The Norwegian educational system aims to be among the best in the world with regards to both academic levels and breadth of participation and completion rates. Education for all is a basic precept of Norwegian educational policy. Children and young people must have an equal right to education, regardless of where they live, gender, social and cultural background or any special needs. All public education in Norway is free of charge.Click here to read the spanish version.
Education in Norway is mandatory for all children aged 6-16. Before 1997, the mandatory education in Norway started at the age of 7. Students almost always have to change school when they enter lower secondary school and upper secondary school, as most schools only offer one of the levels. The Norwegian school system can be divided into three parts: Elementary school (Barneskole, age 6-13), lower secondary school (Ungdomsskole, age 13-16), and upper secondary school (Videregående skole, age 16-19).
Higher education is anything beyond upper secondary school, and normally lasts 3 years or more. To be accepted to most higher education schools you must have attained a general university admissions certificate (generell studiekompetanse).
Higher education is divided into:
– Universities, which concentrate on theoretical subjects as arts, humanities and natural science etc. They offer bachelor, masters and PhD titles (3 + 2 + 3 years). Universities also run a number of professional studies such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and psychology, but these are generally separate departments.
- University colleges (høyskole) which supply a wide range of educational choices, including university degrees at bachelor, master and PhD levels, engineering degrees and professional vocations like teacher and nurse. The grade system is the same as for universities.
– Private schools, which tend to specialize in popular subjects with limited capacity in public schools, such as business management, marketing or fine arts. Private schools are not that common, although students attending private schools are 10% in higher education, compared to 4% in secondary and 1.5% in primary education.