Modern careers demand a field-oriented degree that projects from a recognized and globally accepted education system. Not only developed countries in the West but also countries in the Nordic region have set a foot forward to modify their grading systems and curriculums to align with the ever-evolving market needs.

Norway is a sovereign state with a higher education system characterized by quality education and research-led learning. It is one of the major contributors in conducting yearly assessments that line up with the standardized scoring system around the world. One prominent aspect of this is that the Norwegian education system shows strong adherence to the Bologna process.

According to this, the qualification compatibility of Norway students is assured with other European countries. Norway’s education system is highly ranked among the leading countries globally. The institutes in the country are accredited by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education. It works under the Norwegian Ministry of Education and is responsible for implementing quality assurance and regulating educational policies within the institutes.

There is a diverse range of courses available in Norway with a focus on business management, technology-relevant programs, and other areas. For international students, Norway is considered an attractive study-abroad destination, because of its high academic standards and unparalleled landscapes.

For our readers on the lookout for a complete round-off about the education system in Norway along with its benefits and drawbacks, we have created an in-depth article below.

Pros / Advantages of the Education System in Norway

Norway’s education system provides students with lucrative opportunities with its centralized assessment and regulation. Apart from this, there are several other major advantages that students can make use of by studying in Norway. We have discussed some key points below.

1. High academic quality

Excellent educational standards are maintained by Norwegian universities and offer three types of institutes, from general to specialized higher education. Its leading institutes are namely the University of Oslo, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and the University of Bergen. These are not only regarded on a worldwide scale but are accredited by the country’s authorities.

Their research-based learning, internships, and practical projects lead the way for students to get appointed to higher careers within the job market. The government spends considerable funds to maintain the grading systems, professional faculty, and other test policies within their institutes which propel the country higher up in global quality standards.

2. Specialized courses

Specialized studies in the domains of business, technology, and science are an area of expertise of Norway universities. One such curriculum is the Master of Digital Infrastructure and Cybersecurity from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Advanced Network Control and Management, Communicating System Design, and Applied Cryptography and Network Security are some of the subjects covered in depth in this.

To ensure that their academic programs meet the demands of the commerce sector and provide students with lucrative abilities, universities work with prominent companies. Employers such as Cisco, Accenture, Deloitte, and Microsoft provide job opportunities to university graduates from Norway, enhancing their career prospects.

3. Generous student loans and scholarships

Another great advantage of studying in Norway is the great number of loans they offer to their students to waver the higher tuition fee considerably. Among the most hefty scholarships offered, we want to mention the GSEP scholarship offered by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

This scholarship is for exceptional master ‘s-level students from developing countries in subjects connected to renewable energy development. There are other scholarships and grants available with full funding that apply to tuition fees, offer living expenses stipend, and other benefits.

4. Industrial collaborations

Norway’s education system believes in internationalization and industry collaborations. To improve the job perspectives for students, many institutes work with market giants to help study the trends in the economy and other areas. This helps students learn the distinct, practical nature of the employment market. Through such collaborations, students can get internships, job placements, and other practical training that complement their classroom education.

Cons / Drawbacks of the Education System in Norway

With all the benefits come some cons that the applicants might face with the Norwegian education system, including finding research programs that are funded and maintaining a student-work-life balance. A more in-depth view of these drawbacks is elaborated below.

1. Highly competitive entrance process

The highly sought-after programs in Norway have a limited number of seats for international students. Some of Norway’s most prestigious educational institutions and programs have very demanding admissions processes. Some students may find it difficult to meet the entrance standards and get admission to a select few programs. One clear point here is the notoriously difficult entrance exams like the ones conducted at the University of Oslo and the University of Bergen for fields of medicine.

Thorough admission tests are often administered by the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and BI Norwegian Business School. Candidates’ mathematical, logical, and business abilities are tested, and increased competition makes it tougher to clear them and gain admission to the respective universities.

2. Research funding shortage

Norway has a big drawback of limited funding for research per student. This is mostly not the case in other European countries. This may influence advanced research developments, especially at smaller universities or less popular subjects.

3. Uniform curriculum and limited flexibility

While ensuring a foundational quality, Norway’s focus on a standardized national curriculum can be seen as a drawback. It is in comparison to education systems such as in the US, UK, and Australia with more program customization and choice in electives. This could hinder student autonomy and flexibility to focus on a range of interests and skill sets.

4. Limited English programs

Even if there are a great number of colleges that offer degrees in English, the selection of English-taught programs may be more restricted when compared to nations where English is the predominant language. The number of English-taught subjects and specializations available to overseas students may be reduced as a result.

FAQs about Studying in Norway

How Is the Norwegian Education System Different from Other Countries?

Equal access to education, and flexible learning formats place Norway’s education system one step ahead of other countries. Some of the country’s institutes offer tuition-free education to EU/EEA students, while non-EU/EEA students have to pay the required tuition fee as mentioned by the respective university.

Another big difference is that, unlike some other countries like Canada, China, and Korea, the education system here is centralized. The Norwegian government retains significant control over the formation of standardized test policies and their implementation. Due to this, a uniform system is present throughout the universities of the country, giving all foreign students an equal chance to grow in their respective fields.

Apart from all this, where many countries have a language proficiency restriction, Norway offers multilingual education. For international students, this is a great opportunity for a variety of universities available that offer programs in English. This factor also creates a diverse student body within the institute, helping the students enrolled socialize and interact with students from other cultures and regions.

Do International Students Face Extreme Challenges While Studying in Norway?

As Norway has a high cost of living compared to other countries, this makes it a necessity for foreign students to work part-time here to manage their expenses. It is considered, through some sources, that Norway’s cost of living might also exceed the one in the US, which is already elevated.

So here comes the first extreme challenge, Norway’s government’s regulations restrict non-EU/EEA students to work long hours to support their expenses. The work hours are limited, confining students to not earn enough to support themselves.

Another big challenge here is that although many English-taught institutes are available, the primary language in Norway is Norwegian. This makes it difficult for international students to adapt to the native culture and interact outside academic settings. The language barrier requires time for the student to adjust to the culture.

The freezing and long winter nights are also considered a big hurdle, as most foreign students are not used to such weather. They have to learn and adapt according to the environment, which requires patience and time.

The next big challenge before starting to study in Norway is paving your way through the difficult residence permit and paperwork required as a student. The visa process as well as other administrative processes is a bit tough here. However, many universities and the Norway government offer guidance and support to navigate through these.


Norway is a country that excels in world-class education and no compromise in research and practical training. The institutes in Norway work with a uniform test and grading system along with many programs for international students, making it an ideal study-abroad destination.


We hope this article helped you understand the pros and cons of the education system of Norway effectively. You can also check out the Study in Norway page for more information about studying in this Nordic country. Additionally, you can go through the Available Programs in Europe to explore your study options.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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