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Education gives you knowledge and skills, and opens doors for you in the job market. If you want to study in Norway you'll have to find out what you need to satisfy the Norwegian requirements.

Last updated: 5.10.2016

The Norwegian school system

If you want to study in Norway you should know about the education system. New in Norway is a site with practical information from public offices. Here you can read about the Norwegian school system.

Applicants with a connection to Norway

The application process and the financial conditions for your studies depend on your connection to Norway.

If you are a Norwegian citizen, or you hold a permanent or renewable residence permit for Norway, you must apply for admission through NUCAS, the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (in Norwegian: Samordna opptak). In order to be eligible for admission, documented proficiency in both English and Norwegian is required from these applicants to all first cycle studies. The admission to all first cycle studies in Norway is centralized. NUCAS deals with applications to first cycle studies (bachelor’s studies) at all state higher education institutions and some private colleges. Applying to Norwegian universities and colleges is free of charge. To be admitted to first cycle (bachelor’s) studies at a Norwegian university or university college, you normally need to have an education that you find in this list (please choose your country in the list). This Higher Education Entrance Qualification is called “generell studiekompetanse for søkere med utenlandsk utdanning (GSU) in Norwegian. Keep in mind that some programs may have specific admission requirements beyond the requirement for GSU. All applications are processed online by NUCAS/Samordna opptak. You will find detailed information in English about the process including the deadlines on their website. Please consult their list of higher education institutions and their study offer on their webpage.

Language requirements

Documented proficiency in both English and Norwegian is also required from applicants to all first cycle studies in Norway. Most teaching in higher education in Norway is in Norwegian (with the exception of some specific programs in English for international students). Many of the textbooks are also in Norwegian. Therefore, it is necessary to have a good working knowledge of written and spoken Norwegian.

For further clarifications please refer to NUCAs contact address:

Completing the minimum academic requirements

If you don`t fulfill the minimum academic requirements (GSU), you may contact your county administration (fylkeskommune) and seek advice and counsel on taking the obligatory subjects in Norwegian secondary school and obtain the minimum academic requirements by those. (If you live in Oslo you can contact Oslo Adult Education Centre for this.) The county administration also provides information about Norwegian language courses. Please note that this service is, however, only available for residents of Norway.

For more information about adult learning, please visit the following website:

International students with no connection to Norway

If you are an international student without a Norwegian citizenship or a residence permit, you have to apply to the specific university or university college offering the study program you are interested in. Universities and university colleges offer some bachelor’s programs for international students. Admission to these programs does not require proficiency in Norwegian. Some universities and university colleges have bachelor’s programs with a one-year course in Norwegian in the first year. Others offer English-language bachelor’s programs. For information on programs for international students, see  under the title ”What can I study?” in the left menu on the website. If you wish to apply for admission to these programs, you have to apply directly to the institutions. Please contact them directly for all matters concerning your eligibility for their study program.

Acceptance letter and study permit

The competition for the places on the English-language programs for international students is high. Your documented academic results and extra-curricular activities sent to the specific university will rank you among the applicants. If you will be offered a place on the study program, the university will send you the acceptance letter and arrange for a study permit. An economic guarantee for your stay is anyway an absolute requirement for getting a study permit. In other words, you will be a so-called self-financing student. Please read about this topic on the website of the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration.

General recognition of higher education for work purposes

If you already have higher education from your home country, and you wish to work in Norway, you can apply for a so called general recognition of higher education at NOKUT.  NOKUT approves foreign higher education in terms of years of study and credits to correspond to Norwegian higher education. This is just a useful tool to explain to a future employer at what level and how long you have studied abroad.

For some specific law-regulated professions, you might need a professional recognition.  If you have a foreign profession and need information about different Norwegian recognition systems and professional recognition, you should also contact NOKUT.

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New in Norway
New in Norway has extensive information about moving to Norway.
The Norwegian labour and welfare Service
Jobs- and apartment listings, and a lot more. Unfortunately only in norwegian.
Google translate
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Norwegian Directorive of Immigration

Education in Norway

New in Norway
Practical information about education at New in Norway.

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