English-taught Universities

Do you want to study in Norway but the official language seems to be the barrier? Well, you shouldn’t let that stop you from bagging that Norwegian degree because, in today’s article, I’ll be providing you with a list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

Norway, also known as the Kingdom of Norway is a Nordic country together with countries like Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, and Greenland. With a total area of 385,207 km², Norway is the 8th largest country in Europe and the 69th largest in the world. To the east, Norway is bordered by Sweden, bordered by Finland and Russia to the northeast, and to the south, they are bordered by the Skagerrak strait.

Norway is renowned for having astonishing landscapes, being a great location to see the magical northern lights, and representing one of the happiest places on the planet. Norway is a mountainous country in the Scandinavian Peninsula where most of its population resides in the South (most especially around their capital Oslo) while the North is inhabited by Sámi, the indigenous people who inhabit the Sápmi (also known as Lapland). Norway has a rich literary tradition which can be seen through its storytelling and folklore customs; together with its colourful and lively festivals, Norway remains one of the most beautiful and safest countries in the world.

Norway’s official languages are Norwegian and Sámi, however, Norwegian is by far the most spoken language in the country. What does that mean to international students who wish to study in Norway? Are there any English-taught Norwegian universities? If you have such queries, you are in the right space and in today’s article, we’ll be looking at the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

Is Norway a good country for international students?

The universities in Norway are well known for research and the high standard quality of education they deliver. Students in Norwegian universities are encouraged to think critically and develop creativity. As opposed to what some people might think, even though the official language is Norwegian, English is by far the second most spoken language in the country, around 90% of Norwegian speak English.

It might interest you to know that there are several English-taught programs offered by Norwegian universities. International students schooling in Norway love the experience and that has made Norway consistently rank on the international student satisfaction awards which could be attributed to the superior education their universities offer, their egalitarian culture, and their beautiful surroundings (environment).

Despite being a great country to study in, the cost of living in Norway is on the high side. Worrying about your tuition fee and other expenses that come with schooling abroad has made many people shy away from schooling in Norway. However, you don’t have to worry about tuition fees anymore as the Norwegian government has made public institutions or universities in the country free for international in a bid to help in reducing the cost of living and studying in the country. Studying in public universities and state colleges is free in Norway but depending on your chosen institution you may be required to pay a semester fee of approximately 590 NOK (€57.66) for student welfare organizations. For private universities, you’ll have to pay tuition fees and the tuition fees are considered low when compares to the fees paid in private universities in other countries.

How many English-taught universities can you find in Norway?

Determining the exact number of English-taught universities in Norway will be difficult to achieve but based on the data gotten from different sources you are bound to find more than 20 English-taught Bachelor’s programs, more than 300 English-taught Masters programs, more than 20 English-taught PhD programs, and more than 10 English-taught online (distance learning) degrees.

As an international student in Norway, can you work while studying?

International students who are not EU/EEA nationals are allowed to do part-time jobs in Norway with a few conditions while EU/EEA nationals in the country can freely work, study, and live in Norway without any restrictions or conditions. Please note that if you are going to be staying for more than three months (especially for international students), you have to register with the police.

Non-EU/EEA international students who wish to work while studying in Norway must apply for a Norwegian study permit, which allows them to work up to 20 hours per week and nothing more. However, if you’d love to do more hours, it’ll only be possible during the holidays (during holidays you choose to work full-time if need be).

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Working in Norway while studying does come with a catch. Even though about 90% of Norwegians speak English as a second language, many employers in Norway require a certain level of proficiency in Norwegian. This means that if you must work in the country and you don’t want to limit your job options then you’ll have to learn some Norwegian.

If you need more information about studying and working in Norway then you can visit the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) website.

Is it possible to remain in Norway after graduation as an international student?

After graduation from any Norwegian university, international students in the country can stay for a period of one year to look for jobs. However, before you’ll be able to have access to that opportunity, you must apply for a residence permit as a job seeker before your current permit expires. It’s also important to note that you’ll have to find a job that’s related to your degree and your earnings from the job should reach the level of earning customary in that industry.

It’s possible to obtain a permanent residence permit but it largely depends on the type of job and your level of expertise. If you need more information regarding this, you can check the guidelines when you visit the UDI website.

English-taught application requirements for universities in Norway

To study in Norway, you’ll be required to provide the following documents alongside your application:

  • Previous diplomas—high school, Bachelor’s, and Master’s
  • Personal essay or statement
  • Academics transcript of grades or records
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Proof of financial support (if needed)
  • Up to 4 passports sized photos
  • Copy of Passport or ID

The above-written requirements are the common requirements required by Norwegian universities. Depending on your chosen institution and course or program, you might be required to submit additional documents.

List of the best English-taught universities in Norway

Without further ado, let’s dive into the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

1. University of Oslo (Universiteteti Oslo)


University of Oslo (Universiteteti Oslo)

The University of Oslo is one of the oldest public research universities, located in Oslo, Norway. Academically, the University of Oslo is ranked as the 58th best university in the world and the third-best among universities in the Nordic countries. In 2016, the university became the highest-ranked Norwegian university, after being placed 63rd by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The university remained the largest in Norway in terms of size up until the 1st of January, 2016 when it became surpassed by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The university employs about 6,000 people and has about 27,700 students. Faculties in the university include Lutheran Theology, Education, Law, Dentistry, Medicine, Social Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics. The university indulges in high research output and because of that, they are affiliated with institutions that deal with studies on traumatic stress and environmental research, while the university’s own research units focus on life science, Nordic issues, energy, etc.

The University of Oslo was founded in 1811 and in terms of structure, it was modelled after the University of Copenhagen and the more recent University of Berlin. Interestingly, the university was the only university in Norway up until 1946 and it was commonly called “The Royal Frederick’s” before the name change. The University of Oslo is among the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway with more than 800 courses taught in English. In addition to that, it’s a public-funded university which means that you won’t be required to pay tuition fees.

2. University of Bergen (Universiteteti Bergen)

University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (Universitetet i Tromsø – Norgesarktiskeuniversitet)

The University of Bergen is a research-Intensive state university with more than 4,000 employees (workers) and 18,000 students located in Bergen, Norway. The university was established in 1946 by an act of parliament based on several older scientific institutions with roots goings as far back as 1825, making the University of Bergen the second oldest in Norway.

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Today, the university is been seen as one of the four established universities in Norway and has facilities and programs in all the fields of a classical university covering fields that are traditionally reserved by law for established universities such as law and medicine. The University is currently one of Norway’s leading universities in many natural sciences such as climate research and marine research. What’s more? The university is consistently ranked among the top 1% of the world universities (which is usually among the best 200) and doubles as the best 10 or 50 universities in the world in fields like marine sciences and earth.

As with other public universities, the University of Bergen is tuition-free not just for nationals alone but also for international students as well. However, all students are required to become members of the student welfare organization and also pay a fee of NOK 590 per semester to provide access to several services such as childcare, subsidized accommodation, refunds for many medical expenses, and cultural activities. The university offers English-taught courses or programs which grant it a place on the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

3. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norgesteknisk-naturvitenskapeligeuniversitet)

University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (Universitetet i Tromsø – Norgesarktiskeuniversitet)

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology is one of the largest public research universities in Norway, the university’s main campus is located in Trondheim while its smaller campuses can be found in Ålesund and Gjøvik.

The university has more than 40,000 students and 8,000 employees and is consistently ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world. The university is a successor of the Norwegian Institute of Technology (a preeminent engineering university) established by the Parliament in 1910 as the country’s national engineering university.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology has the main national responsibility for research and education in technology and engineering. In addition to that, the university offers higher education in other fields ranging from medicine, architecture and fine art, psychology, teacher education, social sciences, and the arts. This institution is renowned for its close collaboration or relationship with industry, in particular, its R&D partner SINTEF which provides the university with the biggest industrial link among technical universities all over the world.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology also offers English-taught programs to international students making them a part of our list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

4. University of Tromsø – The Artic University of Norway (UniversitetetiTromsø – Norgesarktiskeuniversitet)

University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (Universitetet i Tromsø – Norgesarktiskeuniversitet)

The University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway is a state university and also one of the world’s northernmost universities located in the city of Tromsø, Norway. In 1968, the university was established by an act of the parliament but it was opened in 1972; today, it’s one of the ten universities in Norway.

In northern Norway, the University of Tromsø is the largest educational and research institution and it doubles as the sixth largest university in Norway. The university’s strategic location makes the development of studies of the region’s culture, society, and natural environment possible. The university focuses mainly on the following activities: auroral light research, epidemiology, space science, telemedicine, fishery science, Saami culture, biotechnology, multicultural societies, linguistics, and a large range of Arctic research projects. However, the university is not limited to Artic studies, researchers in the university work within a wide range of subjects that are not only recognized nationally but are recognized internationally as well.

The University of Tromtø – The Arctic University of Norway is among the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway since they offer English programs or courses to international students.

5. Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Norgesmiijø- ogbiovitenskapelige)

Norwegian School of Economics (NorgesHandelshøyskole)

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public research university located at Ås in Viken, near Oslo, and also at Adamstuen in Oslo, Norway. The university is smaller than the other universities mentioned on this list in terms of students with about 5,200 students.

The university is made up of seven faculties: Biosciences, Veterinary Medicine, (Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science), Science and Technology, Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, School of Economics and Business, and Landscape and Society. In addition to the faculties, the university also has eight centres.

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is among the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway; they offer the International Environmental and Development Studies, a Bachelor’s degree program in English. For the Master’s degree programs, you can study Agroecology, Aquatic Food Production – Safety and Quality, Data Science, Ecology, International Development Studies, International Relations, Animal Breeding and Genetics, Aquaculture, Development and Natural Resource Economics, Feed Manufacturing Technology, International Environmental Studies, and Radioecology I’m English.

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6. Norwegian School of Economics (NorgesHandelshøyskole)

Norwegian School of Economics (NorgesHandelshøyskole)

The Norwegian School of Economics is a business school that was founded in 1936 as the first business school in Norway, located in Bergen. Since its inception, the has been leading research and teaching institutions in the fields of economics and business administration.

In the field of business administration, getting admitted into the Norwegian School of Economics is the most selective study program in Norway. The sole university’s undergraduate program consistently ranks among some of the most popular first choices for students (national and international) applying for undergraduate studies in Norway. In 2020, it was the most popular first choice of all undergraduate programs with over 2,100 first choice applications for 500 places.

For its exchange programs, the school participates in exchange programs with over 170 business universities and schools in more than 50 countries, and about 40% of the student body in the school spends at least one semester on exchange. The school is accredited by AMBA and EQUIS; is currently a member of CEMS (The Global Alliance for Management Education) and PIM (Partnership in International Management) network.

7. University of South-Eastern Norway (UniversitetetiSørøst-Norge)

University of South-Eastern Norway (UniversitetetiSørøst-Norge)

The University of South-Eastern Norway, popularly known as USN, is a state university in Norway. The university has campuses in Horten, Bø, Kongsberg, Telemark, Hønefoss, Porsgrunn, Drammen, Notodden, and Rauland. The University of South-Eastern Norway was formed after three former University colleges (Telemark University College, Vestfold University College, and Buskerud University College) were merged between 2014 and 2016. The university didn’t become a full university until 2018 when it was granted the status of a full university by the King-in-Council.

The university has 17,152 students and 1,360 employees. They have 88 undergraduate programs, 44 master’s programs and 8 PhD programs. Based on the number of students, the university sits among the largest in higher education in Norway. The university has four faculties and 20 departments.

The university collaborates with some of the country’s business community in research, development and innovation projects. In addition, they also employ people from the business community in assistantships in connection with those projects. The university is among the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

8. University of Stavanger (Universiteteti Stavanger)

University of Stavanger (Universitetet I Stavanger)

The University of Stavanger (UiS), was established in 2005 after the former Stavanger University College received its university status, located in Stavanger, Norway. The university’s main campus can be found in the neighbourhood of Ullandhaug. The university has about 1,370 employees including academics, administrative and service staff, and 11,000 students in 2017.

The university is made up of six faculties: Educational Sciences and Humanities, Health Sciences, Science and Technology, Performing Arts, Social Sciences, and the Norwegian School of Management. The university also has a Museum of Archaeology and two national centres of expertise. In terms of the number of research publications per member of scientific staff, the university ranks third in Norway. In 2012, the university became a member of the ECIU (European Consortium of Innovative Universities).

The university offers the following doctorate programs: Literacy, Educational Sciences, Management Economics and Tourism, (Sociology, Social Work and Culture & Society), Offshore Technology, Risk Management and Societal Safety-Technical/Scientific Approach, Information Technology, Physics, Risk Management and Societal Safety-Technical/Scientific Approach, Health and Medicine, Chemistry and Biological Science, Petroleum Technology, and Mathematics.

The University of Stavanger is among the list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

Other top English-taught universities in Norway include:

  • University of Agder (UniversitetetiAgder)
  • BI Norwegian Business School (Bokmål: Handelshøyskolen BI)

There you have it, there goes our list of the best English-taught universities in Norway.

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