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How many international students choose Norway for their studies?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
How many international students choose Norway for their studies?
Pictured is notes being taken in a library. Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Several factors, such as no tuition fees at public universities for some students, make Norway an attractive proposition for prospective students. Figures have revealed how many come to Norway for their education.


A high quality of life and free tuition at public universities for most students means Norway is a great place to live and study.

The attractiveness of Norway as a study destination may fade in the coming years as students from outside the EEA and Switzerland will have to pay tuition from the autumn term of 2023.

However, that hasn’t stopped large numbers of students from choosing Norway to live in alongside their studies, according to figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

Just under 11,000 people registered in Norway as studying under the EEA registration scheme or were granted an education permit for those from outside the EEA.


Slightly more non-EEA nationals came to Norway for education purposes than those using the EEA registration scheme. However, when only including students and post-doc candidates, the number of education permits dropped to just over 4,000.

Students from the Philippines, China and the USA were the largest group of nationals to be granted permits. Nearly twice as many Filipinos were granted study permits than those from the US or China. Nationals from Pakistan and Iran were the next largest groups to be given permits for education permits.

In 2022, around 92 percent of applications for a residence permit for educational purposes were granted.

When it came to EEA nationals, German, French and Italian citizens were the biggest groups to register a move to Norway for education purposes. Some 1,556 Germans registered in Norway for education purposes, and around half of Germans who moved to Norway in 2022 did so for their studies.

Those from the Netherlands and Belgium were the next largest groups to come to Norway for tuition. In both cases, more nationals from these countries came to Norway to study than they did for any other reason, such as work or to be with family.

While non-EEA students will be required to pay tuition in Norway, the rules for those from within the EEA remain the same- allowing them to study for free at public universities.

The number of those coming to Norway to study from outside the EEA increased between 2021 and 2022. However, these numbers are likely to go down again due to the tuition rules.


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