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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Administration and governance at local and/or institutional level


2.Organisation and governance

2.7Administration and governance at local and/or institutional level

Last update: 27 November 2023


The kindergarten owner has the overall responsibility for ensuring that the kindergarten operates in accordance with the Kindergarten Act and Framework plan. Owners may adapt the Framework Plan to reflect local circumstances, and any local adaptation should be described in the kindergarten’s statutes.

The headteacher is given day-to-day responsibility for pedagogical practices, staff, and administration. The headteacher shall also ensure that the kindergarten adopts procedures for co-operating with relevant institutions such as schools, health centers, the educational psychology service, and the child protection service. 

The pedagogical leader is tasked with implementing and overseeing the kindergarten’s pedagogical practices using sound professional judgment. The pedagogical leader oversees the process of planning, implementing, documenting, assessing, and developing the work taking place amongst the group of children or in the areas he/she is tasked with supervising. 

The municipality supervises both municipal and private kindergartens, and the county governor supervises the municipality as a kindergarten authority. 

Primary and secondary school

In accordance with the Education Act local authorities establish local regulations for primary and lower secondary schools. The local regulations concern, redistribution of school hours, holidays, main written language (bokmål/nynorsk), areas of admission, and rules of order.

The headteacher is the school's leader and is responsible for pedagogical, personnel, and administrative management at a school. In large schools, the school management may also include an assistant principal, teaching inspector, and department heads.

The County Governor oversees public primary and secondary schools. The supervision targets the municipality as the owner of primary and lower secondary school, and the county municipality as the owner of upper secondary school. The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training oversees and supervises private schools.

Vocational college

Funding for tertiary vocational colleges is allocated to the county municipality by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher education on behalf of the Ministry of Education. The funding consists of a basic grant and a performance-based grant. 

The county municipalities distribute the grant to private and county vocational colleges in their own county. The individual county authorities may set their own criteria as the basis for the distribution of grants, but the county municipalities shall contribute to meet the competence needs in the working life, in line with the objectives set out in the Ministry of Education’s assignment letter for the operating funds. The county municipalities shall ensure that accredited higher vocational education is offered in accordance with the need for competence locally, regionally, and nationally.

Competence policy fora and dialogue arenas have been established in several county municipalities to stimulate the cooperation between grants, vocational colleges and working life.


Higher education institutions

The board at Universities and University Colleges has a responsibility to ensure that the academic activities are of high quality and that the institutions operate efficiently and in accordance with the laws, regulations, and rules that apply, and the objectives set by the Ministry of Education and Research. 

Day-to-day operations are delegated from the board to the institutions' management at the rector and the rector's management group which consists of pro-and vice-rectors, deans (faculty and department heads), directors, and other managers at level-2. 

The annual management dialogue between the Ministry of education and the institutions include:

  • An allocation letter that provides an overview of the allocations and any prerequisites for the use of the funds. It also contains guidelines and expectations, as well as performance targets and reporting requirements. 
  • A report from the institutions that provide a basis for assessing the achievement of objectives and management parameters set by the Ministry and the Board for the use of the allocations
  • A governance meeting between the Ministry of Education and the education institution every second year. The meetings are based on the allocation letter and the institution's annual report for the previous year. In addition, the Ministry does an analysis of the results based on Database for statistics on higher education (DBH) and the status report on higher education, published by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills