The decision-making body in all initial teacher education is the Ministry of Education and Research. Important advisory bodies for the Ministry are the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR), particularly its agency UHR-Teacher education, and the independent Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT).
Different types of initial teacher education qualify for teaching at different educational levels, but all teacher education qualifies for teaching at more than one level, except the kindergarten teacher education. The following types of teacher education exist:
Kindergarten Teacher Education (KTE) is a three-year bachelor program. This program educates teacher candidates for Kindergartens/ early childhood education. The addition of one year’s relevant further education qualifies pre-primary teachers to work in the first to the fourth year of primary school.
Teacher candidates for primary and secondary school are provided through the following six types of teacher education programs:
- Primary and Lower Secondary Teacher Education for Years 1–7 (5 years master, level)
- Primary and Lower Secondary Teacher Education for Years 5–10 (5 years, master level)
- Integrated teacher education master’s degree for Years 8–13 (5 years, master level)
- Postgraduate programmes in educational theory and practice for subject teachers (Qualification as a teacher is obtained in combination with an academic degree (in performing arts, academic subjects or with vocational basis) from a higher education institution (HEI) (1 year) (PPE)
- Teacher education in practical and aesthetic subjects (From 2021, 5 years, master level)
- Vocational teacher education (3 years, bachelor level)
Sami Kindergarten Teacher Education and Sami Primary and Lower Secondary Teacher Education programs are variants of KTE, types 1 and 2 respectively. They qualify for teaching Sami-speaking children in kindergartens and schools. The purpose of the courses is to secure qualified personnel. The Sami language is an official language in Norway.
Requirements for teaching different subjects at different levels:
- Years 1-7: To teach Norwegian, Sami, Norwegian Sign Language, mathematics, or English, the teacher must have at least 30 credits that are considered relevant to the subject. No credits are required to teach other subjects for Types 1 and 2 teachers. Teachers of other types must have 30 credits in all of their teaching subjects
- Years 8-10: To teach Norwegian, Sami, Norwegian Sign Language, mathematics, or English, the teacher must have 60 credits that are considered relevant to the subject. For most other subjects, the requirement is 30 credits.
- For Years 11–13, 60 credits are required to teach most subjects.