Share this post

Situated in the western and northernmost part of the Scandinavian peninsula, Norway is well-known for its scenic beauty, high standards of living, world-class education system and high employment rates. Owing to its off-shore oil and gas deposits, Norway has the fourth-highest per capita income in the world. Officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, it has a constitutional monarchy that divides state power among the parliament, the cabinet and the supreme court as determined by its Constitution in 1814.

If you are planning your higher education in Norway, look no further. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about pursuing your higher studies in Norway.


1.     Why higher education in Norway?
2.     Structure of Higher Education in Norway
3.     Cost of Higher Education in Norway
4.     Admission requirements for Higher Education in Norway
5.     Permanent Residence in Norway
6.     Top universities in Norway

Why higher education in Norway?

Norway is a land of mountains, fjord coastlines, midnight sun, sea-faring history and the mesmerizing northern lights. It has been consistently ranked among the top countries in the world for its quality of life and environment, peace, security and prosperity. Being home to some of the most influential personalities such as playwright Henrik Ibsen and painter Edvard Munch, creator of ‘The Scream’, Norway is renowned for its contribution to art and culture. The capital city of Norway, Oslo has a number of museums highlighting such contributions.

Norway has a population of a little over five million people. With more than 12,000 international students enrolled in its university, Norway has become one of the top picks by Indian students as well. This is owed to the low cost and high quality of education that Norway offers. Higher education in the public universities of Norway is free for all students, including those from outside of the country. Access to higher studies is considered an important part of Norwegian society by the government of Norway. This has allowed Indian students access to some of the top-ranked universities in the world for their higher studies in Norway.

Norwegian landscape

Norwegian higher educational institutions are dynamic in nature, offering a number of social and educational experiences. Studying in Norway expands your career prospects both in Norway as well as outside it. As an Indian student in Norway, you get to experience different cultures, adventures, lifestyle and education.

To know more about the benefits of pursuing your higher education in Norway, get in touch with our counsellor.

Structure of Higher Education in Norway

Norway is a signatory to the Bologna Process which includes the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). This means that certificates issued by Norwegian universities to its graduating students are recognised by countries around the world. The Bologna Process is aimed at making European higher education more compatible.

Higher education in Norway is known for its innovative methods of teaching and high academic standards. Students are free to study interesting subject combinations at Norwegian universities and colleges, which offer a variety of courses and flexibility of choice. There are plenty of opportunities in courses ranging from vocational to Ph.D. Students pursuing Ph.D in Norway are seen as employees rather than students and are paid a monthly stipend during the course of their studies.

Higher education in Norway is offered in public and private universities and university colleges. University colleges focus more on vocational subjects at the under-graduation level. More than 200 master’s programmes and a number of undergraduate programmes are taught in the English language. Norwegian universities offer bachelor’s degrees for three years, master’s degrees for two years and Ph.D degrees for a further three years. Additionally, one-tier master’s degrees, which combine the bachelor’s and master’s degrees into a single degree lasting over five years, are also available. Engineering, business management, law, architecture and dentistry are the usual fields of study in which one-tier master’s degrees are available.

Another striking feature of the Norwegian higher education system is the open-door policy of the professors, teachers and staff at the universities wherein they are easily available and approachable to the students, ensuring quality learning. Students are often encouraged to think critically and approach things multi-dimensionally.

What programmes is the University of Oslo known for?

Have you taken the GMAT before?

Cost of Higher Education in Norway

Though public universities in Norway charge zero tuition fees for higher studies, they do charge a nominal amount of 30-60EUR per semester as an administrative fee. This comes with a number of pros such as on-campus health services, sports facilities, library access, etc. Private universities charge different fees for different programmes varying between 7000-9000EUR per year for bachelor’s degrees and 9000-19000EUR per year for Master’s degrees. Since expenses incurred on higher studies in Norway are extremely low, most of the spending that the Indian students have to do is on the cost of living. The average cost of living could amount to somewhere around 9700 EUR per year.

Accommodation takes a large bulk of the money spent as living costs. International students can bring down their cost of living by looking for student housing or renting out on a shared basis or just a room instead of the whole place. Additionally, in some places like Bergen, international students have a right to accommodation through Sammen Student Housing. Public transport, museums, concerts and cultural events in Norway are discounted for the students, irrespective of the country you come from. Moreover, Indian students can reduce their expenses by cooking their own meals, borrowing books from libraries instead of buying new ones and using a bicycle for shorter routes. International students are also allowed to work 20 hours per week in the first year of their degree. They can renew their work permit after documenting satisfactory progress in their studies.

Though eating out and drinking sounds fun, Norway offers you things that are just as free and relaxing. Go hiking, swimming, skiing and exploring nature to discover the true Norwegian beauty. Norway has one of the cheapest, well-connected airlines in Europe. So, if you need a break from the cold Norwegian winters, book a low-cost ticket to a warmer location!

Admission requirements for Higher Education in Norway

Indian students applying for bachelor’s degrees in Norwegian institutes should have completed their school education till class 12. Additionally, they are required to complete at least one year of university education.

Applicants for master’s degrees should have completed their bachelor’s degree or an equivalent of at least 3 years’ duration. This degree must include 1-1½ years of full-time courses which are relevant to the master’s degree programme the candidate is applying to.

The applications for the bachelor’s and master’s degrees are processed by the individual institutions you are applying to. Therefore, the academic and language requirements may vary from one institution to another and even from course to course. It is always advisable to go through these requirements before applying.

If you are planning to pursue your higher education in Norway, test scores for Norwegian language proficiency are required for courses where the medium of instruction is Norwegian. For courses where the medium of instruction is English, different institutes require different scores (IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic, etc.) Check with the institution you are applying to for the required test scores. Additionally, students staying in Norway for more than three months will be required to get a student residence permit.

Application deadline in Norwegian universities is usually limited to a single period i.e. between 1st December to 15th March and classes usually start in the month of August (autumn).

Need help with your application to a Norwegian university?

Have you taken the GMAT before?

Permanent Residence in Norway

Students from non-EU countries can stay in Norway for one year after graduating from a Norwegian university to look for work. To be eligible for Permanent Residence in Norway, you need to fulfill the following criteria-

  • Must hold a valid residence permit and have lived in Norway for at least three years.
  • Must be financially independent for one year and without any record of criminal conviction.
  • Must complete compulsory Norwegian language and social studies tuition and pass the concluding tests, or document that you have been granted exemptions by the municipality.

When you become a Permanent Resident of Norway, you can live and work in the country indefinitely.

Top universities in Norway

Norway has some of the best universities in the world. The list includes the University of Oslo, which has produced four Nobel Prize winners and the University of Tromsø- the Arctic University of Norway which has produced quality research about the culture and ecology of the Arctic Circle and its people. Here is a list of top universities in Norway-

  • University of Oslo
  • University of Bergen
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • University of Tromsø
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • University of South-Eastern Norway
  • Universitetet i Stavanger
  • Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet)
  • University of Agder

For more information on how to go about your higher education in Norway, you could reach out to our consultant. You can also visit our nearest centre or call us.

Share this post