Norway sees the number of new non-European foreign students half

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Norway sees the number of new non-European foreign students half
The number of foreign students applying for study visas has decreased significantly. Pictured is a classroom full of people studying. Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

The number of new non-EEA students coming to study in Norway has been halved due to tuition fees being introduced, figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration show.


The number of students from outside the EEA who have applied for a study visa in Norway has fallen by 45 percent, figures obtained by public broadcaster NRK from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) show.

As part of its state budget for 2023, the government introduced fees for foreign students from outside Europe who wish to study at a Norwegian public university. Previously, all students could study at a Norwegian public university without paying tuition.

Oddmund Løkensgard Hoel, State Secretary for Research and Higher Education, has said that the government is not surprised by the drop-off.

“There is no drama in the application numbers. It is a decline, as expected. In the national budget for 2023, we calculated a decrease of 70 percent in this group. What the final figures will be, you will still not know until closer to Christmas, after the studies have started and the deadlines for paying tuition fees have expired,” he told NRK.

He said that the government was saving over a billion kroner per year with the introduction of tuition fees for some foreign students.


“What is a deliberate policy is that we will no longer spend a billion kroner of our budget capacity on being the only country in Europe that offers free education for students from all over the world,” Hoel said.

However, unlike other countries with school fees, Norway does not offer scholarship schemes for international students. Although, Hoel said that scholarship schemes could be introduced in the future.

“We wanted to make this change now in the 2023 budget because it was necessary to get the budget together. We also wanted to gain some experience before starting to create scholarship schemes. We need some time to find out how the scholarship schemes will be organised. But there will be scholarship schemes that will be targeted at the countries and students who need it most.”


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