How to study at Norway universities?

The admission and application process in Norway for higher education is through each institution or through NUCAS. The process for the institutions has different requirements and deadlines. Before starting the process you must get all the necessary information. Be it documentation, requirements, and deadlines check the least requirements for education.

The living cost in Norway is high. Yet, studying in Norway may not be as expensive as you think. As universities and colleges do not charge tuition fees for international students. Norwegian universities also provide quality education. Also, studying in Norway can improve your career possibilities.

Get the details here for how to study at Norway universities.

How to study at Norway universities?

Norwegian higher-education institutions are of three types and they are state-owned. These include universities, university colleges, and specialist colleges. Currently, there are 9 universities, 8 university colleges, and 5 scientific colleges. Norway also has many private higher education institutions. The academic year in Norway is from August to June and the division is in two terms. The terms are autumn, August to December, and spring, January to June. The structure of higher education in Norway is like the UK. Bergen, Kristiansand, Oslo, Tromsø and Trondheim are popular student destinations. 

What are the requirements to study in Norway?

Secondary education is the basic rule for entry to Norwegian universities. This rule is set by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education. For some students, they need at least one year of studies at the university level.

Special subjects or fields of study in secondary school need special admission requirements. You need to check with the institution for extra information about special qualifications.

An undergraduate or bachelor’s degree is equal to at least 3 years of study at high education. It includes courses equal to or at least 1/2 year or full-time studies in subjects relevant to the program. 

Course fees

Higher education institutions receive funds through the Ministry of Education & Research. They do not charge tuition fees. It means undergraduate and post-graduates, local and international students study for free.

But if you select to study at a private institution you may need to cover tuition costs. Though these are generally cheaper than the UK and European counterparts. Foreign students pay the same fees as the Norwegians.

Though the tuition fee is free here students need to pay a small semester students union fee. This fee grants access to exams, cheap travel, health, and sports counseling facility. You need to pay between 350 and 700 Norwegian kroner (NOK) per semester. 

Language requirements to study in Norway 

Norway is the home to two languages – Norwegian and Sami. Norwegian is the primary teaching language and English is the second language. So you don’t need to learn Norwegian to get through.

Though having a grasp of the Norwegian language will help to settle in the new surroundings. It will allow you to communicate with the other students from Denmark and Sweden. You can always begin to learn a new language at home or once you are in Norway for your studies. 

Structure of studies in Norway

Higher education in Norway accredits institutions and university programs. Except for some private universities and colleges, the higher education institutions are state-managed.

Bologna process is been followed in Norway since 2003 for higher education. Norway implements a ‘three plus two plus three’ degree system for Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees of European standards. With the new system, it is easy to get recognition of the qualifications in other countries. This helps international students who complete all/ part of their education in Norway.

There are exceptions to old university colleges for the following courses:

  • Two-year degree (college candidate),
  • Five-year consecutive master’s degrees,
  • Six-year professional programs,
  • Master’s degrees of one to one and a half years duration,
  • Four-year bachelor’s degrees in performing music and performing arts and
  • Four-year programs in teacher education.

For most of the study programs including master’s, you can apply to the university or college. Students need to relate to different application deadlines while accepting or rejecting offers. Institutions here are less & small compared to other countries but deliver quality education. For some fields, institutions or academic communities in Norway are world-class. 

Available scholarships 

Most Norwegian institutions have different bilateral deals with foreign higher education institutions. These agreements are usually designed for students, researchers, and teachers to exchange ideas. 
Yet, you may find national programs offering scholarships and other forms of funding. To all the international students wishing to study in Norway. For all these programs certain restrictions and prerequisites apply.
Various scholarships offered by private and non-profit organizations are available. 
  • E.ON (Stipendienfonds)
  • EEA (Norway Grants)
  • Exchange Iceland-Norway
  • Fulbright, grants especially for the US students and scholars

Student residence permit

Regular residents or citizens in the European Economic Area (EEA) don’t need a visa to study in Norway. The EEA is the European Union (EU) plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

Anyone else might need a student visa to study in Norway.

You can apply for a student visa at your closest Norway consulate. The university should support you in your visa application.

How to apply for studies in Norway?

Norwegian University and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) have centralized services for bachelor’s courses. If you are not a resident nor a citizen of Norway, you want to start from Study in Norway

You can apply for a Master’s degree through the university you like. They will:

  • Examine the documentation,
  • Check the eligibility form,
  • Inform the student if they need to pass the entrance exam
  • Issue your letter of acceptance.

Every institution and course has extra admission requirements and application process. Check with the university about it before applying.

Irrespective of the level of study you must submit a completed application form and academic certification. For some courses or programs, you need to pass an aptitude test and/or submit a personal statement.

Application deadlines occur for a new academic year between December to March. Check with the institution about the deadlines.

Can I study for free in Norway?

Irrespective of the origin of the student’s country, public universities don’t charge tuition fees. Education is free in Norway at all levels. Students can enjoy everything they offer without worrying about tuition fees. You can get the degree at a quality university at no cost. This is one of the many reasons why foreign students are going to Norway. 


Source: Life in Norway

The cover image is somewhere in Stavanger, Norway. Photo by Nathan Van de Graaf on Unsplash