How to Study in Norway for Free

How to Study in Norway for Free

Norway is one of the countries that believed education should be available to everyone. In fact, Norway is among the Nordic countries that boast free education for all, regardless of country of origin. It makes the country a popular destination for degree studies since international students can finish a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. program for free. However, as Norway is known for the high cost of living, other sources of funds are still necessary for international students. In this case, scholarships and fellowships enables international students to truly study in Norway for free by covering their living expenses.

Norway is among the front and foremost of global nations in the world in terms of quality of life, security, environmental quality and prosperity. In addition to being one of the wealthiest nations in the world, it comes as no surprise that the country also proudly boasts of increasingly high employment rates and a prominent education system with top standards.

The fjords of Norway account for some of the most beautiful environments in the world, featuring stunning inlets of water that move from the sea into the mountainous coasts. These qualities make Norway a very tempting and unique country to study in.

However, one of the most attractive qualities for prospective students is the fact that higher education in Norway is free. The country’s government firmly believe that education should be a right and hence should be free to all, local and foreign students alike.

By saving up a lot from university expenses through tuition-free education and scholarships, international students can explore and experience Norway in more exciting ways.

How to Study in Norway for Free

1. Prepare an awesome application and submit them before the deadline

Studying for free in Norway depends significantly on your application. Your application represents your academic performance in your preceding and current educational levels. As it is the first thing that college admission reviewers will look at to base their judgment on whether to accept you or not, you will have to make sure that your application highlights all your core strengths, achievements, potentials. Your grades in crucial subjects, general point average, and even test scores further represent these characteristics. By studying hard early in your education, you can prepare your academic profile to meet most universities’ sky-high academic requirements.

As you also look towards studying abroad, specific documentary requirements are needed to be prepared early. Passports, visas, and other necessary travel documents may take time to complete. Thus you will need to set sufficient time to work on these. Aim to submit your requirements at the earliest time possible. Most importantly, make sure that your application is complete and error-free to stand out from other applicants and avoid the risks of getting rejected early on.

2. Submit your application to universities in Norway that offer scholarships

While submitting your impressive application earlier than the deadline can get you accepted at a Norwegian university, it does not, however, guarantee that you can study for free, in Norway and your chosen school will fully fund your entire stay in Norway. Fortunately, public universities in Norway receive funds from the government, thus provide tuition-free education to all regardless of country of origin. However, you might have to pay for your education if you apply for a private institution in the country.

For this matter, applying for scholarships can also help you tremendously. Whether you get accepted in a public or private institution, tuition costs and fees do not solely constitute your financial concerns in Norway. An even more significant bearing in your stay is your living expenses since Norway is known for its high cost of living. Scholarships can also save you from a lot of financial struggles by allowing you to study in Norway for free while you are away from your family. So, make sure to apply for as many scholarships as you can. It is also recommended to send your application to universities that can guarantee you opportunities to apply for scholarships.

3. Apply to Free Universities in Norway

Planning ahead in your college education requires a lot of steps to take. You might secure a scholarship in your preferred school. But as there are hundreds of applicants in very limited slots, what happens if you are not chosen? Luckily, there are quite a number of affordable universities in Norway for international students. As the country is known for its high-quality education, you need not worry about settling for less than what you are capable of paying for.

Among the universities with free tuition costs are the University of Agder, University of Stavanger, and the University of Oslo. Choosing a free university can help you study in Norway for free. It has one of the highest costs of living in Europe, and you might need all the extra money you can save from university expenses. It is essential to have finances on hand when emergencies call for it or if you wish to explore the country to relax and unwind.

Study Undergraduate in Norway for Free

One of the most fantastic perks of choosing Norway for a Bachelor’s education is the availability of tuition-free universities. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is one of the universities in the country that offer free-tuition to incoming Bachelor’s students, regardless of their country of origin. Another tuition-free institution in Norway is the University of BergenNord University is another top school in Norway that offers free tuition to incoming undergraduate students. Undergraduate students can study in Norway for free by attending these universities.

While these universities offer tuition-free undergraduate education to international students, both universities advise incoming international students to look for other scholarship providers to cover their living expenses in Norway. Some of the private scholarships available for international students are the High North Fellowship Program for students from selected countries. The scholarship provides NOK9,440, which intends to cover the living and housing expenses of the scholarship recipients. The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund is a government-supported institution for financing education in Norway. With the help of these universities and resources, international students can get an entirely free education in Norway.

Study Master’s in Norway for Free

Similar to the undergraduate degrees, Master’s degree programs in Norway are free in public universities. Also, these are mostly taught in English, unlike with the Bachelor’s degree, which may require a particular proficiency in Norwegian and Swedish languages. The Norwegian Business School covers the full tuition and living stipend of international students in Norway for up to two years of their Master’s education.

You can study your Master’s in Norway for free by attending these universities that also offer tuition-free Master’s programs, which are the University of AgderNHH Norwegian School of Economics, and the University of Bergen. Since these universities only cover the tuition costs, international students still have to provide their financing or apply for scholarships. Some of the scholarships worth considering are the Norway Grants, Nordplus Higher Education, the High North Fellowship Programme, and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters. Through these institutes, international students can get complete their Master’s degree in Norway.

Study Ph.D. in Norway for Free

Norway indeed went overboard in providing free, and quality education as Ph.D. programs in most universities are offered tuition-free. The University of Oslo offers doctoral research fellowships for qualified international applicants. It entails studying for free in one of the world’s top schools and Norway’s oldest university. Also, the fellowship grants accepted candidates a salary of NOK482,200 up to NOK526,000 annually and attractive welfare benefits through the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

The University of Bergen also offers several Ph.D. positions in various departments and specializations. International students looking to study Ph.D. in Norway for free can apply for these Ph.D. positions, where aside from free tuition, they are also entitled to NOK482,000 salary, good welfare benefits, and enrolment in the pension fund once they are accepted. With these opportunities, it is far more possible to finish a Ph.D. degree in Norway for free.

9 Free Tuition Universities in Norway for International Students

How many universities are there in Norway?

Norway currently has 9 major universities, 8 university colleges and 5 colleges of sciences/applied sciences, all of which are operated and managed by the government. Additionally, the country is also home to multiple private institutions of higher education that receive funding from public donors.

What degrees is Norway known for?

Norway is known for strong programs in many different fields, especially in these fields:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Nursing

Are the living costs high in Norway?

The cost of living would naturally depend on the location within the country. Larger cities like the capital, Oslo, will often tend to have significantly higher expenses for living in comparison to the smaller towns and cities. Specific loans can be obtained in dire circumstances according to the students.

As an average, students can expect to budget between NOK 9500 to NOK 20,000 depending on the location of the university and the student’s requirements.

Can I study in Norway using only English?

Yes, a wide number of degree programmes and courses are taught and administered in English. Generally speaking, a high level of English knowledge will help international students to both live and study in the country. You will need IELTS or TOEFL to study in Norway in English.


What are the administrative fees for Norway?

This will depend on the location and university of study. On average, an administrative fee would range between NOK 300 to NOK 600. The fees can generally get students access to the students’ union of the respective university, sports provisions, healthcare services and counselling.

Free Tuition Universities in Norway

1. Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is a public research university located in the city of Trondheim with additional campuses in Ålesund and Gjøvik. It holds status as the largest university in the country with a student enrolment exceeding 40,000 students and over 8000 employers.

Established in 1760, the NTNU has the main national responsibility of providing education and ensuring high quality standards of research in the fields of technology and engineering.

However, this free university in Norway has now expanded into being an elite institution in Europe that also provides courses in a range of disciplines ranging from psychology, medicine, social sciences, architecture, fine arts and teacher education.

It is academically comprised of 9 major faculties that are broken down into 65 academic departments. NTNU welcomes students from across the world and additionally provides more than 60 international programs which are administered in English.

The university further maintains very close ties to prominent research institutions in the country such as SINTEF.

2. University of Oslo

As its name suggests, the University of Oslo is based in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo and was founded in 1811. It is one of the oldest universities in the country as well as the second largest university by enrolment (surpassed by the NTNU).

The university takes pride as one of the most elite universities in Scandinavia and has been consistently ranked in the top 60 universities in the world (based on the ARWU). It currently has a student enrolment of over 28,000 students.

Academically, the university is comprised of faculties such as Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences and Education. Research at the university is a focal point of its identity and revolves around biotechnology, life sciences, climate change, environmental research and gender research.

To this end, the university is connected to multiple Nobel prize winners and several notable figures in its alumni.

3. Nord University (Former University of Nordland)

Located in the municipality of Bodø in Northern Norway, the Nord University is a state university that was formed via a merger between the University of Nordland, Nesna University College and Nord-Trøndelag University College in 2016.

It has since expanded into an elite institution that provides education for over 12,000 in the student population. The university further has several satellite and subsidiary campuses spread across the country.

This free university in Norway provides over 180 programmes within academic and professional programs, some of which are highly unique to this university alone, such as circumpolar studies and aquaculture. While a majority of the degree programs are administered and taught in Norwegian, several courses are taught in English.

Examples of programs that are taught in English include Animal Sciences, Biology and English Language/Literature (Bachelor programs), Business (Masters), Aquatic Biosciences (PhD) as well as single courses such as History and Politics, Management and International Entrepreneurship.

4. Oslo Metropolitan University (former Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

The Oslo Metropolitan University is a state university based in the cities of Oslo and Akershus and also one of the free tuition universities in Norway. Although the university was established in 2018 and is one of Norway’s younger additions to the higher education system, Oslo Metropolitan evolved from the former Oslo and Akershus University College, which was the largest state university in the country.

Nevertheless, the current university has a student enrolment exceeding 12,000 in total with an additional employee status of over 1400. It is academically comprised of 4 major faculties such as Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Technology, Art & Design, Education & International Studies.

As is the case with the majority of universities, the primary language of instruction is Norwegian although a multiple number of causes are taught in English, German and French. It also operates a number of research institutions such as the Work Research Institute, the National Institute of Consumer Research and the Norwegian Social Research Institute.

5. University of Bergen

Located in the western coastal city of Bergen in Norway is the University of Bergen. Founded in 1946, the university currently has a student enrolment of over 18,000. Of this enrolment, approximately 2000 students come from foreign countries. The university is comprised of 7 major faculties ranging from the Fine Arts, Humanities, Natural Sciences/Mathematics, Law, Medicine, Social Sciences and Psychology.

It is one of the only Nordic universities with its own dedicated Psychology faculty, owing to the fact that research in this area is at the forefront in Europe. Doctoral degrees in the university are offered as paid positions which attracts the best and brightest in terms of talent.

With its high standards of education, the university has been consistently ranked as one of the top 150-200 universities in the world (based on Times Higher Education and QS rankings).

6. Bergen University College

Similar to the University of Bergen, the Bergen University College is a state institution of higher education and a center of research located in the municipality of Bergen. Identified as a university college, this free university in Norway provides education for a student population exceeding 7000 in particular.

Bergen University College’s primary mission is to foster strong characteristics based on strong professional traditions through its provision of education.

It comprises of 3 major faculties including the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering and Business Administration and the Faculty of Education. Through these faculties, a wide range of Bachelors and Masters programs are offered to its student population.

Additionally, the college aims to conduct and maintain high standards of research through the many research centers.


7. The Arctic University of Tromsø, Norway

Located in the municipality of Tromsø, the Arctic University of Norway is considered to be the northernmost university in the world (based on its geographical location). The university was established in 1972 and is one of the main government-based universities in the country. It is also one of the largest research institutions in Norway.

Currently, the university has a student population of over 17,000 in total and attracts prospective students across the world due to its high standards of education and its unique location. The main focus of the Arctic University in terms of its fields of research include space sciences, fishery sciences, biotechnology, linguistics, auroral light research, epidemiology and numerous arctic research projects.


8. University of Stavanger

The University of Stavanger is an institution of higher education based in the city of Stavanger in western Norway. Founded in 2005, the university has grown into becoming one of the most premier institutions in Norway and currently provides degrees, courses of studies as well as profound research contributions through a population of 11,000 students and over 1500 staff.

This free university in Norway is comprised of the faculties of science & technology, arts & education and social sciences. It is a high profile research institution that is a leading university in terms of the number of research publications and is also a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities.


9. BI Norwegian Business School

The BI Norwegian Business School is private university college with a focus on providing education in the field of commerce. It is the largest business school in Norway and the second largest of its kind in the world. Based in Oslo with additional campuses spread across the country, the school was founded in 1943 and has grown into a world-class institution that provides education for almost 20,000 students.

A wide array of programs for Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees are offered; teaching languages are in English (particularly for the undergraduate BBA and graduate programs) and Norwegian.

In addition to this, the university further maintains international connections and participates in exchange programs with over 200 foreign institutions of higher education in over 45 different countries.


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