Fewer refugees admitted this autumn

Only 13 refugees have been accepted at NTNU this semester. The number has fallen after it was tightened that the admission requirements for refugees are the same as for other applicants.

The NTNU-letters at campus Ålesund
Photo: Sissel Basso/NTNU

Denne artikkelen er også tilgjengelig på Norsk bokmål.

In the spring semester this year, NTNU took in 53 refugees. 46 began in the autumn of 2022. In all three semesters, there have been many applications which, for various reasons, do not meet the admission requirements. The most common reason is a lack of documentation of knowledge in English.

Of the 13 refugees who started at NTNU this autumn, seven came from Ukraine, three from Syria, two from Belarus and one from Turkey. 11 of them study in Trondheim and two in Gjøvik. More than half of the refugees are currently studying Norwegian.

All refugees otherwise follow the ordinary reception program for international students.

Special scheme

Refugees who have received protection in Norway and who are admitted to higher education do not have to pay school fees, as ordinary applicants from countries outside the EU must do from this semester.

The number of refugee students in the last two years has turned out to be far lower than what was thought shortly after the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

In the spring of 2022, NTNU and the other universities received extra funds from the Ministry of Education as a special scheme to give refugees the opportunity to start or continue higher education.

The scheme applies to refugees from all countries, not just from Ukraine, but a prerequisite is that the applicants must be in Norway and have been granted protection by the Norwegian authorities. They must also have passed an English test.

Application deadline 1 December

At NTNU, faculties and departments have done a solid work to identify and highlight study programs that may be suitable for refugees. The offers are collected on this website and include both master’s and bachelor’s programmes, but primarily single courses. All teaching is offered in English. The capacity within Norwegian language training has also been increased.

The study offer for spring 2024 has just been published, with an application deadline of 1 December. It will then only be possible to apply for single courses.

Until this summer, there has been a separate admission for refugees. The applications have been processed continuously until 15 July. This arrangement has been adapted to a reality where refugees come to Norway throughout the year.

As of today, it is unknown whether this special scheme will be continued for the autumn semester 2024, or whether the refugees must then follow the ordinary application deadline of 15 April.

More refugees at UiB and UiO

Also at the other universities, the influx of refugees in the last two years has been less than expected. At the universities of Oslo and Bergen this autumn, however, they admitted a few more applicants than at NTNU. The University of Bergen now has approx. 60 refugee students and the University of Oslo approx. 40.

So far, over 53,000 Ukrainians have settled, or are on their way to settling in Norway after Russia’s attack on Ukraine in 2022. Although the forecasts are uncertain, it is now expected that a further 30,000 displaced people will arrive from Ukraine next year.