Schools For Members

Why some international schools in Norway are much more expensive than others

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Why some international schools in Norway are much more expensive than others
Here's why some schools in Norway cost so much more than others. Pictured is a classroom full of kids. Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Plenty of private and international schools in Norway are within the reach of most people. However, some still cost in excess of 200,000 kroner per year. 


Around 30,000 students attend a private or international school in Norway, according to figures from the national data agency Statistics Norway

Private schools in Norway are covered by the Private Schools Act and are allowed to operate on a number of grounds in order to give pupils and parents the right to choose their education. 

Typically, many international and private schools in Norway cost between 24,500 kroner and about 37,000 kroner a year. This puts the early education bill for a private school, excluding trips and after-school care, at a similar level to kindergarten. 

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about international schools in Norway

Some schools, though, can cost ten times this amount. So, why are some schools so much more expensive? 

The reason is to do with government funding. The government in Norway funds many private schools. These schools make up around 85 percent of their funding from the government. Schools can only top this up with fees to a maximum of 15 percent. 

This is why many private schools in Norway are a lot more affordable than ones in other countries. 

There are a number of schools in Norway which do not rely on government funding. This means they can cover what they wish to cover running costs. 

Oslo International School and International School of Stavanger each charge about 239,000 a year, which is about ten times as much as their government-funded rivals.

Essentially, the difference in price that exists between the schools is the difference in government funding. 

Why does the government fund private schools if they are supposed to be private? 

This has to do with the choice of parents and pupils being protected by the Private Schools Act. Essentially, if schools are beyond the financial reach of most families, then the choice doesn’t exist. 


Another reason could be the decreasing number of Norwegian state schools. Between 2008 and 2022, the number of state schools in Norway shrank. 

If the funding for government schools didn’t exist, then a large number of those currently in private schools may need state education, which could cause capacity issues. 

Schools that do receive government funding are much more regulated when it comes to their curriculum. This is because they have to follow certain parts of the Norwegian curriculum. 

The Norwegian government has moved to cut down its expenditure on private schools. 

READ MORE: How private school cuts will affect foreigners in Norway


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also