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.
- 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% Selection procedure for the executive head
The selection of the executive head is not validated by an external authority
100% Selection criteria for the executive head
The selection criteria for the executive head are not stated in the law
80% Dismissal of the executive head
0% Term of office of the executive head
The exact length is stated in the law
57% External members in university governing bodies
Universities cannot decide as they must include external members
This applies to 23 other countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
External members are proposed by the university and appointed by an external authority
100% Capacity to decide on academic structures
Universities can decide on their academic structures without constraints
100% Capacity to create legal entities
Financial weighted 42% unweighted 29%
60% Length of public funding cycle
100% Type of public funding
Block grant and there are no restrictions on the allocation of funding
0% Ability to borrow money
Universities cannot borrow money
80% Ability to keep surplus
Surplus can be kept up to a maximum percentage
This does not apply to any other country.