Norway has six accredited universities, six accredited specialized university institutions, 25 accredited university colleges, two accredited national colleges of the arts and 29 private institutions of higher education with either institutional- or programme accreditation.
The Norwegian system of higher education comprises all the institutions and/or programmes that are accredited. With the exception of some private university colleges, all higher education institutions are state-run. In general, tuition is not required for study at Norwegian higher education institutions, although fees may be imposed for certain professional education programmes, further and special education programmes and studies at private institutions.
In addition to their teaching activities, all the higher learning institutions, and particularly the universities, are responsible for conducting basic research as well as researcher training, primarily by means of graduate-level studies and doctoral degree programmes.
Since 2003 Norway has been following the objectives of the Bologna process in the European higher education. Most of the elements have been implemented through the Quality Reform. Central to the reform has been implementation of a 3 + 2 + 3 degree system with a Bachelor's, Masters and Ph.D. structure following the European standards [ see Fig 1 above].
With the introduction of the new degree system it has become easier for students who complete all, or part of their education in Norway, to obtain recognition for their qualifications in other countries.
Credits system and grading
The academic year normally runs from mid-August to mid-June. Courses are measured in “studiepoeng” according to the ECTS standard (European Credit Transfer System credits). The full-time workload for one academic year is 60 “studiepoeng”/ECTS credits.
Grades for undergraduate and postgraduate examinations are awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum pass grade. A pass/fail mark is given for some examinations.