The most respected universities in Norway: A ranking

Among Norway’s schools of higher education, 18 have status as universities or specialized universities. Among these, 10 are complete universities offering a broad selection of subjects.

This includes a selection of traditional universities with a long history, as well as several universities that have been founded within the last 20-30 years.

In this article, we take a look at some of the best universities in Norway and what subjects they offer.

University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is one of the oldest and largest universities in Norway and Scandinavia. It was established in 1811 and was modeled after the University of Copenhagen and the recently established University of Berlin.

The university offers a wide variety of faculties and subjects that range from theology, law, medicine, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, dentistry, and education. 

While its original, neoclassical campus is located in central Oslo, Its main campus is located on Blindern in Oslo, just northwest of the city center.

The university has over 6000 employees and enrolls more than 27 000 students, of which more than 10% are international students.

While all Bachelor’s programs are taught in Norwegian, over 70 of the university’s master’s programs are taught in English and are open to students from all around the world.

Notable alumni include 3 former prime ministers of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Kåre Willoch, and Current Nato secretary, Jens Stoltenberg. It also includes former NASA astronaut and the most recent person to have walked on the moon, Harrison Schmitt.

Norwegian university of science and technology

The Norwegian university of science and technology, shortened to NTNU in Norwegian, is the largest university in Norway.

While the current university was founded in 1996, the university has roots all the way back to 1760. 

NTNU has the main national responsibility for education and research in engineering and technology but offers a vast variety of subjects in faculties and academic disciplines ranging from medicine, psychology, social sciences, the arts, teacher education, architecture, and fine art.

The university has several campuses, in several cities. Its main campuses of Gløshaugen and Dragvoll are located in Trondheim, Norway’s third-largest city in central Norway.

As the largest university in Norway, the university has over 8,000 employees and over 40,000 students across its faculties. The university offers several master’s programs taught in English, and around 10% are international students

The university is associated with 5 former Nobel laureates, the latest being Edvard Moser, May-Britt Moser, and John O’Keefe who received the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine in 2014 for their work identifying the brain’s positioning system.

University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is one of the largest Norwegian universities and is considered one of Norway’s four “established universities”. It is located in the historic city of Bergen on the West coast.

It has faculties and programs in all the fields of a classical university, which include Medicine and law. It also has faculties of Fine arts, music, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, physiology, and social sciences.

It is ranked among the top 300 universities worldwide. In certain fields, such as earth and marine sciences, it is ranked among the top universities in the world. 

While the modern university was established by an act of parliament in 1946, several of its older scientific institutions date back to 1825. It currently employs more than 4000 faculty staff and enrolls close to 18500 students.

While most of the programs are taught in Norwegian, The University offers a total of 25 master’s courses that are taught in English, enrolling more than 1000 exchange students every year.

Notable alumni include several prominent Norwegian politicians and journalists. Among them is Erna Solberg, who served as Norwegian prime minister between 2013 and 2021.

University of Tromsø (Arctic University of Norway)

The arctic university of Norway is located in Tromsø, the largest city in northern Norway and the third-largest city located above the arctic circle.

 The University’s location makes it a natural venue for the development of studies of the region’s natural environment which includes auroral light research, space science, and fishery science.

The university was established by an act of parliament in 1968 and opened in 1972. It is currently the 6th largest university in Norway.

It offers a broad range of programs across several faculties, including Health sciences (including medicine), science and technology, humanities & social sciences, biosciences, fisheries and economics, fine arts, and law.

It currently employs more than 3000 faculty staff and enrolls over 16 000 students. While most of the programs are taught in Norwegian, it offers around 30 English-taught Master’s and Bachelor’s degree programs. Currently, about 10% of students are international.

Norwegian university of life sciences

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public university focusing on agriculture, biosciences, health, and environmental protection, climate, and sustainable use of natural resources.

It was founded in 1859 as the Norwegian agricultural college. After adding several educational programs over the years, it received its university status in 2005. 

After merging with the Norwegian school of veterinary science in 2014, it is the only educational institution in Norway to provide veterinary education.

In addition to veterinary medicine, it provides a wide range of programs from its other 6 faculties which includes the faculty of biosciences, chemistry-biotech and food science, environmental sciences, landscape and society, economics and business, and science and technology.

Its main campus is located in Ås in Viken county, located just southwest of Oslo. It currently employs close to 1700 faculty staff and enrolls more than 5000 students. Most of the programs are in Norwegian, but it also offers master’s programs for international students.   

BI Norwegian business school

BI Business school is the largest business school in Norway and Europe. It is a private university whose campuses are located in Oslo (main campus), Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim.

The university was established in 1943 and has since grown to employ close to 1000 faculty staff enrolling over 20 000 students in undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs.

It offers a full set of programs for bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees, as well as executive education and tailor-made programs for businesses. 

Courses are taught in both Norwegian and English and it enrolls international students from all over the world, representing about 93 different nationalities.

Notable alumni include several prominent Norwegian politicians and business leaders, including Dag Kittlaus, one of the co-founders of Siri, apple IOS’s virtual assistant which was named after one of his co-workers.

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Erik is the creator and editor of Planet Norway. Born in Trondheim and currently living in Oslo, Erik knows the ins and outs of Norwegian History, society, and culture. His idea for starting planet Norway came about when helping his foreign fiance to settle in Norway.