Sep 3 2018

Increased number of international students in Norway

Between 2000 and 2015, Norway has experienced a large increase in the number of international students compared with many other countries. This may seem paradoxical considering that Norway is a country with few well-known universities, a high cost of living, and a geographical location on the northern fringe of Europe.

Jannecke Wiers-Jenssen (NIFU/OsloMet) has published an article in Journal of Studies in International Education on the increasing number of international students in Norway.

Global trends of increased student mobility as well as EU policies influence the flow of students to Norway. Nevertheless, national higher education policies and institutional strategies have been crucial in this development. Courses in English and more active partnerships with higher education institutions abroad have been established to attract international students. Furthermore, tuition fees are not charged in state-owned universities and colleges, and this has become a comparative advantage in an era when institutions in other countries are introducing or increasing tuition fees for national as well as international students.

Asking the international students themselves about their motivation for studying in Norway, the author finds that the rationale is pragmatic rather than related to perceived quality. Their choices still appear rational; they get free higher education in a safe country and increase their career opportunities.

The article is available here: «Paradoxical attraction? Why an increasing number of international students choose Norway».

For more information, contact
Jannecke Wiers-Jenssen, Research Professor, Higher Education
(+47) 984 58 683
jannecke.wiers-jenssen@nifu.no