With a population of 5 million people and an erratic weather, Norway is one of the countries in Europe with the highest cost and standard of living. Interestingly, students studying at any level (undergraduate or postgraduate) in Norway do not have to pay for tuition fees even when the standard of education is very high.
Cost of Studying
It is a practice in Norway that government-financed (public or state) universities do not charge tuition fees regardless of the nationality and the study level (undergraduate, masters or doctorate) of the student involved.
But, students are expected to pay a token of 500NOK (about 56 EUR) per semester. This fee qualifies them to write end of semester examination and to get student cards which grant them access to enjoy a considerable reduction in the cost of transport on public vehicles and discount in prices of tickets to some cultural events.
Moreover, students could become members of the local student welfare and enjoy campus health services, sporting facilities, cultural activities and counselling services upon paying their semester fee.
This is not the same for most private institutions because they charge tuition fees for all their courses and programmes. Yet, they don’t charge foreign students higher nor charge higher than educational institutions in other countries who offer similar studies.
Additionally, students usually spend a lot on books as the semester begins depending on their course of study and programme. But many could opt for available second-hand books.
Cost of Living
Aside books and other study materials, accommodation, feeding, clothing, transportation and other utilities make up the total living cost.
Accommodation cost in Norway is high compared with other European countries. Monthly rate could range up to 1,700 EUR in the major cities or could be as low as 500 EUR in the smaller ones. Generally, rentals at privately owned apartments are expensive but students have the opportunity of living on campus although accommodation is limited in the universities.
Like accommodation cost, the cost of feeding is high. Students could pay up to 300 EUR a month on feeding as a meal of two and a drink at an average restaurant could cost 95 EUR. Also, fruits and vegetables are always available and could be found around famous stores like Rema 1000 and Ica maxi for instance.
Below are estimates of food items:
- 1 Dozen of eggs: 3 EUR
- 1 Litter of milk: 1.5 EUR
- Cereal: 2.5 – 5 EUR
- Loaf of bread: 3 EUR
- 500g of Cheese: 6.5 EUR
Students have access to discounted transport cost because of their university cards. For students who may fancy travelling in taxis, the cost of transport per kilometre may be up to 1.6EUR.
How to Apply for Admission
The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) has established general criteria for applying for admission into the various institutes of higher learning. Yet, there are specific requirements, which are determined by some universities and programme of choice, that must be met before students could be admitted.
- Students must have carefully read all information on their preferred programme and understand their curricula and study schedule.
- International students must have also read the GSU-list (Higher Education Entrance Qualification) for requirements for foreigners with regards to required high school degrees, experience and documentations.
- Students need a student visa to study in Norway. Therefore, they should read about all necessary documents needed to secure a student visa as citizens of EU/EEA or non-EU/EEA citizens.
- Students need to get their unique Norwegian Identity Number at the National Registry after obtaining their student visas. The identity number is valid throughout the stay of the students in Norway.
- Students who wish to apply for a postgraduate programme must have at least a three-year-old Bachelor’s degree.
More importantly, the standard of education in Norway is very high and some universities may not recognise some parts of some students Bachelor’s degrees.
Norwegian is the basic language of instruction at many Norwegian universities. Students would be advised to learn Norwegian before they begin to study in Norway and they must check with the university in question to see if they have met the language requirement.
To be admitted into the university in Norway for courses which are taught in English Language, it is important that students present the results that they had in English Language course.
They must have minimum scores in any of the following to meet the admission requirements:
- TOEFL iBT: 60
- TOEFL PBT: 500
- IELTS Academic: 5.0
- University of Cambridge examination: First Certificate in English/Certificate in Advanced English/Certificate of Proficiency in English.
For courses that begin in August (Autumn), students should have applied and uploaded necessary documents from December 1 until March 15. But because these dates vary from one institution to another, interested applicants must check with their preferred institutions from time to time.
As regards application for admission into universities in Norway, application processes are not the same for private and public universities. Also, the processes for applying for admission to undergraduate programs differ from postgraduate programs.
Undergraduate Programs (Private Universities)
The following are the necessary steps needed to apply for undergraduate programs in private universities:
- Students should apply directly in the ‘International Students Section’ on the website of their preferred universities.
- Students should provide scanned proof of studies, as requested on the GSU-list.
- Students should make their application during admissions period.
- Students should apply for a visa upon receiving their admission letters. (It is important that students provide documents showing that they can financially support themselves through their stay in Norway).
- Students should provide written personal statements to the university.
Undergraduate Programs (Public Universities)
Students applying for admission into public universities must process their admission through The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS).
Masters and Doctorate Programs
Applicants who wish to apply for postgraduate programs must apply directly to their chosen institutions of higher learning.
List of Universities in Norway
Ålesund University College (Public)
Bergen National Academy of the Arts (Public)
Bergen University College (Public)
Buskerud and Vestfold University College (Public)
Diakonhjemmet University College (Public)
Gjøvik University College (Public)
Harstad University College (Public)
Hedmark University College (Public)
Lillehammer University College (Public)
MF Norwegian School of Theology (Private)
Molde University College (Public)
Narvik University College (Public)
Nesna University College (Public)
Nord-Trøndelag University College (Public)
Noroff University College (Private)
Norwegian Academy of Music (Public)
Norwegian Air Force Academy (Public)
Norwegian Defence School of Engineering (Public)
Norwegian Military Academy (Public)
Norwegian Naval Academy (Public)
Norwegian Police University College (Public)
Norwegian School of Economics (Public)
BI Norwegian Business School (Private)
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (Public)
NLA University College (Private)
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Public)
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Public)
Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Public)
Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Public)
Oslo and Akershus University College (Public)
Sámi University College Kautokeino (Public)
School of Mission and Theology Stavanger (Private)
Sognog Fjordane University College (Public)
Stord/Haugesund University College (Public)
Sør-Trøndelag University College (Public)
Telemark University College (Public)
University of Agder (Public)
University of Bergen (Public)
University of Nordland (Public)
University of Oslo (Public)
University of Stavanger (Public)
University of Tromsø (Public)
Volda University College (Public)
Østfold University College (Public)