Norway Higher Education

Norway Higher Education

Norway stretches 1,752 km from south to north, and approx. half of the country lies north of the Arctic Circle. The country is divided into counties, which correspond to the former Danish counties. In other words, Norway is a country located in Northern Europe as defined by CountryAAH.

Historically, Norway has been a relatively poor farming community, but with the discovery of huge oil and gas reserves in the Norwegian subsoil, the country has developed into one of the richest in the world in recent decades.

Higher education in Norway

The entire higher education system in Norway is quality assured and controlled by the National Agency for Quality in Education, NOKUT.

The academic year consists of an autumn semester, which runs from mid-August to mid-December, and a spring semester, which runs from mid-January to mid-June.

In Norway, higher education is called higher education, whereas upper secondary education or upper secondary school corresponds to the Danish youth educations.

Denmark has entered into a co-operation agreement with the other Nordic countries on higher education. This means that you as a Nordic citizen with a high school education can apply for a higher education in another Nordic country, e.g. Norway, on an equal footing with the country’s own applicants.

Read more about studying in Norway.


There are three main categories of institutions accredited to higher education in Norway: Universities, scientific colleges and folk high schools

Norway has 7 universities, 7 scientific colleges and 33 colleges. In addition, there are a number of private institutions with approved study offers. Here you can e.g. take the librarian education, the teacher education, the journalism education and educations within the hotel industry.

Among the 33 folk high schools are two state art colleges, one in Oslo and one in Bergen. The schools have, among other things, educations in theater, opera, ballet, crafts and the art industry.

Degrees at higher level

The following degrees can generally be obtained at university level in Norway:

  • Bachelor’s degree, which is obtained after 3 years.
  • Master’s degree, which is obtained after a further 2 years.
  • PhD degree, which is a 3-year research education and can be taken after the master’s program.

At the universities and the scientific colleges, you can also take a number of professional educations (professional studies or official studies), which are aimed at specific professions. The educations are usually 6 years old and lead to e.g. a, cand.psych.- or cand.theol.-degree. However, the general teacher education, which can be taken at most folk high schools, only takes 4 years.

You can read more about higher education in Norway on Study in Norway and the Nordic website

Application for higher education

Most educational institutions are affiliated with the coordinated registration system Coordinated admissions. Here you can get information about application procedures.

As there are more applicants than study places, there is a restriction on admission to the vast majority of institutions.

Admission requirements

Danish applicants with a high school education are admitted to the higher education according to the same rules as Norwegian applicants. Read about conversion of grades and subject levels on Coordinated admissions.

If you have studied 1-2 years at a higher education in Denmark, you will usually be able to transfer your Danish exams to Norwegian educational institutions. You can get more information from the Norwegian center for assessment of foreign educations, NOKUT.

Language proficiency

Danish students do not have to pass a language test to be admitted to educational institutions in Norway.

Application deadlines
Danish applicants must apply before 15 April to start in the autumn.

Recognition of foreign educations in Denmark

If you have completed a publicly recognized education abroad, you can have it assessed by the Danish Agency for Research and Education.

Practical conditions

high schools The Norwegian folk high school system is similar in many ways to the Danish one. Most courses are approx. 33 weeks and runs from late August to mid-May. A course of 33 weeks (9 months) costs between 45,000 and 85,000 Norwegian kroner incl. board and lodging.

The Nordic Council of Ministers has established a financial support scheme for stays at a folk high school in another Nordic country for at least 2 weeks. The support is around DKK 700 per week for a maximum of 40 weeks. Read more about the support here

You can get information about folk high school courses at the Information Office for Folk High School.

Most universities and other higher education institutions in Norway have a number of dormitory rooms at their disposal, which are rented out cheaply to students.

One of Norway’s largest newspapers, Aftenposten, has a large housing supplement.

Facts about Norway

Population: Approx. 4.5 million.

Languages: Norwegian and Sami

Employment: Unemployment is 3.5% (OECD, 2013)

Residence permit: Danish citizens do not have to apply for a work and residence permit to work and study in Norway

Norway Higher Education

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