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Studying in Norway For Members

UPDATE: Which foreign students in Norway are required to pay tuition?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
UPDATE: Which foreign students in Norway are required to pay tuition?
Here is who will be required to pay fees at Norwegian universities this year. Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Some, but not all, students from outside the EEA and Switzerland will be required to pay tuition in Norway from the autumn of 2023. Here's how to check if you may be exempt.

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From autumn 2023, students from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland will begin paying tuition fees. However, exchange students and those from the EU/EEA and Switzerland will continue to receive free tuition in Norway.

StudyinNorway, a website run by the Norwegian Directorate of Education, writes that students from outside the EEA studying in Norway prior to 2023 will not have to pay for tuition from autumn 2023. 

Additionally, not all students from outside the EEA and Switzerland will be required to pay fees. Those on exchange programs will receive free education while in Norway. 

There are also other groups of nationals who will be exempt from paying tuition in Norway. In most cases, these will be prospective students already living in Norway. 

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For example, anyone who has been granted permanent residence in Norway will be exempt from paying tuition fees, as are those who are granted asylum. 

Furthermore, those with a Norwegian spouse or partner or somebody who has joint custody of a child in Norway can continue to study for free after the tuition rules come into force. However, you and your spouse/partner will be required to live in Norway. 

The majority of those who fall under this category will probably already hold a Norwegian family immigration permit. Those with a family immigration permit where the reference permit (the person you are moving to be with) isn't in Norway to study can also receive free tuition if the above rule doesn't cover them.  

Those with residence rights as a family member of an EU/EEA citizen will also be exempt from tuition. The EU/EEA citizen in question will be required to have grounds for residence in Norway other than studying, such as registering as a worker in Norway. 

Citizens of the UK who claimed residency under the Withdrawal Agreement (those who were legally residing in Norway before the end of 2020) and have continued to live in Norway can also study in Norway for free. However, UK residents who moved to Norway after January 1st 2021, must pay tuition unless they meet one of the other exemptions. 

Anyone with a continuous full-time employment period of two years in Norway is also exempt from tuition. The person must also have held residence and paid tax to Norway during this period.

There must be no breaks during the accrual period or between the accrual period and the period in which you start your studies. Nevertheless, exceptions may be made for gaps of up to one year concerning illness or childbirth.

Meanwhile, anyone who has been undertaking continuous study in Norway for at least three years and has completed studies corresponding to at least three years of full-time studies (equivalent to 180 credits) is exempt from paying tuition fees.

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There shouldn't be breaks between these studies, and you must not have received loans or grants from Lånekassen, public support schemes in other countries or from Norwegian public support schemes for development, e.g. Norad, the Norwegian Programme for Development, Research and Education (NUFU), the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED).

However, these exemptions are subject to change as the required amendments to the Norwegian Universities Act must be adopted by Norway's parliament. 

According to the University of Stavanger, applicants will be required to submit paperwork which confirms their exemption by June 1st. 

These documents can be either a letter from the UDI outlining your residence status or a decision letter from Lånekassen, which shows your eligibility for a study loan and scholarship.

The application form to apply for exemption will be available in April. 

Those who decide to study at private universities in Norway, such as BI Norwegian Business School, will have to pay tuition regardless of where they are from or when they plan on studying in Norway. 

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