Priced out of studying in Norway: Foreign students react to tuition fee law

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Priced out of studying in Norway: Foreign students react to tuition fee law
Students have reacted to the news that the governemnt will change the law to allow universities to charge foreign tuition, Pictured is a university library. Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

A number of students have spoken to the Norwegian press about their disappointment at the government moving to allow universities to charge some overseas admissions tuition. 


Last week a majority in Norway's parliament signalled it was in favour of amending the law to make it possible for Norwegian public universities to collect tuition from international students. 

The government had previously passed a proposal as part of its national budget through parliament that will see students from outside the EEA and Switzerland charged for studying in Norway. There are several other exceptions to the rules, such as exchange students and those with close ties to Norway

With the policy to charge tuition already adopted by parliament, the latest development was to make it legally possible to collect fees. 

Essentially, the majority was the final nail in the coffin for students waiting to find out whether they would be charged tuition. The long wait for clarification has meant prospective students and education institutions have been left in the dark about what's happening. 


While some universities have begun collecting fees and deposits ahead of the coming academic year, a number have also held off until everything is in place legally. 

Students affected by the rule change have said that the introduction of fees means they will not be able to study in Norway. 

"I already know now that the school fees are far beyond what I can afford, so I can pretty much wave goodbye to my studies. It's a hard punch in the stomach. That what stops me from studying in Norway is not my knowledge or my skills, but how much money I have in my pockets," Cecilia Schmidt Pauluk, from Brazil, told the Norwegian newspaper VG

Meanwhile, Miguel Rosas from Venezuela news publication for the higher education sector, Khrono, said that the change felt like a deliberate policy to prevent non-EU students from coming to Norway. 

"I don't think Norway introduces tuition fees to make money. I think it is a way to prevent non-EU students from coming here. It seems most logical to me, "Rosas said. 

Rolee Aranya, a professor in global urban development at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, told the publication that all students would suffer due to the introduction of fees. 

This will lead to the quality of study for our students is greatly weakened because we will lack the diversity we have today. It is a loss of quality. 

Pauluk said she was particularly disappointed with the Socialist Left Party, which the government relies on to gain a majority for proposals. The party said it was against the bill's introduction but allowed it to go through.  

"It is a shame that the majority of parties are now in favour of this new law. To put it bluntly, this new policy is a step towards a less equal future for Norway. I am sure that there will be more steps," she added. 


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