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Norway – Education and Schools

Norway is a Nordic country located in Northern Europe with a population of approximately 5 million people. The education system in Norway is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Research. In this article, we will explore the quality of education in Norway, the compulsory education ages, breakdown the types of schools available by age, syllabus and qualifications offered, typical school hours and holidays, enrollment process, and international schools. We will also provide information on higher education options in Norway.

Quality of Education in Norway

The quality of education in Norway is generally considered to be high. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, Norwegian students scored above the average in mathematics, reading, and science. The government of Norway has made significant investments in education, including funding for new schools, teacher training, and technology.

Compulsory Education Ages

In Norway, education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16. This includes primary and lower secondary education.

Types of Schools Available in Norway

Primary School

Primary school is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 13 and lasts for seven years. Students learn subjects such as mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

Lower Secondary School


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Lower secondary school is compulsory for students between the ages of 13 and 16. Lower secondary school lasts for three years and focuses on the core subjects of mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

Upper Secondary School

Upper secondary school is not compulsory, but it is available for students between the ages of 16 and 19. Upper secondary school lasts for three years and offers a range of subjects, including mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

Syllabus and Qualifications

Schools in Norway follow a national curriculum that is overseen by the Ministry of Education and Research. The curriculum includes subjects such as mathematics, science, social studies, language, and physical education.

After completing upper secondary education, students can take the Norwegian Certificate of Secondary Education, which is a recognized qualification for higher education.

School Hours and Holidays

School hours in Norway vary depending on the level of education. Primary school students typically have five hours of class per day, while secondary school students have six hours of class per day.

The school year in Norway runs from August to June and includes three terms. Students have a one-week break in October, a two-week break for Christmas, a one-week break in February, and a two-week break for Easter.

Enrollment Process

In order to enroll in a school in Norway, students must provide a birth certificate, a proof of address, a health certificate, and a photo. For students transferring from another school, a transfer certificate is also required.

There is significant competition for enrollment in the more prestigious schools in Norway, particularly in urban areas.

International Schools in Norway

For expat families, there are several international schools available in Norway that offer education in English or other languages. These schools typically follow the curriculum of their home country and offer qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).

Some international schools in Norway include:

Higher Education in Norway

There are several higher education options available in Norway, including universities, colleges, and vocational schools. Norwegian universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of subjects, including engineering, medicine, law, and humanities.

In order to be eligible for higher education in Norway, students must have the Norwegian Certificate of Secondary Education or an equivalent qualification.

Some popular universities in Norway include:

University of Oslo: https://www.uio.no/english/

In conclusion, the education system in Norway is generally considered to be of high quality. Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16 and includes primary and lower secondary education. Schools in Norway follow a national curriculum overseen by the Ministry of Education and Research and offer qualifications that qualify students for higher education. School hours and holidays vary depending on the level of education, and enrollment in schools is competitive. For expat families, there are several international schools available in Norway that offer education in English or other languages. Finally, higher education options in Norway include universities, colleges, and vocational schools that offer undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of subjects.


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