Norwegian residents apply to most schools via the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. Admission to some programs is highly competitive.
Types of Schools and Degrees
The country's universities and university-level specialized institutions offer a full range of academic programs leading to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The over 25 university colleges offer professional programs that result in professional bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. A few university colleges also confer doctoral degrees in limited subject areas.
Additionally, there are over 20 other private higher education institutions that provide accredited, specialized programs and are attended by about 12 percent of higher education students. All degree programs at all accredited institutions conform to the requirements set by the Bologna Agreement of 1999 which defined standards for degrees across 29 European countries.
International Students
Admission to Norwegian higher education is competitive and so only the most qualified international students are admitted. Minimum admission requirements for international students vary by the country where secondary school was attended. A secondary school leaving certificate will suffice for students from some countries, including EU countries, but students from other countries including the US may need to complete a year of university-level coursework before being admitted. A list of minimum requirements by country guides international students who want to study in Norway. Students who want to take courses taught in Norwegian must have Norwegian language proficiency. Additionally, students from some countries may need to prove English language proficiency.
Most international students studying in Norway do so through an exchange program from their home country. Students from developing countries, former Soviet states and some central and eastern European countries may attend Norwegian universities through the Norwegian Quota Scheme via a home country exchange program. About seven percent of students in Norwegian higher education are international students, predominantly from Europe and North America.
Tuition at public schools for most programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels is free, other than a minimal semester fee. Private schools do charge tuition but it is considerably less than in most other countries.
The government sponsored Study in Norway website provides helpful information for international students looking for more information.
About Norway
Norway is one of three Scandinavian countries located in the northern part of Europe. Its population of about 4.8 million people live in one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe. The capital of Oslo has a population of close to 900,000 people.
The United Nations has ranked Norway number one in the world on its Human Development Index for seven out of the past nine years due to its long life expectancies, high income and education levels and other factors. Although not a member of the European Union, Norway emulates most of the EU's legislation and is a member of the European Economic Area.
Resources
Study in Norway
Ministry of Education and Research