Educational policies in Norway

Norwegian educational policy is deeply rooted in allowing all members of society to have the equal right to a quality education, regardless of where in Norway they live or their cultural and social background. It is the responsibility of the schools to provide welfare for all and a basis for wealth creation. They must also promote social mobility, as well as convey both culture and knowledge.

The teaching that takes places at schools in Norway is to be adapted to the skills and abilities of the individual students. Disabled students are to have easy access to special education. Students who are not able to participate in regular school activities are also entitled to easy access to whatever special education they may require. The amount of students belonging to language minorities is increasing due to the rise in immigration. Consideration must be given to language minority students' special needs, according to the Norwegian educational policy. This allows the language minority students to finish upper secondary education and begin higher education, if they desire.

The government and the Storting (Norwegian national assembly) are responsible for establishing the budgetary frameworks and specifying the objectives of the educational sector. The agency responsible for educational matters is the Ministry of Education and Research. They are also responsible for the implementation of the national education policy. The school system of Norway is unified and based on a common standard. As a way of ensuring that the educational standards of the government are met, a national curriculum was introduced.

There is a 10 year compulsory education in Norway. In primarily consists of lower secondary education. It is optional to have upper secondary education. Educational authorities in the county administration have the responsibility of making sure that the appropriate amount of education is accessible to adults, young people and children in all counties and municipalities. The operation of lower and primary secondary schools is controlled by the individual municipalities. The counties control the upper secondary schools.

Educational programs at universities comprise the higher education sector. The completion of three years of upper secondary education is necessary to be admitted to these programs. The state operates all of the higher learning institutions in Norway, except for a few institutes that are private. All institutions have a large amount of administrative and academic autonomy.

Public education up to and including the upper secondary level in Norway is free. The tuition is usually small for the higher education programs that are found at institutions that are run by the state. In 1947, the State Education Loan was founded. This offers student grants and loans to pay for the cost of living for students in higher education programs. There is also funding available for students from Norway who want to go to school in a different country.

Private schools that are independent help to supplement the public school system. There is specific criteria that these private schools must follow in the Directorate of Primary and Secondary Education regarding the money they provide to public schools. Government funding is available for authorized independent private schools.

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