This is great news for all who wants to go abroad for their higher education for Bachelor’s, Master’s & PhD (Doctorate) degree to different European countries. For all of them, the best place will be NORWAY, because their Govt has taken an initiative to provide free higher education to worldwide students irrespective of their citizenship. Though their neighbours like Sweden & Denmark also support free higher education policy, they restrict it to their students as well as EU students only.
Now International students might ask what about the language of study?
Yes, in Norway, there are 2 main languages which are Norwegian and the Sami language. Among these 2 languages, majority of the population speaks Norwegian. It is also called “Norsk” and it’s again divided into 2 written parts i.e. “Bokmål” which 85-90% of the population follows and “Nynorsk” which the remaining 10%, mainly in the west and north of the country follows. As far as the above two sentences are concerned, they will not go with good vibes to International students. For them, it’s fact that in Norway English speaking rate is very high because the Norwegian children are learning English from the very beginning, i.e.1st grade. As per reports published in WIKITRAVEL, though English is not Norway’s first language,
officially 91% of the its population speak fluent English, which makes Norway one of the most English proficient countries on the planet where English is not an official language.
So, none of the International students will have any problems in the country in terms of communication.
What about cost of living in Norway?
Though living in the capital OSLO is little expensive, the rest of its parts are as same as other European countries. Have a look at the following image to get an idea of the distribution of cost of living expenses in Norway.
Image from Numbeo.com
Since education is free of cost, it does not impose burden on International students for obtaining higher education. In general, if you go to any UK university for a degree programme, it will cost minimum £9,000 per year tuition fees along with the living expenses, which will come around minimum £7,000 – £8,000 per year, as per British Council report. So it will cost you around £13,000 – £14,000 per year. For UK university graduate programmes therefore, you will have to spend around £48,000 – £52,000 in three years time while in Norway you will only spend on living expenses.
In fact, most universities provide cheaper student housing options rather than private accommodation. In general, after you enrol with a University/College, they will provide information about their students’ housing services available with them. If you are not satisfied with their infrastructure, you are free to choose your own private accommodation outside.
What about Norway Student VISA?
If you compare with UK, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration is having the most flexible VISA policy for all like their higher education policy. For EU/EEA students, they no need to apply for student resident permit like what many other EU countries follows. Only requirement is that they must give proof of funds for your stay while studying in the country. For International students except EU/EEA, to apply for Norway Student VISA
- You must seek approval beforehand from Norwegian Educational Institution
- You must have minimum required funds for your stay
- Your accommodation must be pre-arranged and you will agree to leave country once your permit expired.
In order to check details about how VISA process works along with other financial requirements, please visit Norwegian Directorate of Immigration website which will clear your all doubts.
What are the other benefits of Norway Student VISA?
Norway is having a world-class education system which is free for all and in order to support that the government is offering loans to all students irrespective of their citizenship. Once your VISA approves, you will get first student residence permit/residence permit which is not your permanent residence card. Student VISA also works as a work permit through which you will be allowed to study full-time in university and work part time in between and during breaks of university semester you are entitled to work as full-time as well. Even with this VISA, your family members are entitled to come and stay with you in NORWAY while you study. So, you can earn as well as learn through students VISA while this facility is not possible in UK since their VISA rules are quite stringent. In fact, you will not be allowed to work with a UK student VISA as per new VISA policies.
Your student permit is renewable too which you can do it one month before your permit expires with valid reasons to extend. Once your study finishes, you are allowed staying in the country for 6 months in order to search job in the country but for that you must apply to Immigration Department for Residence Permit to seek employment as a skilled professional.
What are the Universities / Colleges are present in Norway for Higher Education?
As per WIKIPEDIA report –
Higher education in Norway is offered by a range of eight universities, nine specialised universities, 24 university colleges as well as a range of private university colleges. The national higher education system is in accordance with the Bologna process, with bachelor’s degrees (first cycle, three years), master’s degrees (second cycle, two years) and doctoral degrees (third cycle, three years). Acceptance is offered after finishing upper secondary school with general university admissions certification.
Public education is free, with an academic year with two semesters, starting from August to December and from January to June. The ultimate responsibility for the education lies with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.
Apart from all universities, University of Oslo is the country’s highest ranked institution which holds the 111th position, as per report published by 2012 QS World University Rankings.
If you want to explore further for the lists of universities, specialised universities, university colleges along with private university colleges with their course details, please find their respective links at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_education_in_Norway and visit their individual websites for more information.
Is this any future career prospects in NORWAY after education?
Of course yes. Since the country draws enough wealth from Oil and Gas industry, the government is looking beyond this and is rather keen to expand research activities in the Science and Technology industry like environmental sciences, renewable energies, maritime industry, health and social care. In order to become the global leader in research, innovation and education, the country is providing free education for all. Through this initiative, lots of young talented individuals are coming from worldwide to the country for research and hence they are getting suitable job offers inside the country itself after completing graduation, post graduation and doctorate programmes from the universities. Consequently, it is helping the country to experience a major growth in the world of science and technology.
Do you know that this ‘free education offer’ had been earlier taken in 2010 by almost 16,500 non-EU students, which is up by 27% compared to 2007 where only 12,997 non-EU students have been able to avail this opportunity. This graph keeps rising by almost 10% year after year. For more information, several hundred students from US, India, Pakistan, China, Nepal, Iran, Russia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Canada, Jamaica, Trinidad, Ghana etc. have taken this opportunity so far.
27% non-EU students increased in period of 4 years time between 2007-2010
Research Finding Source – We have done this research based on findings from Times Higher Education, British Council, WIKIPEDIA, Norwegian Directorate of Immigration, WIKITRAVEL, TheCompleteUniversityGuide, Numbeo, QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited (QS World University Rankings) and of course Google. Special thanks to all of them.
Author’s opinion – After reading the above findings, you might have questions in your mind – Is this good for you to head NORWAY for higher qualification? Is this the only country that provides free education? Is my country having good relationship with Norway? Why Norway, not any other destination? Please note, none of the article can provide all answers in one single article. So, it would be better if you Google it and find the best information you require, or you can participate in Google Community called Education Revolution so that the worldwide followers of this community can give suggestions on your queries and present their views on it.