Types of Higher Education Institutions in Norway

Norway is one of the leading countries complying with the guidelines of the Bologna Process in European higher education. Norwegian educational institutions are state-run. There is no tuition fee for higher education in Norway, but for certain professional education programs and special programs, and some private institutions may charge fees.

Following are the types of higher education institutions:


The Universities focus on theoretical subjects such as arts, humanities/liberal arts, natural science, Supply bachelor, Masters and PhD titles. Universities also run a number of professional studies, including law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and psychology. For details see Universities in Norway

University Colleges

The university colleges have a significant role in decentralising access to higher education. They provide professional programs of varying lengths, from one to five years. Several university colleges offer master’s programs and also sustain right to award doctorates in one or more fields. The university colleges also participate in research and development work. The University Colleges provide bachelor level education within the areas of nursing, teaching, business management, engineering and information technology.

List of University Colleges

The public university colleges in Norway consist of:
- Bergen National Academy of the Arts, or Kunsthogskolen i Bergen
- Bergen University College or Hogskolen i Bergen
- Bodo University College, or Hogskolen i Bodo
- Buskerud University College, or Hogskolen i Buskerud
- Finnmark University College, or Hogskolen i Finnmark
- Gjovik University College, or Hogskolen i Gjovik
- Harstad University College, or Hogskolen i Harstad
- Hedmark University College, or Hogskolen i Hedmark
- Lillehammer University College, or Hogskolen i Lillehammer
- Narvik University College, or Hogskolen i Narvik
- Nesna University College, or Hogskolen i Nesna
- Nord-Trondelag University College, or Hogskolen i Nord-Trondelag
- Norwegian Police University College or Politihogskolen
- Oslo National Academy of the Arts, or Kunsthogskolen i Oslo (official site)
- Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, or Hogskolen i Oslo og Akershus
- Sami University College or Samisk hogskole
- Sogn og Fjordane University College, or Hogskolen i Sogn of Fjordane
- Stord/Haugesund University College, or Hogskolen i Stord/Haugesund
- Sor-Trondelag University College, or Hogskolen i Sor-Trondelag
- Telemark University College or Hogskolen I Telemark
- Tromso University College, or Hogskolen i Tromso
- Vestfold University College, or Hogskolen i Vestfold
- Volda University College, or Hogskolen i Volda
- Ostfold University College, or Hogskolen i Ostfold
- Alesund University College, or Hogskolen i Alesund

The accredited private university colleges in Norway are:

- BI Norwegian Business School or Handelshoyskolen BI Dronning Mauds Minne Hogskole
- Diakonhjemmet University College or Diakonhjemmet Hogskole
- The Norwegian School of Information Technology, or Norges Informasjonsteknologiske Hoyskole
- NLA University College or NLA Hogskolen
- Queen Maud University College or Dronning Mauds Minne Hogskole

Specialised Universities

Offers specialised programs such as music, humanities, architecture, sports, economics etc.

List of Specialised Universities
The public specialised universities in Norway are:
- Oslo School of Architecture and Design, or Arkitektur- og designhogskolen i Oslo
- Molde University College, or Hogskolen i Molde
- Norwegian School of Economics or Norges Handelshoyskolen
- Norwegian School of Sport Sciences or Norges idrettshogskole
- Norwegian Academy of Music or Norges musikkhogskole
- Norwegian School of Veterinary Science or Norges vetrin rhogskole

The private specialized universities are:
- MF Norwegian School of Theology or Det teologiske Menighetsfakultet
- School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger, or Misjonshogskolen

Private Institutions

The private institutions offer programs and courses within popular fields of study where the number of public places is limited or offering accelerated courses. Tend to specialize in popular subjects with limited capacity in public schools, such as business management, marketing or fine arts.

List of Private Institutions
Private colleges with institutional accreditation
- Ansgar School of Theology and Mission
- Diakonhjemmet University College (campus Oslo & Sandnes)
- Haraldsplass Deaconess University College (HDUC)
- Lovisenberg Diaconal University College
- Norwegian School of Information Technology (NITH)
- Norwegian Teacher Academy (NLA)
- Oslo School of Management, Campus Christiania
- Queen Maud University College

Private colleges with accredited programmes and courses
- Barratt Due Institute of Music
- Bergen School of Architecture
- Betanien Deaconal University College
- Bjorknes College
- Norwegian University College for (HLB)
- Norwegian College of Dance (DNBH)
- Norwegian Eurythmy College
- Rudolf Steiner College of Education

Higher Education Institutions: Admission

Entrance/Test Requirements

The most important prerequisite is English language proficiency. An applicant has to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language, only if English isn't the first language of the applicant.

English Proficiency:

IELTS: IELTS or International English Language Test. Most universities require international students to take this test.

TOEFL: TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is an alternative to IELTS.

For International Students:

An overall score of at least 5.0 in the international English language testing system (IELTS). A score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 170 (computer-based) in the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL).

Norwegian Proficiency

For courses where the language of instruction is Norwegian, proficiency in the Norwegian language is mandatory. The Norwegian language is the foremost language of instruction at Norwegian institutions of higher education.

Bergenstesten: The applicant shall pass test in Norwegian at higher level, 'Bergenstesten', with a minimum score of 450.

Other Essential Requirements

Admission to higher education in Norway requires a certificate for having finished a three year upper secondary education. Students are admitted in accordance to their amount of points, where points rely on secondary school grades, specialisations opted during upper secondary school, age and completed one year of higher education, military service and folk high school. Each Education provider will have different entry requirements such as prior knowledge in certain subjects, work or volunteer experience, portfolio, bio-data, Official academic transcripts, test or interview and letters of recommendation.
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