Norway Might Soon Introduce University Tuition Fees for non-EU Students

Third-country citizens wishing to continue their higher education studies in Norway may have to pay university fees starting from the autumn semester of 2023, as the country’s Ministry of Education has proposed to the government to introduce university fees for foreign students.

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Currently, all students at Norwegian universities can study tuition-free, including international students, reports.

However, according to the Minister of Education, Ola Borten Moe, fees must be introduced for students from countries outside the European Union and Schengen Area so that the universities can at least cover the costs per foreign student.

In the vast majority of cases, Norwegian students have to pay tuition fees to study abroad. There is no reason why it should be any different here. Norway will still be open to students from all countries, but we think it is right and reasonable that they also pay for themselves,” she also says.

Minister Borten Moe, however, highlights that education should remain free for Norwegian students and those coming from EEA countries and Switzerland, as well as for exchange students.

According to the Minister, if universities introduce fees for international students, they will be better equipped to attract foreign students because of quality and will no longer attract students who want to continue their higher education in Norway only because it is free.

She also claims that the fewer foreign students, the more free study places there will be for Norwegian students, both at universities and in housing.

At a time when there are many people who want to take higher education, it is right to prioritize Norwegian students,” Minister Borten Moe says.

The government has proposed a budget of NOK 42.8 billion for the funding of universities and colleges in 2023. However, the Ministry of Education insists that due to inflation, universities and colleges must also look at other ways of getting income, one of which could be imposing fees for foreign students.

Through the 2023 budget for education, the Norwegian government has also increased the framework for how much a dormitory can cost to build by about 50 per cent, from NOK955,700 to NOK1,450,000 per dormitory throughout the country. It is also proposing to spend an extra NOK 85 million on adjusting student aid.

At the same time, NOK141.5 million will be allocated for a subsidy scheme for energy measures in student housing and an extra NOK 41.1 million to cancel student debt in Troms and Finnmark.

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