Norway

Universities and university colleges are regulated by the same law in Norway, although with regard to academic autonomy some specificities apply to university colleges. The present profile focuses on Norwegian universities.

Recent developments:

  • Change in law to favour appointment rather than election of executive head
  • Ongoing system reconfiguration through major merger processes

Organisational autonomy: medium high

The appointment of the executive head does not require external confirmation. Selection criteria are not stated in law. The procedure for the dismissal of the executive head, as well as the length of their term of office, are stated in law. The external members of the university governing body are appointed by an external authority. Universities can decide on internal academic structures and can create legal entities.

Financial autonomy: medium low

Norwegian universities receive public funding on a yearly basis. They can keep any surplus generated up to a maximum percentage and are not allowed to borrow money. Some universities own their buildings, but the approval of an external authority is necessary to sell any historical buildings. Public universities may not charge tuition fees for students, whether from Norway or from abroad.

Academic autonomy: high

Universities decide on the overall student intake and on admission criteria. Universities may freely open and terminate programmes and must undergo institutional accreditation via the national agency for quality assurance. Universities decide on the language of instruction and may freely design the content of their academic programmes.

Staffing autonomy: medium high

Universities recruit senior academic and administrative staff autonomously. Salary bands for senior academic staff are negotiated with other parties, while universities can decide on salaries for senior administrative staff. Dismissals of staff are strictly regulated due to civil service status. In relation to promotions for senior academic staff, the law states who must be included in the selection committee, while universities can decide upon promotion procedures for administrative staff.

Organisational weighted 78% unweighted 77%

100

100% Selection procedure for the executive head

The selection of the executive head is not validated by an external authority

100

100% Selection criteria for the executive head

The selection criteria for the executive head are not stated in the law

80

80% Dismissal of the executive head

Other restrictions

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Hesse, Italy, Lithuania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Poland, Slovenia

0

0% Term of office of the executive head

The exact length is stated in the law

57

57% External members in university governing bodies

Universities cannot decide as they must include external members

External members are proposed by the university and appointed by an external authority

This applies to 2 other countries: Slovakia, Sweden

100

100% Capacity to decide on academic structures

Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints

100

100% Capacity to create legal entities

Universities can create legal entities without constraints

Financial weighted 42% unweighted 29%

60

60% Length of public funding cycle

100

100% Type of public funding

Block grant and there are no restrictions on the allocation of funding

0

0% Ability to borrow money

Universities cannot borrow money

This applies to 5 other countries: Hesse, Hungary, Portugal, Serbia, Switzerland

80

80% Ability to keep surplus

Surplus can be kept up to a maximum percentage

This does not apply to any other country.

80

80% Ability to own buildings

Universities can sell their buildings with the approval of an external authority

This applies to 5 other countries: Croatia, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Switzerland

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Bachelor level

There are no tuition fees

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at Master's level

There are no tuition fees

0

0% Tuition fees for national/EU students at doctoral level

There are no tuition fees

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Bachelor level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 3 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia,

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at Master's level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 3 other countries: Brandenburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia,

0

0% Tuition fees for non-EU students at doctoral level

There are no tuition fees

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Denmark, Finland, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Sweden

Staffing weighted 63% unweighted 62%

100

100% Recruitment procedures for senior academic staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

100

100% Recruitment procedures for senior administrative staff

Recruitments are carried out freely by universities

58

58% Salaries for senior academic staff

Salary bands are negotiated with other parties

This applies to 5 other countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom

Other restrictions

This applies to 4 other countries: Flanders, Hungary, Ireland, Poland

67

67% Salaries for senior administrative staff

Salary bands are negotiated with other parties

This applies to 6 other countries: Brandenburg, Finland, Hesse, Iceland, The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia,

0

0% Dismissal of senior academic staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 9 other countries: Croatia, France, Wallonia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain

0

0% Dismissal of senior administrative staff

Dismissals are strictly regulated due to civil servant status for all staff

This applies to 7 other countries: Croatia, France, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia

71

71% Promotion procedures for senior academic staff

The law states who has to be included in the selection committee

This applies to 3 other countries: Portugal, Serbia, Spain

100

100% Promotion procedures for senior administrative staff

Universities can freely decide on promotion procedures

Academic weighted 83% unweighted 87%

80

80% Overall student numbers

Universities decide independently on the number of study places

This applies to 6 other countries: Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden, United Kingdom

60

60% Admissions procedures at Bachelor level

Admission criteria are co-regulated by an external authority and universities

100

100% Admissions procedures at Master's level

Admission criteria are set by the university

100

100% Introduction of programmes at Bachelor level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

100

100% Introduction of programmes at Master's level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

This applies to 7 other countries: Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

100

100% Introduction of programmes at doctoral level

Universities can open degree programmes without prior accreditation

100

100% Termination of degree programmes

Universities can terminate degree programmes independently

100

100% Language of instruction at Bachelor level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Language of instruction at Master's level

Universities can choose the language of instruction for all programmes

100

100% Selection of quality assurance mechanisms

Universities cannot select quality assurance mechanisms

0

0% Selection of quality assurance providers

Universities cannot choose the quality assurance agency

100

100% Capacity to design content of degree programmes

Universities can freely design the content of degree programmes and courses (other than for the regulated professions)