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Norway

National Information Centres

Nasjonalt organ for kvalitet i utdanningen (NOKUT)
NOKUT - Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education

P.O. Box 578

1327 Lysaker, Norway

Phone: +47 21 02 18 60
Fax: +47 21 02 18 01
E-mail: postmottak@nokut.no
Web Site: http://www.nokut.no
Contact person: Mr. Dag Hovdhaugen, Director of Foreign Education

National education bodies

Kunnskapsdepartementet

Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research is responsible for primary and secondary school, upper secondary and tertiary vocational education and higher education sectors, kindergartens, cultural schools, vocational education and training and adult learning. The Ministry is also responsible for research and integration.

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Utdanningsdirektoratet

Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training is responsible for the development of kindergarten and primary and secondary education. The Directorate is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research.

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Direktoratet for høyere utdanning og kompetanse

The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills was established on 1 July 2021, under the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The directorate is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research within the higher education and higher vocational education sectors and is responsible for the national skills policy. 

The Directorate for Higher Education and Skills is a result of the merger of the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Diku), Skills Norway, and Universell, as well as parts of Unit and the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD). The directorate is also expected to be taking over selected tasks for the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT), including tasks related to recognition of foreign qualifications (final decision expected in the course of 2022).

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Universitets- og høgskolerådet (UHR)

Universities Norway (UHR) is a cooperative body for 33 accredited universities and university colleges.

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Nasjonalt organ for kvalitet i utdanningen (NOKUT)

Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) is a professionally independent government agency that contributes towards quality assurance and enhancement in higher education and tertiary vocational education. NOKUT’s tasks also include recognition of foreign education qualifications in Norway.

Link(s): Norwegian, English

System of education

Overview of the Norwegian education system

Information on the Norwegian education system from the Ministry of Education and Research.

Link(s): English
General information about education in Norway

An overview of the Norwegian education system, from kindergarten to higher education, including information on lifelong learning and financial support for education purposes.


Link(s): Norwegian, English

University education

Kunnskapsdepartementet

Ministry of Education and Research

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Samordna opptak (NUCAS)

Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) coordinates the admission to regular undergraduate studies at all the universities, university colleges, state colleges, and some private colleges in Norway.
Programmes for international students are presented at www.studyinnorway.no Individual institutions provide information considering the admission to their postgraduate degrees.

Link(s): Norwegian, English

Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Nasjonalt organ for kvalitet i utdanningen (NOKUT)

NOKUT is the controlling authority for educational activity at all Norwegian universities, special field universities, university colleges and institutions with single accredited higher education programmes, as well as for all tertiary vocational education.

NOKUT provides accreditation of education institutions and study programmes, revision of previously-granted accreditation, and evaluates the institutions’ quality assurance systems, for more information see NOKUTs website. 

Link(s): Norwegian, English

The newest annual report on the state of higher education in Norway Tilstandsrapport for høyere utdanning 2022 has been already published online by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills. 


Link(s): Norwegian

Post-secondary non-university education


Tertiary vocational education is provided by 'fagskoler', which are considered as tertiary vocational education institutions. Tertiary vocational education is based on upper secondary education and training or equivalent competence and comprises the equivalent of at least one-half and no more than two entire academic years.

See the thematic pages on the website of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.

Link(s): Norwegian, English

The Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) is the controlling authority for all tertiary vocational education. All provisions must be accredited by NOKUT.

Link(s): Norwegian, English

Recognised higher education institutions


There are three categories of institutional accreditation in Norway: Universities, Specialised University Colleges and University Colleges/Universitites of Applied Sciences. An accredited higher education institution is granted the right to offer educational provision, without having to apply to NOKUT for specific (programme) accreditation, in accordance with the powers that its institutional category implies.


University colleges that are not accredited institutions must apply to NOKUT for accreditation of their study programmes at all levels. All institutions with accredited study programmes may call themselves University College.


NOKUT maintains a list of accredited institutions, see the link below.

Link(s): Norwegian, English

Policies and procedures for the recognition of qualifications

Recognition of foreign higher education

Recognition of foreign higher education is carried out by Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). This assessment leads to a general recognition decision that describes the level and scope of the education and if it is equivalent to a Norwegian bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD. The recognition does not say anything about the academic content of the education programme. NOKUT’s general recognition of higher education is voluntary, and is intended as an aid for those who wish to enter the Norwegian labour market.

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Recognition of foreign tertiary vocational education

Recognition of foreign tertiary vocational education is carried out by Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). It includes an assessment of foreign education in comparison to the Norwegian education system, in accordance with Act relating to Tertiary Vocational Education (fagskoleloven), section 7 (in Norwegian). NOKUTs decision provides information on the level and the scope of a qualification, and for what it can be normally used in the country where it was obtained. This recognition scheme does not assess the vocational content of an education.

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Recognition of foreign vocational education and training (VET)

Recognition of foreign vocational education and training (VET) is carried out by Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT). The recognition decision shows whether foreign qualification is comparable with a Norwegian craft or journeyman’s certificate. NOKUT began with this recognition scheme in 2016 and will gradually expand the scheme for new countries and qualifications. 

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Norwegian assistance centre for the Professional Qualifications Directive

NOKUT is the Norwegian assistance centre for the Professional Qualifications Directive, and provides guidance to professionals about the directive, as well as about Norwegian legislation on regulated professions.
NOKUT cooperates with assistance centers in other EU/EEA countries, as well as with 
Altinn, the Norwegian contact point for the Services in the Internal Market Directive (2006/123/EC). The center can also assist Norwegian citizens who wish to work in a regulated profession in the EU/EEA.Updated lists of regulated professions and their competent authorities in Norway can be found on NOKUT's website.

Link(s): Norwegian, English
Academic recognition/credit transfer (higher education)

Academic recognition pursuant to § 3-5 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges includes credit transfers and/or exemptions for parts of study programmes. Academic recognition takes place at the academic institution in question.

Link(s): Norwegian, English

Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees


In accordance with Article VII of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, NOKUT offers an interview-based procedure for formal recognition of higher education qualifications for persons without verifiable documentation. The Recognition procedure for persons without verifiable documentation (UVD-procedure) is targeted at refugees with insufficient documentation and individuals in a refugee-like situation who are unable to meet the documentation requirements for NOKUTs regular procedure for general recognition of higher education

In 2015, NOKUT developed and tested a qualifications passport for refugees, with the aim of establishing a multinational fast-track scheme to evaluate refugees’ educational background. This is built on a combination of evaluating available documentation, mapping the qualification with standardised tools and substantiating the information from the applicant through a structured interview with recognition experts. This approach has been later been implemented by the Council of Europe in the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees (EQPR)

The qualifications passport procedure represents one of the approaches described in the Toolkit for Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications. The Toolkit describes tools and approaches that can be used for recognizing the qualifications held by refugees and displaced persons. The Toolkit and EQPR projects are mentioned as examples of good practice in the Recommendation on the Recognition of Refugees’ Qualifications under the Lisbon Recognition Convention and Explanatory Memorandum

Qualifications Framework

Framework


The Norwegian qualifications framework for lifelong learning (NQF) was approved by the Norwegian government on 15 December 2011. The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research presented the report referencing the levels of the Norwegian Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning (NQF) to the levels of the European Qualifications Framework of Lifelong learning (EQF) at the meeting in the EQF Advisory Group on 6 June 2014. The report was approved and met all 10 referencing criteria. 

Link(s): Norwegian, English

Self Evaluation Report


In January 2021, the Ministry of Education and Research gave NOKUT the task of  conducting an evaluation of the NQF in order to provide an overall assessment of how the NQR works, and areas for further development. The evaluation is to be carried out over a period of two years. 

Link(s): Norwegian

Diploma Supplement (DS) Information

Responsible organisation


Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT)

P.O. Box 578

1327 Lysaker, Norway

Phone: +47 21 02 18 60
Fax: +47 21 02 18 01
E-mail: postmottak@nokut.no, ds@nokut.no
Link: Norwegian, English

Additional information:
Diploma Supplement has been fully implemented and is obligatory for all higher education.

Information on DS (legislation, template, chart, etc)

Description of the Norwegian higher education system: Section 8 in the Diploma Supplement
Link(s): Norwegian, English
Chart of the national higher educational system

Se the description of the Norwegian education system (section 8 in Diploma Supplement).

Link(s): English

Access to higher education

Overview of Norwegian upper secondary diplomas giving access to Norwegian Higher Education

Q-Entry: Online Database with the list of the final upper secondary school qualifications and with the qualifications that in the national education system of reference give access to Higher Education.

Link(s): English
Entrance requirements for applicants with foreign education

The general basis for admission to universities and university colleges in Norway is called Higher Education Entrance Qualification. For applicants with foreign education, the requirements are specified in the GSU-list.


The GSU list is managed by NOKUT. However, all questions regarding admission requirements to higher education should be addressed to Samordna opptak (The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service /NUCAS): sokerinfo@samordnaoppak.no


NUCAS: https://www.samordnaopptak.no/info/english/

Covid-19: Upper secondary final examination, and access to Higher Education

Upper secondary final examinations cancelled due to COVID-19:

    - 2020: all written, oral and practical examinations cancelled
      - 2021: written and oral examinations cancelled
        - 2022: written and oral examinations cancelled

        Will this year’s upper secondary graduates receive a final diploma? If yes, when?
        Yes, upper secondary graduates will receive a final diploma as usual. Diplomas will be issued in the end of June. Diplomas were also issued in  2020 and 2021. 


        Will the final diploma have a calculated grade point average? N/A Norwegian Upper Secondary School Diploma contains only subjects and grades, no calculated GPA. 


        Are there any consequences for admission to higher education in your country for this year’s graduates? Admission to higher education did proceeded as usual in 2020 and 2021, and is expected to proceed as usual in 2022. 

        Verification sources

        Vitnemålsportalen / The Diploma Registry

        The Diploma registry is a Norwegian service developed by Unit – The Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research, commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research.The Diploma registry has been developed in cooperation with the Erasmus+ project called EMREX.

        The Diploma registry allows students to securely share results from their studies, including grade transcripts, diplomas and diploma supplements, with third parties of their choice. The results are collected directly from the databases of almost all universities and university colleges in Norway. Shared results can be downloaded as a digitally signed PDF file. 

        Link(s): Norwegian, English
        Accredited higher education institutions

        Accredited (approved) higher education institutions in Norway, including universities, specialised university institutions and university colleges.

        Link(s): Norwegian, English
        Accredited study programmes - higher education

        Non-accredited university colleges offering approved first degree programmes.

        Link(s): Norwegian
        Accredited tertiary vocational education programmes

        Tertiary vocational programmes are short programmes of vocational study that build on upper secondary education or equivalent prior learning and work experience.Tertiary vocational programmes must be accredited by NOKUT. 

        Link(s): Norwegian
        Universities and University Colleges

        List of state-owned universities and university colleges on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research.

        Link(s): English
        Q-Entry

        Online Database with the list of the final upper secondary school qualifications and with the qualifications that in the national education system of reference give access to Higher Education.

        Link(s): English
        Overview of upper secondary education and training

        Overview of upper secondary education and training, including educational paths, subjects and providers. The page is targeted towards pupils in Norway. 

        Link(s): Norwegian, English
        Overview of university and university college mergers

        An overview of university and university college mergers in Norway, including a map visualizing the mergers.

        Link(s): English
        Pre-Bologna education system

        A report describing the pre-Bologna education system of Norway, including examples of diplomas and educational documents. 

        Feagles, Shelley M.; Dickey, Karlene N. (1994). Norway: A Study of the Educational System of Norway and a Guide to the Academic Placement of Students in Educational Institutions in the United States. Country Report. PIER World Education Series. American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and NAFSA: Association of International Educators. 

        Link(s): English