Like all public institutions in Norway, higher education is free for both Norwegian nationals and international students. Norwegian universities do not charge tuition fees, except for special programmes and in private/specialised schools (e.g. business schools).
There are approximately 200,000 students enrolled in higher education courses in Norway and each year, the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund provides an additional 15,000 Norwegian students with monetary support in order to study abroad.
Due to the internationalisation of higher education, most Norwegian universities now use English as their language of instruction. In the 2007/08 academic year, there were more than 200 English taught Masters programmes available in Norway. English taught bachelor's degrees are also available but not as common.
The university and college sectors in Norway
Norwegian universities conduct research, and offer undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate courses which lead to academic degrees.
Colleges on the other hand, offer programmes which last for 1 – 4 years and are mostly profession specific in areas such as teaching, engineering, social work, administration etc. State colleges in Norway also conduct a lot of research and offer undergraduate courses which can be easily recognized as an undergraduate course at a university.
Foreign students in Norway
Foreign students who wish to study in Norway have the option to do so through international exchange programmes and bilateral agreements with other foreign higher education institutions.