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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in higher education


12.Educational support and guidance

12.5Support measures for learners in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Definition of the target group(s)

In higher education, there is no legal basis for the policy of equal right to education. However, according to the Act on Universities and University Colleges of 2005, higher education institutions should, where possible, provide facilities suitable for students with special needs.

Specific support measures

According to the Act related to Universities and University Colleges, the higher education institutions are responsible for ensuring that the learning environment at the institution, including the physical and mental working environment, is fully satisfactory on the basis of an overall assessment of considerations regarding the health, safety and welfare of the students. The design of the physical study environment shall, as far as possible and within reason, ensure that premises, access roads, sanitary facilities and technical installations are designed in such a way as to enable persons with disabilities to study at the institution.

The Act also states that “the institutions shall, to a possible and reasonable extent, adapt study provisions for students with special needs. This adaptation must not result in a reduction of the academic requirements of the individual courses.”

In addition, higher education institutions assist students with special needs at examinations by:  buying PCs, renting extra rooms, providing wages for secretaries and inspectors' extra hours at prolonged examinations. The HEIs, jointly with the mandatory student welfare associations, are also responsible for the wider environment including residential, cultural and social environment for students. In all aspects, special provisions and facilities should be available to ensure the participation and access to essential elements of a normal student life.

In 2003, the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research established a national centre, Universell, to promote and coordinate matters relating to accessibility in higher education, like universal design and disability matters.