– Why punish those born outside of Europe?

Students and employees at Nord University demonstrated against the government's proposal to introduce tuition fees for international students from third countries.

​​​​​​​​– It is not fair. Everyone should have the same access to education. Why punish those who are not born in Europe? says Franziska Groll from Germany.

She studies Nordic Politics and Society​ together with Lara Brusa from Spain. 

Exchange students Franziska Groll and Lara Brusa met up early to show their solidarity to the students from countries outside the EU and EEA. Photo: Lise Fagerbakk

Wednesday afternoon they met at campus to write posters in solidarity with students from outside the EU/EEA. The Norwegian government has proposed to introduce tuition fees to students from these countries. The demonstration was arranged by the Student Organisation at Nord University.

– Higher education should be for everyone and everyone should be able to study where they want, without paying fees that others do not have to pay, Lara Brusa says.

Brusa og Groll are ready for the demonstration with their posters stating their opinion about the government's proposition. Photo: Lise Fagerbakk


The resistance is strong, not just from the students, but also from the rector at Nord University, Hanne Solheim Hansen. The statement from the rectorate is as follows: 

«Rector Hanne Solheim Hansen has on behalf of Nord University signed the NSO petition against the government's decision to introduce tuition fees for international students outside the EU/EEA»​​

The Nordland county council will also adopt a statement in which they will ask the Storting to reject the government's proposition, based on a proposition from the Green Party.

Student President Chanice Johansen and local representative in Bodø, Håvard Dragland are not pleased with the government's proposal. Photo: Lise Fagerbakk

– The proposition causes class division

Student President Chanice Johansen believes that the government's proposition creates a class division and is not in line with what the government stands for. 

– The government platform states that education in Norway should be free. If this proposition is passed, the smaller universities will lose. We live in parts of the country that experiences eviction. We need all our students, not least because of opinion diversity, says Johansen. 

She points out that many of those coming to Nord University chose to stay after they have completed their education.

– Many establish themselves there, they move here and pay taxes. In addition, they spend money locally when they stay here as students. They have a ​great value. I think the government's decision will profit the rich, and that Nord University will lose many students, she says.

International students have told her that they are worried. 

– Students tell me that they are worried about whether they will be able to continue their studies. We are talking about people here, not numbers. This autumn we had 51 applicants outside of EU/EEA. The government also proposes to reduce grants to Norwegian students traveling abroad. Today they receive a 50 percent grant on bachelor level and 70 percent on master level. The proposition is to reduce to 40 percent for all students, Johansen says.

The proposition: 

The Norwegian government proposes tuition fees for students from countries outside EU/EEA starting from the autumn semester 2023.

This will not apply for international exchange students on exchange agreements with Norwegian institutions or on national level.

Higher education shall continue to be free for Norwegian students and other EEA citizens.

Source: regjeringen.no