Best Norwegian Universities for International Students, Norway is also a popular destination among students looking to pursue higher education. The country offers excellent universities, colleges, and other institutions along with the high quality of education imparted by them. Norway has 10 public and 43 private institutions of higher education. This year alone, there are over 170,000 students in these institutions pursuing their education.

However, the number one concern among potential students is always regarding the expenses they may have to incur if they decide to avail themselves of the opportunity of studying in this country. And since there are several top-notch institutions offering various courses across diverse academic fields of study, it might be getting a little tricky for you to make your mind as to which are the best universities in Norway for international students.

Norwegian Education System

The first thing you have to know about Norwegian higher education institutions is that there are only 18 of them. Within these 18 institutions, there are a total of 11 different faculties. The student population of each university is organized into four groups:

Students who have graduated from secondary school and are taking their first year of study (1st-year students). These students can apply for a 3-year Bachelor’s degree program or continue their studies at the same university with a 4-year Master’s degree program.

Students who have finished their Bachelor’s degree studies or have completed a Master’s program and are continuing their studies with a doctoral program.

Students who come to Norway on exchange programs (exchange students). They may stay in Norway for one or two semesters at most, depending on the agreement they entered into while they were still studying at home.

Students who come to Norway through the Nordplus and Erasmus programs. These exchange programs are designed to give foreign exchange students the opportunity to study in another country for one or two semesters.

What are the best universities in Norway?

What follows is a list of some of the best Norwegian universities for international students to study in Norway.

The ranking is based on a combination of factors such as:

  • The quality of its programs
  • The overall experience of its students
  • Its diversity and inclusion policies

Each university’s ranking has been determined using data from

  • QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018,
  • Webometrics Ranking of World Universities,
  • Times Higher Education Rankings,
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities,
  • SCImago Institutions Rankings
  • and more.

The University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is a public research university in Oslo, Norway. The university is the oldest in Norwegian Universities and was founded in 1811 as the Royal Frederick University. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has identified the University of Oslo as having produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other higher education institution in Europe.

Numerous academics affiliated with the university are recipients of international awards or members of foreign academies. As of October 2018, 24 Nobel laureates and 2 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with the University of Oslo, along with 8 Spitzenclaves and several winners of other international awards.

The university has approximately 27,000 undergraduate students and 7,500 postgraduate students (including PhDs), making it one of the largest universities in Norway. The university has 6 faculties and over 100 departments. There are about 1,200 researchers at the university, of which approximately 250 are professors.

The University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a public university located in Bergen, Norway. It was established in 1946 and is the second-largest institution for higher education in Norway. The university has 22,000 students and 3,000 employees. It has seven faculties, one institute and one college, and six campuses situated throughout the city of Bergen. The university received five stars from Quacquarelli Symonds for excellence in higher education. In 2011, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, it is ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide.

The university was founded in 1946 as a response to the growing demand for educational facilities following World War II. Initial planning of the university took place at an international conference held on 10 August 1944 on Mount Ulriken. The participants recommended that a new university should be established to meet the needs of post-war education due to increased interest in academic studies after World War II.

The university was modeled on Swedish institutions with a strong emphasis on research and a high level of autonomy for its colleges (institutions). An important motive during planning was to accommodate all cultural groups in Norwegian society. Teaching conducted by professors were based on discussions instead of lectures at seminars or laboratories, allowing graduates to be highly independent and giving them a broader view.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Norwegian universities are well-regarded worldwide, and offer a wide range of fields of study, both domestically and internationally. Norway is not only one of the highest-ranked countries in the world for education, but also for innovation. This reputation has made it a popular choice for students from abroad, who want to study in a country that values these qualities.

Located in Trondheim, Norway’s third-largest city, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) offers undergraduate through postgraduate degrees in a wide range of subjects, including environmental studies, medicine, science and technology, social sciences, and architecture. The university is well known for its research into engineering, technology, and natural sciences as well as its collaboration with industry professionals.

NTNU has five main faculties:

  • Humanities and Social Sciences;
  • Health Sciences;
  • Engineering;
  • Agricultural Sciences;
  • and Science

and 15 academic departments that provide high-quality education to more than 17,000 students from around the globe.

University of Tromsø

The University of Tromsø (Norwegian: Universitetet I Tromsø; UiT) is a university located in the city of Tromsø, Norway. The university has 6,000 students and 800 employees. Tromsø is the northernmost university in mainland Europe and the third northernmost in the world, after the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Luleå University of Technology in Sweden. It is also one of the very few universities in the world that lies at such a high latitude (78°N), placing it within the polar night for more than half a year.

The university was founded in 1972 after Northern Norway split from the University of Oslo following disagreements about where to locate a new university, mostly between Northern and Southern Norway. UiT was formed after Norwegians from Northern Norway protested against having to travel to Oslo to attend university.

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is one of the best Norwegian Universities for international students. The university has a great reputation for both research and teaching. Tromsø, Norway is a beautiful city, having a population of about 80,000 people. The city is surrounded by mountains and has a long history as an important shipping hub in northern Norway. The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is located in the city center, very close to the Tromsø Cathedral.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences offers courses in;

  • biology,
  • chemistry,
  • biotechnology,
  • geology and
  • architecture.

All of these courses are taught in English and they attract students from all around the globe. In addition to teaching at their campus in Tromsø, the university also runs classes at smaller local schools and at other locations throughout Norway.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Western Norway University of Applied Sciencesgskolen på Vestlandet is a university located at Stavanger, Norway. It is considered one of the best universities in Norway and was established in 1994. This university offers programs for undergraduate studies, graduate studies, and postgraduate studies. The Høgskolen på Vestlandet (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences) has a motto which is translated as “Bygg Norge” which means building Norway.

It has been approved by the Norwegian government to admit international students from third countries who are aspiring to acquire knowledge and skills for the improvement of their future careers. Høgskolen på Vestlandet has been ranked among the top three universities in Norway for four years now. It provides quality education to its students with professional and well-qualified staff.

The courses offered by this university are designed in such a way that they can generate an understanding of the needs of an industry before imparting theoretical knowledge to its students. The Høgskolen på Vestlandet offers several employment opportunities to its graduates. More than 60% of the graduates get employment within two months after completion of their course. The annual tuition fee for its bachelor’s degree program is NOK 11,000 and this includes all the fees related to studying such as course materials, travel expenses.

The University of South-Eastern Norway

The University of South-Eastern Norway is the second-largest university in the country and has been ranked as the best in Norway for international students. The university has a student body of over 15,000 students, with more than 300 foreign students from all over the world. To date, no other Norwegian university has received higher rankings from QS World University Rankings.

In addition to this, there are also several prominent and prestigious international rankings, where the university is among the best in Norway. For example, Times Higher Education ranked this university as one of the top 400 universities in the world.

University of Stavanger

The University of Stavanger (UiS), formerly known as the University of Stavanger – SU; is a public university located in Stavanger, Norway. UiS has around 14000 registered students and offers programs in the fields of

  1. business,
  2. law,
  3. engineering,
  4. natural sciences and
  5. social sciences.

The Faculty of Engineering is one of Norway’s largest faculties. It has a total of 3400 students and 320 employees at UiS. The faculty offers Bachelor’s and Master’s level education within 10 different fields of study.

All these programs are taught in English, except for Chemical engineering, which is taught in Norwegian.

The Faculty also hosts an Erasmus exchange program for incoming international students coming from other countries than those based in Europe.

Tips for getting accepted

Getting accepted into a Norwegian university can seem like an impossible challenge, especially for international students. But there are ways to make the process easier and more likely to succeed.

There are over 40 universities in Norway, and getting into a Norwegian university requires you to apply through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS). This is a centralized organization for all of Norway’s public institutions of higher education.

The application itself is actually pretty simple. But the process can be challenging because of how it differs from how schools in some other countries accept students. You must have a high school diploma unless you’re applying directly from upper secondary school. And if you have your high school diploma, you must take one test to get into university: The Norwegian Students’ Test (Norsk studenttest, or NST).

Another challenge with Norwegian universities is that they don’t offer rolling admissions. If there are open spots in the program you want to get into, you usually have just one month to apply – so it’s important that you plan ahead if you want to study in Norway.

Why consider studying in Norway

Scandinavia is one of the most popular studies abroad destinations for international students. Norway offers an impeccable quality of education, with reputable universities that are highly respected globally. Studying in Norway is not only enriching and fulfilling, but it also comes with numerous benefits for students. Here are a few reasons why you should consider studying in Norway:

1. An Education with a Global Perspective

Norway has a reputation for being an excellent place to receive an education, especially when compared to other countries like the United States. In fact, in recent years, Norway has risen up to world rankings as one of the top 10 most desirable places to study internationally.

2. A Multicultural Experience

As a major exporter of oil and natural gas, Norway is filled with students who travel from all over the world to attend top institutions. Because foreign students make up more than 30% of the total student population in Norway, you are sure to make plenty of friends while you are there.

3. A Safe and Peaceful Environment

If you are looking to study abroad, but want to ensure that your learning experience isn’t marred by violence and crime, then Norway might be for you! The country consistently ranks among the safest countries in the world year after year;


There’s a university out there made especially for you! Talk to us about studying in Norway by sending us an email at or contacting us.