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The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) has produced a new report on student mobility to and from Norway.
With regard to higher education, the report shows that the 2012/13 academic year saw more Norwegian students travel abroad than ever before. However, if we take into account the growth in the overall student population, the proportion travelling abroad is broadly the same as ten years ago.
Students choose Anglo-American countries
Most degree students travel to Anglo-American countries or to Denmark, and in some cases to the few countries that offer complete English-taught degree courses in healthcare. There is more variation in the choice of destination countries among exchange students, although Anglo-American countries dominate here too.
Unlike most other countries in Europe, Norway has achieved a good balance of student exchanges, but there are differences concerning the balance between different continents. There are far more exchange students travelling from Europe to Norway than there are Norwegian exchange students travelling to Europe. One important reason is the good funding schemes offered by the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund, which many Norwegian students benefit from and which allow many of them to travel outside Europe.
More foreign students in Norway
In the last two years the number of foreign nationals registered as students in Norway has risen by 20%. The proportion of foreign students is now just over 8% – almost twice what it was ten years ago. This increase is in line with Norway's policy on internationalisation in higher education and research. Of the foreign students registered at Norwegian educational institutions, most are Russian, Swedish, German or Chinese.
The Nordic countries have seen an increase in international students since the turn of the millennium. The growth was highest in Sweden, until the introduction of fees for students from outside the EU/EEA in 2011 led to a sharp drop. After Denmark introduced tuition fees in 2006, students from the EU/EEA have made up an ever increasing proportion of foreign students in the country. The trend in Sweden since 2011 is similar.