Study In Norway For International Students

Last Updated on August 4, 2022

How to Study Abroad in Norway 2021- Cost and Scholarships in Norway
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Work and Study in Norway for International StudentsStudy in Norway | Universities, Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Opportunities for international students wanting to come and study in Norway.

Norway is a popular destination for international students because tuition is free at public universities. This lowers the barriers for many although the high cost of living must also be considered.

Over 200 master’s degrees are available in English, with many more taught in Norwegian. Bachelor’s degrees are almost exclusively taught in Norwegian although there are some exceptions.

27 Tuition Free Universities In Norway For International Students 2020

International students are welcome to apply to a Norwegian language programme but must meet strict language requirements, often requiring a one-year language course before commencing studies.

Around 15,000 foreigners are currently enrolled at Norwegian institutions of higher education.

Some are studying full-time master’s degree programmes (typically two years), while others are taking part in established exchange programmes such as the Erasmus programme.

As a knowledge nation, Norway has a great need for people with high level professional skills, and it is an overall goal for the government to achieve quality education for Norwegian and international students. Our educational system is based on the principle that everyone should be able to get an education regardless of their social background. 

Norway currently has 9 universities, 8 university colleges and 5 scientific colleges owned by the state. Norway also has a large number of private higher education institutions receiving public funding.

Structure

The Norwegian system of higher education comprises all the institutions and/or programmes that are accredited. With the exception of some private university colleges, all higher education institutions are state-run. Since 2003 Norway has been following the objectives of the Bologna process in the European higher education. Central has been implementation of a 3 + 2 + 3 degree system with a Bachelor’s, Masters and PhD. structure following the European standards. With the introduction of the new degree system it has become easier for international students who complete all, or part of their education in Norway, to obtain recognition for their qualifications in other countries.

Tuition Free Universities in Norway for International Students – College  Learners

Studying Masters in Norway for International Students

Business, science and arts are well covered by Norwegian universities. Some institutions offer specialist courses relevant to the energy industry.

The bigger institutions run many international master’s programmes across a wide variety of subject areas. They include:

  • BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo 
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås 
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim 
  • University of Agder, Kristiansand 
  • University of Bergen 
  • University of Nordland, Bodø 
  • University of Oslo 
  • University of Stavanger 
  • The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø 

Other institutions offering some form of English language master’s level (or equivalent) education are:

  • Bergen Academy of Art and Design – Design, Fine Art
  • Bergen University College – Education, Software Engineering
  • Buskerud and Vestfold University College – Social Sciences, Business, Engineering, Maritime sciences, Health sciences, Optometry and Teacher education
  • Diakonhjemmet University College – Master’s in Diakonia and Christian Social Practice
  • Gjøvik University College – ICT
  • Hedmark University College – Applied Ecology
  • Lillehammer University College – Social Sciences, Film Science, Health and Social Work
  • MF Norwegian School of Theology – Religion and Society
  • Molde University College – Logistics, Sports & Event Management
  • NHH Norwegian School of Economics – Business
  • NLA University College – Intercultural Studies
  • Norwegian Academy of Music – Music
  • Oslo & Akershus University College of Applied Sciences – Education, ICT
  • Oslo School of Architecture and Design
  • School of Mission and Theology
  • Telemark University College – Environmental Science, Energy Technology
  • Ålesund University College – Business, Product & System Design, Ship Design
  • Østfold University College – Acting

What to Expect if You Study in NorwayTuition-Free Universities in Finland, Norway and Germany in 2022 -  MastersPortal.com

According to StudyPortals International Student Satisfaction Awards 2014, Norway is a highly appreciated study destination in Europe. The awards are based on the views of almost 7,000 students who shared their impressions on the world’s largest database of international student experiences, STeXX.eu.

Norway received a final score of 9 out of 10, taking seventh place in Europe terms of international student satisfaction. The results are based on the reviews of 155 international students, who commented on their experience of what it was like to study in Norway. The Student Satisfaction Awards offer interesting information about how international students view their experiences of studying abroad in Norwegian universities and elsewhere in Europe.

Six universities in Norway received a distinction as part of the awards. BI Norwegian Business School ranked first and was rated excellent, with a score of 9 out of 10, followed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the University of Oslo, also with an ”excellent” rating. Other awarded Norwegian universities, regarded as very good, are the University of Agder and the University of Bergen.

What do Norwegian universities offer students?

According to international students, Norwegian universities seem to have something to offer for everyone. Universities in Norway provide a great number of high-quality English-taught programs in a wide range of specializations. The majority of students have only good things to say about the teaching staff and the university services offered to those who study in Norway. Teaching focuses on student interaction, independent project-work and independent thinking. Facilities are well equipped with the latest technology. The great amount of practical experience opens the way to a multitude of career opportunities.

It is a really modern university, everything is well organized, they chose the best tutors for every subject. Besides, the university offers a wide range of free-time activities.” – student from Hungary

”Studying in Norway is different, I think better than in my university. They focus on the important and practical subjects in every course, not only theoretical.” – student from Poland

Students also comment positively on the city life in Norway. The quality of living is regarded as high and even if some locals are seen as a bit reserved, most are polite and helpful. The overall atmosphere in the cities, as well as at the campus, is internationally oriented. In smaller towns students mention a strong sense of community, reinforced by a great number of student activities organized by student associations and universities.

ISS Scholarships for International Students in Norway, 2020

“The size of the city (~50’000 people) ensures a good infrastructure for almost anything, while not covering everything in the area in concrete, but rather merging with nature, which can be found all over and around town. The atmosphere of the city located on an island is very relaxed and cozy.” – student from Switzerland 

“I had the opportunity to experience beautiful nature, excellent university classes and wonderful people (Norwegians as well as other exchange students) all in one place for a whole year, and it as the best decision of my life so far. The Norwegian society is one of the most liberal in the world and it has been a pleasure to explore their political system and the mentality of the Norwegian people.” – student from Germany

Requirements to Study in Norway for International Students

Application & Admission

Applications and admissions to higher education in Norway is handled by each institution, and the different institutions may have different requirements and deadlines. 

Make sure you obtain all necessary information about requirements, documentation and deadlines for the different study programmes and institutions. Below you will find the minimum requirements for admission to higher education in Norway. 

Degree seeking students: Academic requirements

Bachelor´s/ undergraduate studies
Completion of secondary education at 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.

Some study programmes have special admission requirements, usually related to specialist subjects or fields of study from secondary school. Please check with the institution for information about these special qualifications.

international student and adviser

Applicants for Masters programmes have normally obtained an undergraduate/Bachelor’s degree or 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.

Please beware that for some countries the first (and sometimes the second) year of study at a foreign higher education institution will not be recognised as higher education in Norway (see above).

Degree seeking students: Language requirements

For courses where the language of instruction is English all applicants should expect to document their language skills according to the requirements set by the institutions. Beware that the requirements may vary from institution to institution, and sometimes from study programme to study programme, and that different English tests and scores may be required by different institutions.

For courses where the language of instruction is Norwegian, proficiency in the Norwegian language is required and should be documented. 

Learn Norwegian outside Norway

Even though your study programme is taught in English a certain knowledge of the Norwegian language will help you both academically, but also socially. 

international and norwegian student

More than 140 institutions around the world are offering Norwegian courses to their students. There are currently between 5,000 and 6,000 young academics worldwide who are studying the Norwegian language or Norwegian courses at institutions of higher education in their home country. Maybe your current institution is on the list? This could be your first stepping stone towards further studies in Norway.

Exchange students

International cooperation is important to Norwegian institutions and they have a large number of exchange agreements with universities all over the world. This allows international students  at all study levels (bachelor, master and PhD) to come to Norway on an 3 months, 6 months or a year´s exchange, and likewise Norwegians to go abroad.

Applications for exchange studies in Norway will always be handled by your home institution, and you will have to ask the office in charge of exchange/international relations at your university for more information about requirements, deadlines and what options might be available for an exchange to Norway. Please note that the Norwegian institution is not involved in the admission process at all.

international student hiking

All exchange courses for international students in Norway will be taught in English. Some institutions also offer Norwegian language courses for their international exchange students. 

The most common education programmes granting exchange to Norway is the following: 

Exchange studies is an excellent way to get the best of Norwegian.

Tuition fees in Norway for international students

Norway is the country that takes higher education to a unique international level. Most of the Norwegian public universities don’t charge any tuition fees. This applies to all international students, regardless of their country of origin.

Studying abroad in Norway will be a challenging but rewarding experience. It will lead to a valuable academic degree, which will be a remarkable addition to your CV.

To make it easier for you, we made a quick guide with everything you should know about the costs of studying and living in Norway.

In Norway, most public universities don’t charge tuition fees. This is valid for undergraduate degree courses, Master’s programmes and PhDs, and for students from all countries, regardless if they are members of the EU/EEA or not.

There is only a student union fee that has to be paid in full, which is between 30 – 60 EUR/semester.

Private universities charge tuition fees, and they vary between:

  • 7,000 – 9,000 EUR/year for Bachelor’s programmes
  • 9,000 – 19,000 EUR/year for Master’s programmes

Some of the universities you should definitively check out in Norway are:

  • University of Oslo
  • University of Bergen
  • BI Norwegian Business School
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Here is a list with more tuition-free universities in Norway:

  • UIT the Arctic University of Norway
  • University of Stavanger
  • University of South-Eastern Norway
  • The Oslo School of Architecture and Design

Costs of living in Norway for international students

Attending a university in Norway involves living costs comprised of accommodation, books and other study materials, food and utilities. Although the living costs per month can be above average European nations, they are still some of the best for a Nordic country. And, as a bonus, the Norwegian standard of living and quality of life is very high.

Universities In Norway With Free Tuition For International Students

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between 800 – 1,400 EUR/month to live in Norway. Expenses can be much higher in large cities. Here are some of the costs of living you can expect to pay in cities like:

  • Oslo: 1,200 – 2,000 EUR
  • Bergen: 1,100 – 1,800 EUR
  • Tromso and Trondheim: 1,000 – 1,600 EUR

Other smaller cities in Norway usually have an average monthly living cost of 800 – 1,000 EUR.

Accommodation costs

Students in Norway pay around 36% out of the total living costs on accommodation. The most popular options are student housing and renting/sharing an apartment. In general, you can pay anywhere between 300 – 700 EUR/month. Prices vary a lot depending on the city in which you live, how close you are to the city centre, and whether you live alone or with other students.

Food costs in Norway and inexpensive shopping

You will usually spend between 250 – 400 EUR/month on food. You can save some money by learning how to cook and buying from grocery stores that sometimes offer discounts or from accessible supermarkets, such as Rema 1000, Rimi, Kiwi, Bunnpris, Meny, Ultra, and Ica.

If you plan an evening out, you will spend 20 EUR in an inexpensive restaurant and 70 EUR in a mid-range one, for a meal for two. If you also want to drink something light, you will spend an extra 4 EUR. Beer is usually around 8 EUR.

Transportation costs

In Norway, 41% of the students use public transportation and use their discounts provided by the university student card. The total cost of a monthly transport pass is between 55 and 72 EUR. Here are other transportation options:

  • Taxis: the starting price is 10 EUR and 1.5 EUR/kilometre
  • Bike rental: between 12 – 25 EUR/day

Extra costs

During your studies, you will need books, magazines, and other materials for your courses and research. These usually reach around 50 EUR/month, but you can also buy used books from libraries and second-hand shops to save some money. For social activities, you should prepare around 50 – 120 EUR/month.

You can also use the Numbeo website to check out other prices and costs in Norway.

Tuition Free Universities in Norway for International Students 

Norway is an extremely popular study destination for international students because of high-quality education. Generally, Norwegian public universities and state university colleges do not charge tuition fees for both native and foreign students because of government finances education with taxpayers’ money.

However, certain programmes/courses may have fees. And private institutions normally do charge tuition fees. Looking for a current update? This article has updated information on Tuition free Universities in Norway!!

According to the official Norwegian web site, www.studyinnorway.no: “Living expenses in Norway are considered to be higher than in many other countries.

Living in Norway has a reputation for being expensive, but studying in Norway may not be as expensive as you think! Universities in Norway and state university colleges, as a rule, do not charge tuition fees for international students.”

Tuition-Free Universities in Finland, Norway and Germany in 2021 -  MastersPortal.com

True, amongst countries of equal status, living expenses in Norway are more expensive, and you need to pay for your own study materials (books/teaching). NOK 300-600 ($50-100) fees per semester, vary on school, may be required. Although official average student expenditure of about NOK 9000 (approx. EURO 1 000) per month for subsistence refers to board and lodgings, clothing, transport, medical and dental care and other necessities; living expenses vary from person to person depending on personal habits.

However, on the whole, a study in Norway may be cheaper.

Hence, we have compiled a comprehensive list as it could come across of tuition-free Norwegian state/public schools. Private schools have also been added to the list.

The Norwegian higher education sector consists of eight universities, nine specialised university institutions, 20 state university colleges, two national academies of the arts and 16 private colleges.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate programs cut across numerous disciplines. For institution-specific information and enquiries, visit the relevant schools from the list below:

Tuition Free Schools in Norway

Below is the list of tuition free universities in Norway for international students:

A. Universities:

  1. Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB)
  2. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  3. University of Agder (UiA)
  4. University of Bergen (UiB)
  5. University of Nordland (UiN) (formerly Bodø University College)
  6. University of Oslo (UiO)
  7. University of Stavanger (UiS)
  8. University of Tromsø (UiT)

B. Specialised university institutions:

  1. BI – Norwegian Business School (formerly Norwegian School of Management)
  2. Molde University College, Specialized University in Logistics (HiMolde)
  3. NHH – Norwegian School of Economics
  4. Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH)
  5. Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH)
  6. Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
  7. MF – Norwegian School of Theology
  8. Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)
  9. School of Mission and Theology

In addition to the specialised university institutions Norway has two university centres:

  1. University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)
  2. University Graduate Center at Kjeller (UNIK)

C. National Institutes of the arts

  1. Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB)
  2. Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO)

D. State University colleges

  1. Bergen University College
  2. Buskerud University College
  3. Finnmark University College
  4. Gjøvik University College
  5. Harstad University College
  6. Hedmark University College
  7. Lillehammer University College
  8. Narvik University College
  9. Nesna University College
  10. Nord-Trøndelag University College
  11. Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
  12. Saami University College
  13. Sogn og Fjordane University College
  14. Stord/Haugesund University College
  15. Sør-Trøndelag University College
  16. Telemark University College
  17. Vestfold University College
  18. Volda University College
  19. Østfold University College
  20. Aalesund University College

E. Private colleges with institutional accreditation

  1. Ansgar School of Theology and Mission
  2. Diakonhjemmet University College (campus Oslo & Sandnes)
  3. Haraldsplass Deaconess University College (HDUC)
  4. Lovisenberg Diaconal University College
  5. Norwegian School of Information Technology (NITH)
  6. Norwegian Teacher Academy (NLA)
  7. Oslo School of Management, Campus Christiania
  8. Queen Maud University College

F. Private colleges with accredited programmes and courses

  1. Barratt Due Institute of Music
  2. Bergen School of Architecture
  3. Betanien Deaconal University College
  4. Bjørknes College
  5. Norwegian University College for (HLB)
  6. Norwegian College of Dance (DNBH)
  7. Norwegian Eurythmy College
  8. Rudolf Steiner College of Education

In addition, there are a number of institutions with education and/or websites only in Norwegian.

NKI Nettstudier is Scandinavia’s largest provider of online education. It offers flexible online education within a wide range of disciplines in partnership with recognized colleges and universities.

How to Study Abroad in Norway 2021- Cost and Scholarships in Norway

APPLICATION Process For International Students

Application forms, if necessary, should be requested from individual institutions. All application should then be sent directly to the specific institution. For institutions with an online application portal, carefully fill in the requested details and submit. Visit institutions via links above.

For Undergraduate Students

The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) coordinates the admission to regular undergraduate study programmes at all universities, colleges, and some private university colleges in Norway.

Applicants with foreign secondary education, holding a permanent or renewable residence permit for Norway, must apply for admission through NUCAS. The online application deadline is 1st March for such foreign applicants, and all requirements must be met by 1st July.

For Masters Students

If you are seeking Masters programmes where the language of instruction is English, you should visit the official Online Masters programmes catalogue and browse by subject area.

Admission requirements are decided by each university and university college based on an academic evaluation of the applicants. See individual schools via links above.

For PhD Programs

For PhD programmes in English, you will have to check with each institution individually (see official websites above).

Deadlines

In order to obtain the necessary application forms and information about the application deadlines, you will have to contact each university or university college.

In general, the application deadline for foreign students is between December 1 to March 15 for courses starting the following autumn (August).

Please note that some institutions have separate “pre-qualification” deadlines that are earlier than this.

NOTE

All students who plan to stay in Norway for more than three months will need a Student Residence Permit. Requirements and procedures depend on your current country of residency.

Visas are only issued for stays up to 90 days (e.g. for certain Summer School programmes). Please, carefully read the regulations to avoid problems during the application process.

Students may be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. Certain restrictions do apply.
Several scholarships and financial schemes are available for foreign students. Eligibility depends on your current country of residence and level of completed education. Certain restrictions and prerequisites apply to all these programmes.

Why international students should not come to Norway

The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education recently organized an event about the value of international students. My presentation was called Why international students should not come to Norway. This is what I said:

In the mid-1990s, the Norwegian government modified the “quota student” program that provided opportunities to students from underdeveloped countries. That modification heavily influenced my own contact with international students and also my contact with “the system” that had to process them. In the early few years of the program, students were funded for a year to learn Norwegian and then they could study for a couple of years to earn a master’s degree.

For reasons I can only speculate on, that program caused some concern. Maybe it was too expensive; maybe learning Norwegian made the visiting students too easily integrated; I don’t know. But in the mid-1990s, the program was changed and the scholarships were limited such that they could only be given to programs which were taught in English.

I have to confess that I sometimes struggle to recommend a semester in Norway to students from other countries.

At that time, I was in Tromsø, working in the English Department. Our master’s program already was in English, although for reasons I could never grasp, the system still required Norwegian proficiency to be admitted. The quota program change let us get around this and get more students, so we jumped on board. We added a program developed with our colleagues in general linguistics and the program grew and grew.

At least by the standards of the humanities.

Some years, we might get 10 new students, most of them on quota scholarships. Other years there could be as many as 15. As I recall, many of our students came from Central and Eastern Europe, and from Anglophone Africa.

With foreign students come challenges

In the early days of our program, selection of students was very important and the faculty members were heavily involved not only in selecting them but in integrating them into our program and into life in Tromsø. But then the program started growing. More and more students “out there” learned about these opportunities. More and more of our colleagues in other departments started lobbying for some of these quota scholarship to attract students to their programs. And then the challenges began to emerge. What were they?

  • In some cases, there were concerns about falsified transcripts.
  • Agents got into the picture and we would receive crates of nearly identical applications from scores of hopeful students from the same countries, all of whom had a legal right to an answer.
  • Many would arrive with inadequate English skills. And, of course, their Norwegian skills were non-existent.
  • Measures were attempted: Could we limit applications to partner universities? Could we ban applications that arrived via agents? Could we sharpen English requirements? Maybe best of all, could we get a national admissions system in place — something that seemed more necessary when we realized that many students would apply to multiple Norwegian institutions?

From the perspective of those of us who were teaching, all these challenges and the increased interest in the scholarships meant fewer students to our specific program. We tried to compensate by recruiting more Western Europeans and North Americans. But that made problems, too, although to a certain extent of a different type. These students expected more service, they were talkative in class, especially the Yankees. They needed help to find housing. They didn’t do a very good job of integrating with Norwegians. In short, they just don’t understand the Norwegian context.

Furthermore, they seemed obsessive about grades. Did you know, by the way, that over 40% of grades awarded in college classes in the US are “A”? What should we do with these students in Norway?!

As if all this weren’t enough, we started getting more and more PhD positions, and would recruit some of our MA students to continue, while attracting others from abroad. At one point in the history of the Center of Excellence I led, over 90% of our PhD candidates were non-Norwegian.

This also triggered reactions, also from well-meaning colleagues. We should be careful that we don’t get too many non-Norwegians, they would say. We’ve just become a training ground for American post-doc programs, they might hint.

A lack of curiosity?

What is all this skepticism? At times I’ve felt like too many of my dear colleagues would say that we could of course accept foreign students, but then they have to do things our way — they should show substantial independence in negotiating bureaucracy; find their own housing; behave appropriately in class; don’t ask many questions; don’t be coming by my office all the time; and so on.

Let’s put our awareness of our extreme good fortune aside for a minute and imagine the possibility that we need them a lot more than they need us.

What kind of mindset leads to these attitudes? Is it just the comfort of homogeneity? Maybe a lack of curiosity?

In the face of these questions, I have to confess that I sometimes struggle to recommend a semester in Norway to students from other countries. When I see how institutions in the US receive foreign students and compare that to Norway, I get embarrassed on our behalf. We just aren’t in the same league.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that until internationalization at home includes integration at home, we might just not be up to the task — not until we realize that we, too, must integrate.

Sometimes I feel like we just really don’t care so very much. And when we’re talking about students who take the initiative to travel to another country to pursue a very special educational experience, to make their lives better, to improve the lives of their families and their home communities, sometimes I think that a little more humility in the face of being selected might be appropriate.

These are the kinds of reasons that sometimes make me hesitate to recommend Norway for non-Norwegians.

But then I try to turn these feelings into something a bit more productive.

  • I remind myself that I don’t have research on this, just my own anecdotal experience. I’m not making any firm claims here and I’m not describing a general situation – or if I am, that’s accidental. I don’t know what the situation really is. I have a few stories and a lotta attitude. And that’s not basis for policy. I’m a researcher, after all. I believe in science. So I remind myself of that.
  • I remind myself that there is tremendous value for a young person to experience being the other no matter the specific differences. And going abroad anywhere is one way to do that.
  • I remind myself that the encounter with what some psychologists call benign neglect is a growth opportunity. It’s not intentionally harming someone; it’s just leaving them on their own, even when they might prefer otherwise.
  • And finally, I remind myself that it’s my job to convince my colleagues and adopted compatriots both inside and outside academia, of the value of receiving foreign students.
  • It’s my job to use public debate to move people beyond their irritation and exasperation with foreign students. It’s my job. If they’re not there, I haven’t done the work I need to do.

So, how can I do that work better? What can I say? How can I convince others — and myself — that it’s good for foreign students to come to Norway? What are the reasons it’s important to have international students with us?

Local and global reasons for attracting foreign students

At this point, I just want to raise just two reasons, one of which I’ll call the local reason and one of which I’ll call the global reason.

The local reason includes the following points:

  • If having international students makes our campuses more international, then we do a favor to our students and broaden their horizons.
  • This might range from creating the circumstances for more teaching in English, to more exposure to other languages, to meeting with students with other cultural backgrounds, maybe even to meeting those who have experienced the worst humanity has to offer.
    • And in that context, I call on the Norwegian government today to make it much easier than it currently is for refugees to study when they come to this country.
  • The local reason can be things like highlighting the fact that integration is not something that is the responsibility of or exclusively in the domain of those who come to us, but rather that integration is also something that we have to be part of to make an international classroom.
  • It can be affecting the culture of the classroom, where in some situations we see local students reporting that they have to change their study habits to keep up with the foreign students who in some cases work so much harder.
  • It can be a better way to prepare candidates for encountering a fundamentally globalized workplace.

The global reason can be found in many domains too and the short version of it is that our global grand challenges will not be solved without international collaboration.

  • To take a slightly more concrete example, just a few days ago, we all celebrated the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
  • And the United Nations has just recently announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I encourage all of you to read up on these and to think about them as you do your own strategic and political work.
  • I won’t go through all 17 of them, although I would claim that every single one of them highlights the need for preparing our students for a new reality and I would claim that such preparation must include time abroad and the encounter with international students at home.
  • One of the goals is to Revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.
  • “A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level.”

When I think about how to build partnerships, I think about all those quota scholarship students that came through the teaching programs I was involved in. I think about the PhD students who found their way to us as a place to start their academic careers.

These previous students are now an important part of my international network. But more importantly, they are part of my own education. They inspired me and motivated me. They helped me understand the world as it is and to form a vision of the world as I want it to be.

Creating even better conditions for international students will attract more of them. And when we do that, we are engaging more responsibly in the hard work of serving society.

Norway needs international students. Let’s try to put our awareness of our extreme good fortune aside for a minute and imagine the possibility that we need them a lot more than they need us.

Attracting them is going to take some pretty fundamental changes. But if we manage to make those changes, Norwegian students and international students may find in each other a renewed foundation for hope.

And if we want to help solve the grand challenges of our time, that may be the best hope we have.

Universities in Norway for International Students

1. University of Oslo (UiO)

The University of Oslo is the best university in Norway for international students, located in its capital city. From 1947 to 1989 and in 2020 subsequently, the university hosted the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. UiO consists of eight faculties in educational sciences, natural science, social science, humanities, law, mathematics, medicine, and dentistry. UiO has over 800 courses in English, while several Master’s and PhD programs are held in English entirely. Furthermore, it is a publicly funded university, so students pay only a semester fee and no tuition.

UiO is affiliated with institutions dealing with environmental research and studies on traumatic stress. Its research units center on life science, energy, Nordic issues, and more. It is also home to scientific and historical museums.

2. University of Bergen (UiB)

The University of Bergen is a public research university and the most cited institution in Norway. Presently, it focuses on marine research, global challenges, and climate & energy transition. PhD candidates in the university are paid employees and make the program attractive for talented international students. Aside from this large investment in research, the seven faculties of UiB provide high-class teaching in mathematics & natural sciences, medicine, dentistry, fine arts, and more.

This top university in Norway has the most students that participate in exchange programs. It has close to 2000 international students and is actively recruiting more. Furthermore, UiO is a publicly funded university too.

3. The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)

The University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway is the world’s most northern university. The institution holds an essential role in environmental science and research due to its location in the Arctic. Climate research, auroral light research, fishery science, and Saami culture research are some of the activities in UiT. Furthermore, there are also common subject areas like health sciences, education, law, tourism, and fine arts.

Many partner universities support the expertise of UiT in environmental studies. The population of international students and staff has increased rapidly in recent years, and their various programs in English are encouraging.

4. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology is one of the best universities in Norway for international students. Engineering, technology, and natural science are where the university is best known. It also offers degree programs in teacher education, social sciences, medicine, psychology, architecture, and fine arts.

NTNU ranks first globally in having corporate links, with its R&D contracts with international companies like ABB. Shell, Alcatel, and more. These collaborations solidify the institution’s effective teaching and research excellence. Aside from its strong links to industries, NTNU participates in global academic initiatives.

5. Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a Norwegian public university specializing in human and animal health, resource management, and the likes. It began as an Agricultural college in 1859 and expanded into seven faculties: biosciences, environmental sciences, landscape & society, chemistry, economics, veterinary medicine, and science & technology.

NBMU is the leading institution when it comes to veterinary research. Food science, biotechnology, and business development are key areas too. Despite a modest number of students, this specialized university has partnerships with universities in 93 countries.

6. University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

The University of South-Eastern Norway is one of the top universities in Norway for international students. It was established by merging three university colleges; that’s why it provides diverse academic programs and spread in many regions. USN offers programs in health & social care, computer science, history, business, mathematics, natural sciences, maritime studies, and art.

The university has a focus on applied research and coordinates with regional industries. USN focuses on being an entrepreneurial university that contributes to innovation and sustainable development of the world.

7. University of Stavanger (UiS)

The University of Stavanger is a leading research university in Norway that ranks the third-highest in research publications per scientific staff member. It is a fellow of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), which are catalysts of innovative culture in higher education institutions. UiS comprises six faculties like social sciences, arts & education, and science & technology, to name a few. There is also the Museum of Archaeology and many national research centers.

UiS welcomes around 400 international students every year and is working to improve internationalization strategies. The university is located in Norway’s oil and energy capital, which encourages a dynamic interplay of students with industries and corporations.

8. University of Agder (UiA)

The University of Agder is a young university in Norway but has an academic history of over 190 years. This top university in Norway was established in 1994 as a merger of six regional colleges in Holt, Aust-Agder, including a nursing school, a music conservatory, and a technical school. Since then, UiA offers degrees in the social sciences, business, health & sports science, fine arts, humanities, engineering, & science. There is also an interdisciplinary teaching education unit.

A young and modern institution, the research priority of UiA include e-health, integrated emergency management, multimodality, and cultural change. UiA has a strong international orientation with several international joint programs and courses in English or German.

9. Norwegian Business School (BI)

The BI Norwegian Business School, one of the best universities in Norway for international students, is Norway’s largest business school and the second largest in Europe. It received recognition from significant business school accreditations like AMBA and EQUIS. This specialized institution is the primary supplier of administrative and economic talent to the Norwegian workforce. With BI, you can learn about Norway’s leadership, business, and equality strategies, a country known for high productivity and empowered workers.

The school teaches BBA and all graduate programs in English in addition to Norwegian undergraduate programs. BI collaborates closely with other international universities like Fudan University in Shanghai, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the University of California at Berkeley, and more.

10. Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)

Norwegian School of Economics is the first business school in Norway. Since 1936, it has been pioneering teaching and research in economics and business administration. The prestigious university is the most selective among business schools, yet also the most popular first choice of students. It is EQUIS and AMBA accredited and a member of CEMS Global Alliance in Management Education, a partnership of selected 33 academic institutions for business.

NHH works closely with the local business community and also with over 170 international business institutions. NHH started its global expansion in 1984 and continues to this day. It is in partnership with Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, and many prestigious institutions.

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