For refugees

Refugees may have different options for studies depending on their level of education, language profiency and visa/recidency status in Norway.

Study options

If you have reached University level, read more about:

Please note that even though the Norwegian institutions offer several programmes taught in English (especially on Masters level), there will be many more study opportunities available in Norwegian, especially at Bachelor and Vocational Higher Education level. 

Some Universities and University Colleges has special courses and requirements for refugees. To learn about these, search the webpages of the different Higher Educational institutions in Norway. 

The webpage (in Norwegian) gives information about study and career options in Norway, for the Norwegian speaking audience. At you can find information about Higher Education (University and University College Education), Higher Vocational Education (Fagskole), High Scool (Videregående skole), Folk High School (Folkehøgskole), Art schools, as well as Life-long learning courses. You can also find information about different trades, jobs and requrements for these.


The general basis for admission to Universities and University Colleges in Norway is called Higher Education Entrance Qualification, called "Generell studiekompetanse" in Norwegian. For applicants with foreign education, the requirements are specified in the GSU-list. In the GSU-list you can check the requirements for the country where your education is from.

Some educations, for instance within technical subjects, have special requirements in addition to “Studiekompetanse”. Read more about the special admission requirements (in Norwegian). 

Admission to higher education in Norway consist both of educational requirements and language requirements

Recognition of foreign education

If you have foreign higher education (Bachelor, Master and PhD) and wish to get that recognised in Norway, to continue your studies or to work in a specific profession, you must apply for recognition of the foreign higher education.

For some refugees, it may be difficult to obtain papers documenting the foreign education. For such instances it may be possible to get the education recognised through the UVD procedure. Please note that you will have to apply for general recognition before you can be referred to the UVD procedure. 

Read more about recognition of foreign education and professions.


How to apply

If you have the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, qualify for eventual special requirements and language requirements, you can apply to Samordnaopptak/NUCAS for studies at Bachelor level. Please note that most of the bachelor degrees are taught in Norwegian. 

If you have received recognition of foreign higher education and wish to study at Masters level, you must apply directly to the specific Higher Education Institution which offer the degree you are seeking. 

You can also search for study programmes taught in English and filter by subject, level, region and instiution.

If you wish to study at PhD level, please note that most of the PhD studies are considered as a job in Norway. You will find PhD positions advertised at JobbNorge, by typing PhD in the search field.

Benefits, Grants and Loans

Introduction benefits

Refugees in Norway often participate in the Introduction programme. If you participate in this, you will receive introduction benefits from the municipality where you have been settled. The municipality where you are settled will also be aware of which rights you have concerning higher vocational education and higher education. You will find more relevant information for refugees on the webpage of Norwegian Directorate of Integration and Diversity (IMDi) called Ny in Norge. 

When applying for admission to higher education, please keep in mind that your introduction benefits are paid by the municipality where you have been settled. If you choose to move to a different municipality, you may lose your benefits. You should contact your municipality to clarify this issue. You should factor in travel time and travel costs to the university/ university college campus when applying for courses or programmes.

Benefits through the Norwegian Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen)

Refugees who do not receive introduction benefit at the same time may be eligible for Refugee grants. You can get this benefit for up to 3 years with certain requirements, which is mentioned at Lånekassens website about the Refugee grant.

Citicens of an EU or EFTA country may also be eligible for funds through Lånekassen, Likewise goes for some specific groups of non-EU/EFTA citizens with rights to stay in Norway. 

Please note that the grant through Lånekassen on most cases is considered a loan, which might have to be paid back after the studies. Read more about loan repayments at

Refugees and Tuition fees

Refugees are normally extempted from paying tuition fees at public higher education institutions in Norway, referring to the Act relating to universities and university colleges, (§7—1 a (2.a) (in Norwegian).

Private institutions may require tuition from all students.

Career guidance

Career guidance is a right for refugees in Norway. Please contact the municipality where you do your introduction programme.

  • it is free, public and available in every county 
  • it supports you in making good choices about education and work in Norway
  • it allows you to talk to a neutral and professional career counsellor about your wishes and opportunities for future work and education 

You can also get career guidance at (in Norwegian), where you can phone or chat online with a career councellor. 

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Education from Ukraine

If you have education from Ukraine, prease read more (in Norwegian) at HK-dirs webpage for recognition of education from Ukraine.