Education System – Norway

Norway has seven accredited universities, nine accredited specialized university institutions, 22 accredited university colleges, two accredited national colleges of the arts and several private institutions of higher education with either institutional- or programme accreditation.

Norway spends nearly 7% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on education. In Norway, as in most European countries, the central Ministry of Education has the prime responsibility.

The Norwegian system is divided into three levels:

  • Primary and lower-secondary schools, compulsory for six- to 16-year-olds.
  • Upper-secondary schools, elective for 16- to 19-year-olds.
  • Higher education, elective for young adults and offering degree programs at universities, university-level institutions, and colleges.

Most educational institutions are public. Though comparatively smaller, private education is a growing sector. Education has top priority. Accordingly, public sector upper secondary and higher education is fully financed by the government. So foreign students as well as Norwegians pay no tuition fees, but upon registration for a semester of study pay only a small semester fee for ancillary services including health, counseling, and access to student privileges, such as reduced fares on public transport. Private sector education is only partly financed by the government. Hence private schools and colleges levy tuition fees. The cost of higher education in the Oslo area illustrates the public-private difference in fees. The public sector University of Oslo charges only a semester fee of NOK600 ($73), while the private sector Norwegian Business School (BI) charges an MBA program annual fee of NOK 76,400 ($9,300) for Norwegian students and NOK 87,400 ($10,650) for foreign students. 

Ref : The Norwegian American- Oct. 21, 2016, issue