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Last Updated: January 29th, 2023|1486 words|14.9 min read|Views: 34|0 Comments|

Numerous European nations are home to the top-ranked universities in the world. Norway, officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. In terms of higher education, Norway offers a wide range of choices.

Along with having a liberal government, a good level of living, safety, and security, Norway is well known for its outstanding international education system. International students can experience a completely new culture in Norway while living in a secure and beautiful nation.

Children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school, according to Norway education law. Norway’s education system is separated into four tiers. Elementary, Lower secondary education, Upper secondary education, and higher education.

Norway is in high demand when it comes to international degrees. Some Norwegian universities routinely hold a top spot in the rankings of the world’s educational systems.

History of Education in Norway

The Norwegian educational system has a long and complicated history. To understand the history of Norwegian education, we have to go back to 11 BC.

Cathedral schools were built in Trondheim, Oslo, Bergen, and Hamar shortly after Norway became an archdiocese in 1153.

Following Norway’s unification with Denmark in 1536, the old cathedral schools were converted into Latin schools. During that time, it was made mandatory for all market towns to have such a school.

Reading instruction was made mandatory for all children in 1736. Later that year, ambulatory schools were established a few years later. Norway established the people’s school (folkeskole) in 1827. Afterward, the primary school became mandatory for 7 years in 1889 and followed by 9 years in 1969. The people’s school was abolished in the 1970s and 1980s, and the foundation school (Grunnskole) was established.

Norwegian private schooling was available to students following the Independent Schools Act of 2003. However, in comparison to Norwegian public schools, there are very few.

Level of Education in Norway

Norway has some of the best schools and universities in the world. Norway gives value to education and believes everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, should study.
The Norwegian education system is divided into four parts: Elementary school, lower secondary school, upper secondary school, and higher education. The Elementary and lower secondary levels are compulsory for all Norwegian children which means all children aged 6 to 16 are required to attend elementary and lower secondary school.
Prior to 1997, compulsory education in Norway began at the age of seven. Because most schools only offer one of the levels, students almost always have to change schools when they enter lower secondary school and upper secondary school.

Elementary school

Elementary schooling in Norway is known as Barneskole. The age when primary or elementary schooling starts is 6 to 13. The grades are accordingly 1 to 7. Students spend the majority of their first year of primary school playing educational games and learning social structures. In Grades 2 to 7, children were introduced to mathematics, English, science, religion, aesthetics, and music.

Lower secondary school

The second stage of the Norwegian education system is lower secondary school. Here, the age of schooling starts from 12 or 13 to 16. The grades are accordingly 8 to 10. Students can select one elective beginning in eighth grade.

Upper secondary school

The upper secondary school is called Videregående Skole. Here, the age of schooling starts from 16 to 19. The upper secondary schooling is three years but optional schooling in Norway. In Norwegian, students who have completed upper secondary school are referred to as Russ.

Higher Education

A variety of universities and colleges provide higher education in Norway. The higher education system generally begins with bachelor’s degrees, which last three years, followed by master’s degrees, which last one or two years, and finally doctorate degrees, which last about three years.

Language in Norway

Norwegian and Sami are the official languages of Norway. Norwegian is by far the most widely spoken language. Norwegian, like Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic, is a Germanic language descended from Old Norse.

If Norway is your choice for study abroad but you are confused regarding the language issue then you need to know that almost 90% of Norwegians speak English. This is to inform you that as an English speaker, outside of Norway, you should have no trouble living or studying in Norway.

International students in Norway

Norway is one of the few European countries that has made a genuine commitment to welcoming a large number of international students. A large number of international students are drawn to Norway because of its excellent educational system at all levels. Since the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, the idea of studying abroad has grown in popularity. Norway is one of the best places to study if you want to study abroad. According to recent research, the number of foreign students in Norway has increased dramatically.

Number of foreign students in Norway in the last 8 years

The number of students enrolled in Norwegian higher education has steadily increased over the past few decades. There were approximately 272,500 students enrolled in higher education institutions in 2014, but by 2021, the number had increased to over 318,405.

Most Popular Universities in Norway

If you are an international student looking for a university to further your education, Norway can be a great option. Furthermore, Norway’s ranking in the QS World University Rankings is very good. In Norway, there are numerous prestigious universities. If you are an international student looking for a university to further your education, Norway is an excellent option. The followings are the top universities in Norway, along with their rankings:

University Names in Norway Location in Norway QS Ranking (2023) Global Score (2023)
University of Oslo Oslo 101 58.7
University of Bergen Bergen 207 42.7
Norwegian University of Science And Technology Trondheim 352 30.9
University of Tromsø The Arctic University of Norway Tromsø 454 26
UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT) Tromsø
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) Ås, Norway
University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) Notodden
University of Stavanger (UiS) Stavanger
University of Agder (UiA) Grimstad
BI Norwegian Business School (BI) Oslo

Most popular programs in Norway

Popular programs in Norway Available in Norway University
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Computer Science
  • University of Oslo
  • Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU)
  • University of Bergen
Arts & Humanities
  • University of Oslo
  • Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU)
  • UiT The Arctic University of Tromso
  • Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU)
  • University of Oslo
  • Universitetet i Stavanger
  • Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU)
  • University of Oslo
Medicine, Biology, Biochemistry
  • University of Oslo
  • Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU)
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences
  • University of Bergen

Online Education in Norway

Distance learning is one of the most popular Norwegian educational methods nowadays. It is a technique that allows you to keep learning without any shifting. You can obtain one of the most prestigious degrees available through online education in Norwegian top tier universities by completing your coursework while sitting in front of a laptop. All you need is a good internet connection.
Tuition fees are always low in the online education system in Norway. Distance learning for higher education is available in Norway and is popular among international students. If you want to get a good degree without spending a lot of money, this is one of the best options.
There are so many valuable short and long courses available in Norway for distance learning. The top universities that offer distance learning are listed below:

  • University of Oslo. Location: Oslo.
  • Noroff School of Technology and Digital Media. Location: Oslo.
  • FutureLearn. Location: Trondheim.
  • Noroff School of Technology and Digital Media. Location: Oslo.

Best Areas for International Students in Norway

Do you want to go to Norway to study abroad? Without a doubt, you’ll experience a truly incredible environment while studying at renowned Norwegian universities with top-notch academic programs.
See the list of the best cities for international students in Norway below:

Education Levels In Norway


Is the education system in Norway good?

The consistently high-quality Norwegian education makes it a favorite among international students all over the world.

Is education in Norway completely free?

Norway is one of the few countries that provides top-notch scholarships and almost free education to all international students.

In Norway, how old are you in the tenth grade?

Students in Norway start tenth grade the year they turn fifteen.

How long is compulsory education in Norway?

In Norway, compulsory education lasts ten years. From age 6 to 16 which is grades 1 to 10.


Due to its rich culture, exclusive scholarships, and beautiful atmosphere, Norway is the perfect country to enroll in your degree while studying abroad. You can pick up the language while gaining cultural insight by studying in Norway.

Studying in Norway entitles you to the advantages of studying at one of the top universities in the world. The foreign degrees offered by the Norwegian education system are well-known. Norway’s educational standards are steadily rising and getting better day by day. 

Please read our post titled “Study in Norway with Scholarship” for more information. You can also leave a comment below if you have any questions about the Norwegian education system.

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