Norway may be one of the most expensive countries to go to, but it actually offers free public education to all students regardless of citizenship. Although Norway isn’t as popular as most learning destinations, it’s slowly making a name for itself. Currently, there are more than 9,500 international degree-seeking students in Norway – and the figures are expected to rise in the years to come.

You too can be part of this booming foreign student population. All you need to do is apply to any of these free universities in Norway.

Can International Students Study in Norway for Free?

International applicants can study in Norway for free since many universities in Norway charges free tuition for their incoming applicants, which also includes international students. Since the school doesn’t charge you tuition, you only need to worry about paying for your living expenses, which can include accommodation, food, and health insurance.

How Can I Get Admitted to Free Universities in Norway?

In order to be admitted into institutions in Norway, you need to research which institutions you want to apply to, and after finishing your picks, you need to look into their required application materials to go to the next step. After finishing your application, work on the next one by repeating the steps all over again.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Free Universities in Norway

1. University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is an excellent institution located in Oslo, Norway. Founded in 1811, the university is the oldest university in the country and is also one of the most prestigious universities in Norway.

It offers various courses in social sciences, applied sciences, law, medicine, and humanities. However to enroll in a bachelor’s program, you will need to be fluent in Norwegian, but they do offer English-medium degrees in Master’s and Ph.D. programs.

2. University of Bergen

The University of Bergen or UiB is a free public university situated in Bergen, Norway. Founded in the year 1946, it currently hosts 14,000+ students – 13% of which hail from outside the country.

UiB offers degree programs in the fields of Fine Art & Music, Humanities, Law, Mathematics & Natural Science, Medicine, Psychology, and Social Science.

The university is recognized as the second-best school in the country. It is ranked 85th in terms of impact and is listed internationally in the 201-250 bracket.

As a publicly-funded university, UiB is one of the many Norwegian institutions that offer free education regardless of the student’s citizenship. Enrollees, however, only need to pay a nominal semester fee of NOK 590 or $65, which helps fund the Student Welfare Organization.

3. The Arctic University of Norway

The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), which is located in Tromsø, is the world’s northernmost educational institution. It first opened its doors in 1972 and is currently offering degrees in the fields of Health Science, Science & Technology, Humanities & Education, Bioscience & Fisheries, Fine Arts, Law, and Sports & Social Work.

UiT is ranked as the third-best institution in Norway – and is listed as one of the best young universities in the world. This free university in Norway is also the sixth-biggest university in the country, having 14,000+ students – 11% of which are foreigners.

At tuition-free UiT, students (except those on exchange status) only need to pay a minimal semestral fee of NOK 625 or $73. This covers processes such as registrations, examinations, student cards, student counseling, and student organization memberships. This also entitles the student to a discount for public transport and other cultural events.

4. Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Established in the year 1760, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology or NTNU currently operates campuses in Trondheim, Gjøvik, and Ålesund.

While Norway’s top 3 university is primarily responsible for offering Engineering and Information Technology courses, it also has programs in the areas of Natural Sciences, Architecture & Design, Economics, Management, Medicine, Health Science, Social Science, Humanities, and Education.

As one of Norway’s publicly-funded educational institutions, NTNU doesn’t levy a tuition fee. Foreign students, who account for 8% of the school’s 36,000+ students, do have to pay a semester fee of NOK 580 or $68. This covers student welfare services as well as student organization funding.

5. Norwegian University of Life Sciences

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences or NMBU is a free public institution situated in As, Norway. Founded in the year 1859 as the Norwegian Agriculture Postgraduate College, it became a university college in 1897. In 2005, it eventually became a full-fledged university.

To date, Norway’s fifth-best university offers degrees in the fields of Biosciences, Chemistry, Food Science, Biotechnology, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, Landscaping, Economics, Business, Science, Technology, and Veterinary Medicine.

NMBU has one of the lowest enrollment rates in Norway at only 5,800+ students. However, it has the highest number of foreign students at 20%. All of these students enjoy NMBU’s tuition-free status – although they are mandated to pay the university’s small semester fee of NOK 470 ($55). This shoulders several student benefits and services, among many other programs.

6. University of Agder

The University of Agder or UiA is a public university founded in the year 2007. Formerly known as the Agder University College, which opened in the year 1994, it currently operates campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad.

UiA has more than 11,000+ local and international students who are enrolled in the Schools/Faculties of Business & Law, Social Science, Fine Arts, Health & Sports Science, Humanities & Education, Engineering & Science, and Teacher Education.

This free tuition university in Norway is also actively involved in research, specifically in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Signal Processing, European Studies, and Gender Studies, among many others.

All students are exempt from paying tuition at UiA. However, full-time degree-seeking students need to pay a semestral fee of NOK 800 ($93). Other costs associated with studying at UiA include accommodation (NOK 3200 or $373 per month), textbooks (up to NOK 3500 or $409), and transportation (NOK 520 or $60), to name a few.

7. Nord University

Nord University, which was founded in the year 2016, is a state university based in the countries of Nordland and Trøndelag. It has a main campus in Bodø and Levanger, as well as satellite campuses in Steinkjer, Mo i Rana, Namsos, Sandnessjøen, Nesna, Stjørdal, and Vesterålen.

These locations give the university a total of 11,000 local and international students majoring in Biosciences & Aquaculture, Education & Arts, Nursing & Health Science, Social Science, and Business.

Nord University, which is publicly funded, is free of charge like many other state universities. International students, however, need to pay a semestral fee of NOK 725 or $85. This covers administrative fees as well as contributions to various student organizations.

Foreign students also have to document their financial capacity to enroll at Nord. Currently, the required amount to study at the university is NOK 123,519 or $14,432 for one year.

8. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, colloquially known as HVL, is a public educational institution established in the year 2017. It is the result of the merger of 5 schools, thus giving it 5 campuses in Bergen, Stord, Haugesund, Sogndal, and Førde.

HVL, which has 16,000+ local and foreign students, currently offers undergraduate and graduate courses in the disciplines of Education & Arts, Engineering & Science, Health & Social Science, and Business Administration. It also has a diving school – as well as research centers for Evidence-Based Practice, Education, Health, Kindergarten Knowledge, Food, and Maritime Activity.

While tuition-free, HVL levies a small fee to be paid every semester. And, depending on the course, you may need to pay additional fees for excursions, field trips, and whatnot. As for the cost of living, an international student at HVL will need to spend about NOK 10,000 or $1,168 per month.

9. University of South-Eastern Norway

The University of South-Eastern Norway or USN is one of the youngest state universities in the country. This free university in Norway for international students was founded in the year 2018, following the continuation of the university colleges of Telemark, Buskerud, and Vestfold.

As a result of this merger, USN operates multiple campuses in Horten, Kongsberg, Drammen, Rauland, Notoden, Porsgrunn, Telemark, Bø, and Hønefoss, Here, 17,000+ local and foreign are enrolled in programs in the fields of Health & Social Science, Humanities & Education, Business, and Technology & Maritime Sciences.

Though without tuition, USN students need to pay a statutory semestral fee of NOK 929 or $108. This covers student organization operations, as well as the expenses for printing and copying. A SAIH fee of NOK 40 or about $5 is also included, however it is an optional expense.

Postgraduate students may also be levied additional amounts outside of the semestral payment.

10. Oslo Metropolitan University

The Oslo Metropolitan University or OsloMet is another one of Norway’s youngest universities. It was only established in the year 2018 following the merger of various institutions in Greater Oslo.

Despite its’ name, the university serves both Oslo and Akershus regions.

The university has a total of 20,000+ local and foreign students who are enrolled in the Faculties of Health Science, Education & Information Science, Social Science, and Technology & Design. Most of these courses are taught in Norwegian, though some are delivered in French, German, and English.

Like most Norwegian state universities, studying in OsloMet is totally free for international students. Expectedly, enrollees need to pay a semestral fee of NOK 600 or $70. This helps fund student welfare services.

There’s also a NOK 220 ($25) copy fee that has to be paid every semester. A contribution to the SAIH, which amounts to NOK 40 ($5), is a voluntary fee that may be deducted from the total payables.


I hope that this article on free universities in Norway was helpful! If you are interested in knowing more information, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students.