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Education in Norway
Public universities in Norway offer free tuition for all students, no matter their country of origin. These universities also offer high-quality education even though it has no cost. This has led students from around the world to seek an education in Norway.

Education in Norway involves the idea that all people should be able to receive a high-quality education, regardless of their socioeconomic status and background. This stems from Norway’s need for people with professional skills. Offering free education to all students provides them with the employees that they need.

Structure of Higher Education in Norway

There are four types of higher education in Norway. The first is a university college degree, which would allow those who receive one the ability to earn a bachelor’s degree. Its length is 120 ECTS, which are credits. The second is a bachelor’s degree, which is 180-240 ECTS. The third level is a master’s degree, which is 120-300 ECTS. Lastly, a Ph.D. is 180 ECTS and is the highest level of education. Many universities offer one-year programs, supplementary programs or short programs, which can be the basis for a branch of professional study. For example, some students choose to take part in these programs for a subject of professional studies, such as psychology.

Norway has also implemented a new system for degrees that follow the 3 + 2 + 3 pathway of a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and Ph.D. This system has made it easier for international students to study in Norway and maintain their qualifications in other countries.

Results of Norway’s System

People in Norway who have a college education are more likely to get a job and earn a higher salary after graduation. Adults with a bachelor’s degree earn 13% more than upper secondary graduates. Findings determined that adults with a bachelor’s degree participated in cultural and sporting activities more often. There is a 36% difference in participation between those with secondary education and those with tertiary education. As a whole, this system sets an example for other countries as it has a positive impact on the economy and individual citizen’s lives. Pursuing higher education is an influential decision that can shape the course of a person’s future.

Effect on Poverty Rate

One of the most beneficial results of free tuition is the increase in the college graduation rate. Many students struggle with earning enough money for their entire tuition. Therefore, they often can only attend part-time so that they can accommodate a job, or they drop out because they cannot afford the fees. Free tuition completely eliminates this problem and allows students to focus entirely on their studies.

Free education in Norway attracts more people to colleges, especially public universities. Many people globally do not even apply for college because they know that they would not be able to afford it. However, free tuition would give people the chance to attend. It is also difficult for some people to secure loans for their education, especially if tuition is expensive. Private lenders may be hesitant to give that much money to a young student since they are unsure if they will be able to pay it back. Free education stops students from having this worry and eliminates the possibility of crushing loan debt after graduation.

Lastly, free college in Norway ensures that the country’s citizens have more education. As more people become qualified for high-skilled jobs, they may have access to higher-paying careers. As a result, the wealth gap could decrease and lift people out of poverty.

– Miranda Kargol
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 facts about living conditions in Norway
The Northern European country of Norway is well-known for having high standards of living in terms of health care, education and in several other categories. These top 10 facts about living conditions in Norway presented in the text below highlight just how much the country has achieved to date.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Norway

  1. For 15 years in a row, the United Nations Human Development Report has ranked Norway as the best country in the world to live in. One of the reasons why Norway is ranked so high is due to the country’s investment in its citizens living long and healthy lives. This investment results in a high life expectancy, which is 82.3 years. This is especially impressive when comparing this statistic to the worldwide average life expectancy of 71.5 years.
  2. Norway is one of the leading countries in the world as it relates to clean air and water. About 96 percent of Norwegians stated they are satisfied with their water quality and the country has the largest sales of electric vehicles in the world. Many citizens in Norway (about 25 percent), were encouraged to purchase electric vehicles due to high taxes on gasoline.
  3. One downside to living in Norway is that the cost of living is relatively high compared to other countries. Having the highest gas prices in the world, coupled with heavy taxation on alcohol, food, clothing and many other items leads to Norway being an expensive country to reside in.
  4. Although the cost of living in Norway tends to be high, this is often balanced out by the average annual income of Norwegians. The Gross National Income (GNI) in Norway in 2018 ranked in first place worldwide at $68,012. Another factor worth mentioning is that minimum wages for entry-level positions range from $16 to $21 per hour, which is also quite high compared to other countries across the world.
  5. The main reason for the high taxation on items in Norway is to fund the universal and single-payer health care system. Regardless of income, every citizen and resident is covered under the plan. Norwegians also have the choice to pay out of pocket and travel to a foreign country for medical procedures, which is a common practice due to the fact that wait times for procedures can be several months.
  6. Norway once again has the percentage of adults with a four-year degree or better at 35 percent. One leading cause for this statistic could be due to the fact that public universities in Norway are tuition-free, even for international students.
  7. From 2011 to 2015, poverty rates in Norway increased from 7.2 percent to 9.3 percent. Citizens in the 18-34 age group and individuals with an immigrant background are impacted the most. Young children are also disproportionately affected by the increase in poverty rates as about 17.5 percent of children live in low-income households. Some have blamed this negative trend on tax regulations that negatively impact the poorest in Norway.
  8. One hardship in many countries is the debate on maternity and paternity leave. Some parents are forced to return to work shortly after their child is born for financial reasons. However, in Norway, mothers have the choice of either taking 35 weeks of maternity leave at full pay or 45 weeks with 80 percent pay. Fathers also have the choice to take up to 10 weeks of paternity leave.
  9. Norway is ranked among the top countries around the world with the highest employment rates. Norway’s employment rate averages out to 74.4 percent, in the same category with other European countries such as Denmark, Finland and Switzerland.
  10. The country is also hailed as one of the safest. In some countries, feeling safe and comfortable in one’s home can be a luxury. However, in Norway, about 88 percent of citizens in Norway stated they felt safe walking alone at night and the homicide rate is at a low 0.5 percent.

The top 10 facts about living conditions in Norway prove to be positive in most aspects. Although taxes are high, tuition-free public universities, lower cost of universal health care and a higher average annual salary balances this issue out. The higher than average life expectancy rate results from universal health care being easily accessible for all citizens, and how clean the water and air is in the country. Although one negative factor to point out is the increase of poverty rates, the Norwegian government strives to increase spending from its sovereign wealth fund to continue economic growth for the country.

– Maddison Hines
Photo: Pixabay