Tips on study abroad options in Norway

Interested in studying abroad? Wondering where you can enhance your qualification at zero tuition fees? You can study in Norway. It has excellent quality of education, large number of international students and with the most beautiful terrain and lots to do apart from studies. In this article you will find the information about Norway, the education in Norwegian universities and colleges and life style.

Let me start with how this article evolved. I came across an expert question on which countries offer free education to international students. While answering the question I came across various European countries, which offer free higher education but are not very much known among Indians. This lack of knowledge was a triggering factor make me pen down information about at least one country, and here it is all about study abroad in Norway.

Introduction to studying in Norway

Norwegian educational institutes offer vocational, under graduate, post graduate and doctoral research programs in various disciplines. The standards of education are quite high in Norway and hence many international students prefer Norway as a study abroad destination. Norway is a part of the Scandinavian group of countries which surrounds mountains, glaciers and fjords and is bordered by Sweden, Finland, Russia, Denmark, Skagerrak Strait, North Atlantic Ocean and the Barents Sea. Norway is well connected to other countries either by rail, road, or air. Apart from this quality education in Norway you can enjoy coastal fjords, mountains, midnight sun and Aurora Borealis- Northern Lights. Why is Norway a suitable study abroad destination for Indians? The focus of this article is on creating an awareness about higher education in Norway. Read on to know more.

Education system in Norway

For more than a decade Norway has been following the objectives laid down by the Bologna process of the European higher education. What exactly is the Bologna process? The Bologna Process was designed to prepare the students for a bright career path and live as an active citizen in a democratic society. It is a collaborative effort of all stakeholders involved in the education system- public authorities, universities, teachers, students, employers, accreditation bodies, and the European Commission with a focus on quality reform. It focuses on the three cycle system of 3+2+3 degree system comprising of bachelor/ master/ doctorate degrees, stronger quality assurance mechanism, recognition of qualification and study period. Apart from focusing on academic grades, the Bologna Process aims to enhance the students. However the final responsibility of education is with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The adherence to the Bologna process by all Norwegian Universities has enhanced the quality of higher education. In all Universities the academic year comprises of two semesters quite similar to that in India: August to December and from January to June. Irrespective of nationality public education is free across the country. The courses are graded based on ECTS-European Credit Transfer System and one academic year would have around 60 credits. The graduates, post graduates examinations are evaluated on a graded scale of A-E (highest to lowest).

Overview of Universities and colleges

As far as the Norwegian education system is concerned, it is supposed to be one of the best in the world. In all Norway has:
  • Accredited universities: University of Nordland, University of Bergen, University of Agder-UiA, University of Oslo-UiO, University of Stavanger-UiS, University of Tromso-UiT

  • Accredited specialized university institutions: Molde University College-Specialized University in Logistics

  • Accredited university colleges: Aalesund University College, Buskerud University College, Bergern University College, Finnmark University College, Gjovik University College, Harstad University College, Herdmark University College, Lillehammer University College, Narvik University College, Nesna University College, NLA University College, Nord-Trondelag University College, Ostfold University College, Sami University College, Sor Trondelag University College-HiST, Sogn og Fjordane University College, Stord /Haugesund University College, Vestfold University College

  • Accredited national colleges of arts: Bergern academy of Art and Design,, Norwegian Academy of Music

Norway also had partially accredited private institutions of higher education. A few other Universities and colleges not listed above are: Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, BI Norwegian Business school, ME Norwegian School Of Theology, Norwegian School of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, The University Center in Svalbard, UNIK University Graduate Center. Check out their home pages for status of accreditation and admission procedures. You can check the specific University or College websites for the application forms, the pre requisites, the procedures and the deadlines.

Cost of education in Norway

Quality education in state universities and university colleges with zero tuition fees is available for all levels, including undergraduate studies, Masters programmes and Ph.D. programmes.
An additional per semester fee of NOK 300-600 for exams, and membership of local student welfare organization with benefits of:
  • Campus health services

  • Counselling

  • Access to sports facilities

  • Cultural activities

  • Official student card offering reduced public transport fares and lower ticket price on cultural events

Standard of living is quite high in Norway as compared to other countries and students are required to pay for their own books and teaching material. To support students from developing nations, the Norwegian government offers a education scholarship. You could also be eligible for financial support through various fellowship programmes, scholarship schemes or student loans. So, the Indian students can receive funding either for a full degree or for a limited number of semesters. Norwegian government allows international students to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week and full time during semester breaks. This can provide with some more money and support you financially. For a course duration of more than six months a student is required to register with the National Registry and get an 11 digit identity number which is used to open a bank account, get a student card and apply for loan from Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

In summary

In a nutshell, by choosing Norway as a study abroad destination for either graduate, post graduate, or doctoral research you can look out for quality education, an amazing environment and a welcoming community.

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Author: Partha K.29 Oct 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

This Nordic country boasts of offering very high standard in higher education. Many Universities of Norway offer specialized courses for international students where the medium of instruction is English. Moreover, the public Universities of Norway generally do not charge tuition fess. However, the cost of living is very high compared to that of India and the weather is harsh for most of the Indian students.

Overall an useful article for Indian students. It encourages Indian students to look beyond the USA, Britain, Germany, Canada and Australia for quality higher education.

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