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The basic principle behind studying in Norway is “education for all,” regardless of age, social background or ethnicity. Within this philosophy, universities and other institutes of higher education in Norway welcome students from all over the world to study. There are now about 12,000 international students who are pursuing their educations in Norway.

Studying in Norway offers plenty of opportunities for students to study their subjects of interest, whether full doctorate degrees or university exchange semesters. The Norwegian education system thrives in an informal atmosphere, where faculty members are easy to approach and teaching is often in small groups rather than huge lecture halls.

Institutions of Higher Education in Norway

There are about 70 public and private higher education institutions located throughout Norway, including:

  • Seven universities
  • Six public and three private specialized universities
  • 24 regional university colleges
  • Private institutions (less than 10% of students enroll in these; many accelerated courses)

Students may enroll in degrees in Norway through exchange programs, institutional agreements, or as “free movers,” making study arrangements themselves. Study is available within the education curriculum of:

  • Bachelors degree: 3-year education program
  • Masters degree: 2- or 5-year education program
  • Doctorate: 3-year research-oriented education (may include 1 year extra teaching)

Language in Norway

Norway has 3 official written languages and a number of local dialects. The written languages are Bokmål, Nynorsk, and the language of the indigenous Sámis. The language used – usually either Bokmål or Nynorsk – depends on the area of the country.

In terms of speaking, there are many different dialects of Norwegian, also depending on location. It is adventageous for international students in Norway to learn Norwegian, as they will be better able to integrate themselves into the culture and will also be able to understand Swedish and Danish, as the Scandanavian languages are very similar. Language courses are available at many universities.

The Bologna System

The education system in Norway is regulated by the Bologna declaration, and Norway is one of the leading countries to follow these regulations. The Bologna process was initiated in 1999 when the Ministers of Education from 29 European countries signed the Bologna declaration in Bologna, Italy. The purpose of the process is to create educational standards for academic degrees and quality assurance. This allows for easy transfers between schools in different European countries and improves the overall quality of European higher education. The study system also incorporates aspects of the American university system, simplifying comparison. University credits are measured by the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Cost of Studying in Norway

Most universities in Norway are state-run, and are funded by the government. Therefore, studying in Norway, in general, is free of cost for students of EU countries. However, non-EU students will be required to pay fees. Some certain programs may require fees for enrollment from EU students also.

Studying in Norway is an incredible opportunity to study in a country of not only high-quality universities and other learning institutions, but also incredible natural beauty.

To learn more about studying abroad in Norway, check out our informative Norway Country Guide.


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