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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in higher education


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.4National reforms in higher education

Last update: 22 June 2022


Higher education and the situation regarding Covid-19

In Norway, the government announced a lock-down of the society on the 12th of march. During the next weeks, the society was re-opened stepwise. Higher education institutions re-opened completely from 15 June, under the prerequisite of compliance with current rules and advice on infection control. This embraces that employees and students must follow the established infection control rules at all times. Training and educational activities are regulated in the Covid-19 regulation, chapter 3.  

Competence package

In response to the situation regarding Covid-19, the government is launching a competence package of NOK 190 million. The skills package will better equip people for working life after the corona crisis is over. Therefore, more tailored educations and training offers are now being created for crisis-stricken industries and their employees.

NOK 100 million for tripartite industry programs
NOK 50 million for online training
NOK 20 million to universities and colleges to make room for more on existing educations
NOK 20 million for the training of the unskilled

For supplemental information, see also chapter 14.5 .


Student ombudsman

All students at universities, colleges and vocational colleges have access to a student ombudsman. This is an independent assistance body that, among other things, can help guide students who have complaints. The ombuds can also contribute to solving disputes at the lowest possible level. The ombudsman provides students with independent and impartial advice and assistance in matters that concern students, e.g. in matters of student rights and obligations. Moreover, the “#Me too”-campaign has clearly demonstrated the need for a student ombudsman who can assist students who have been subjected to sexual harassment or other forms of abusive acts.

Since 1. August 2019, this has been introduced in the Act relating to universities and university colleges and the Act relating to tertiairy vocational education. Before the Act imposed institutions to have an ombudsman, all universities and several university colleges already had their own ombuds. The law does not demand that all institutions have their own individual ombuds. However, all students must have access to one. This means that smaller education institutions can agree on a common ombudsman.

Action plan for prevention of radicalization and violent extremism

In February 2019 Norwegian authorities launched an action plan for prevention of radicalization and violent extremism(pdf) in the higher education sector. Goals and measures in the plan are divided into three main categories

  • resolution of controversy/confidence building and raising of ethical awareness,
  • student welfare and
  • learning environment and security-related measures.

The vast majority of measures qualify as preventive, while some may be said to be on the threshold of "intervention management", i.e. initiating actions as tertiary prevention or to avoid acute incidents. Tertiary prevention (indicative prevention) is about implementing measures against clearly radicalised persons who, for example, openly advocate extremist views. Tertiary prevention (indicative prevention) is about implementing measures against clearly radicalized persons who, for exmple, openly advocate extremist views. The measures should to the extent possible be mainstreamed into existing structures and functions, and should be incorporated in the effort to strengthen the overall learning environment. A good, inclusive learning environment not only promotes students' learning, but also lays the foundation for individuals to become secure, creative and critically minded. This also supports the overall objective of cultivating academic freedom.


There have been no reforms to date in this area.