Why should I study in Norway?

Europe's northernmost country with beautiful mountains and amazing fjord coastline...

How to Study in Norway

Norway, having 5,3 million inhabitants, is located in West-Scandinavia. Its capital is Oslo. Norway has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. The country is famous for its nature that is shaped by environmental and climatic extremes. The beauty of the landscape, the culture rooted in traditions and the hospitable people make Norway a captivated destination.

Norway’s Higher Educational System

The Norwegian system of higher education comprises 44 institutions, the majority (38) of them being public. The system includes nine broad universities (all public), eight specialized universities (e.g. in arts, music, sports, theology), and 27 university colleges focussing on undergraduate education.

In line with the Bologna process, Norwegian universities offer three levels of degree: the bachelor (usually additional three years), the master (usually two years) and the doctorate (usually an additional three years). You can find more information here.

In 2016 about four percent of all students at Norwegian higher education institutions were international students. The largest countries of origin are Sweden, China, and the Germany.

Norway’s Higher Education System in International Comparison

In this section, we highlight the overall performance of Norwegian universities on the institutional level by the five U-Multirank dimensions. The illustration shows the national breakdown of Norwegian universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), or below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture of the countries strengths and areas for improvement. Norway’s higher education institutions perform strongest in U-Multirank’s international orientation and regional engagement dimensions. Compared to the average of the global U-Multirank sample here is room for improvement in knowledge transfer.

National performance: Norway

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 28% 28% Research 15% 68% Knowledge Transfer 60% 31% International Orientation 11% 83% Regional Engagement 26% 61%

How much does it cost to study in Norway?

Generally, both national and international students at Norwegian state universities and university colleges do not have to pay tuition fees. This is the case for all levels, including Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. programmes. However, students will have to pay a semester fee of NOK 300-600 each semester (corresponding to 32 to 64 EUR, or 37 to 74 USD). In order to take an exam, this fee will have to be paid in full. Furthermore, the fee includes membership in the local student welfare organization which entitles you to several benefits (e. g. campus health services, counseling, access to sports facilities and cultural activities).

Addition of information on fees and financial support

Source: Eurydice
Reference year(s): 2020/2021


In this section we highlight the fees for studying in Norway. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.

  • Short-, first- and second-cycle: There are no fees for full- and part-time studies at public higher education institutions. However, institutions may charge tuition fees for certain specialised/tailored courses within continuing and further education aimed at people in employment.
  • Government-dependent private higher education institutions usually charge tuition fees. In 2019, student fees in these institutions ranged from NOK 4,000 to 93,000. These are required to be spent in a way beneficial to students. The same applies to funding that these institutions receive from the Ministry.
  • International students are treated as home students, and do not pay fees at public higher education institutions.

Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.

Financial Support

In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in Norway. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances.  How these terms are defined, are outlined below:

  • Grants are provided in the national currency and are differentiated between merit-based and need-based (or universal, where applicable). All main public financial support that does not need to be paid back is included, with the exception of grants for study abroad (i.e. mobility grants). Information is also presented on the proportion of students (in the short, first and second cycle) who receive grants.
  • Loans: information focuses on the existence of a student publicly-subsidised loan system and the percentage of students that take out a loan. Information on the interest rate and modalities for the repayment of loans may also be provided.
  • Tax benefit is any tax relief that is granted to parents whose child is a higher education student or to students themselves. The information aims to cover the amount of the tax relief, how it can be claimed and who is eligible to apply.
  • Family allowances for students' parents: this part provides information on their amount and the eligible population.
  • Norwegian students (both part-time and full-time) are entitled to basic support (loans and grants) from the State Educational Loan Fund (NSELF). The maximum basic support is NOK 11,229/month, which is initially given as a loan. In 2020/21, full-time students in higher education and vocational colleges receive educational support for 11 The loan is available until the age of 65 (students over the age of 45 receive a reduced loan to ensure repayment by the age of 65).
  • 40 % of the loan may be converted to a 'state educational grant' for students who live away from their parents and pass all exams. The grant is reduced if the student's income exceeds NOK 188,509 for 2020 and NOK 195,295 for 2021 or if they have assets exceeding NOK 428,861 for 2020 and NOK 444,300 for 2021. The maximum amount of the grant is NOK 49,408 per academic year in 2020/21. In 2019/20, the maximum and most common annual amount was NOK 48,288 for full-time, and NOK 24,244 for part-time students.
  • Students taking care of children may receive a grant for each child under the age of 16 (NOK 1,750/month). Students on parental leave can be given a grant for up to 49 weeks. Students who cannot study because of illness may have the loan converted into a grant for up to four months and 15 days per academic year. Physically disabled students can receive an extra grant (NOK 3,834/month) if they are unable to work during their studies, and they may also receive basic support for 12 months per year.
  • After graduation, the student receives a repayment programme stipulating how much they have to pay and a prognosis for the repayment period. Interest is calculated from the first day of the month following graduation. Repayment normally starts in monthly instalments seven months after graduation. The amount varies according to the size of the debt and the length of the repayment period. The most common repayment period for students with NOK 300,000 debt is 20 years.
  • No tax benefits for students' parents or family allowances are in place.

What are the entry requirements for Norwegian Universities?

For bachelor/undergraduate students completion of secondary education at an advanced level, equivalent to passing the exam at the end of Norwegian secondary school, is the general basic requirement for entry to Norwegian universities and university colleges set by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). For students from some countries at least one year of completed studies at the university level is required in addition.

For Masters programmes applicants normally have obtained an undergraduate/Bachelor's degree or the equivalent of at least 3 years' duration. The degree must include courses equal to at least 1 1/2 years of full-time studies in a subject relevant to that of the programme applied for.

Proficiency in the Norwegian language is required and should be documented when applying to programmes with Norwegian as the language of instruction. For more information click here.

How to get a Scholarship in Norway?

No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Norway. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.

Do I need a Student Visa for Norway?

Visas are only issued for up to 90 days and will not cover stays beyond this period. Students from countries within the EU/EEA/EFTA area simply have to register with the local police within three months. Applicants from countries outside the EU/EEA/EFTA who plan to stay in Norway for more than three months will need a student residence permit.

Top Student Cities in Norway


How do Norwegian Universities fare in U-Multirank?

  1. The 2022 edition of U-Multirank covers nine Norwegian higher education institutions, which represent most public universities in Norway.
  2. In a global perspective, Norwegian universities perform particularly strong in International Orientation, but also in Reserach and Regional Engagement.
  3. There are four Norwegian universities that reached more than ten top positions (‘A’ scores): University of Oslo (12), University of Bergen (11), the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (11) as well as the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (11).

Here you can find the full 2022 Norwegian country report.

Norway's Higher Education Performance in U-Multirank

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