fbpx What you need to know about the newly installed tuition fee | The Oslo School of Architecture and Design


What you need to know about the newly installed tuition fee

Landscape Architecture student at AHO Kaveh Kawousi showing his support to the international applicants affected by the new regulations.

Photo: Sigve Fredriksen

What you need to know about the newly installed tuition fee

Last week, only one week before the application deadline, aspiring international AHO master students were informed with disappointing news. A new tuition fee set at NOK 363.550 will be installed effective as of autumn semester 2023, for new students from outside the EU/EEA. This is why. 

Early October last year, The Norwegian Government presented a proposal for Norway’s next National Budget. The press release headline read as follows: «A budget for security and fair distribution». The subtitle, a «… responsible budget, which improves distribution and enhances security at a challenging time», pointing towards the ongoing war and energy crisis in Europe. 

Large cuts were to be expected, and the education sector was among those affected – on several counts. One of them, a proposal to introduce tuition fees for students with citizenships from countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. 

– Right and reasonable 
In a press release from October 2022, The Government pointed out how Norway until now has been one of the few countries in the world who have not asked international students to pay tuition fees. 
– In most cases, Norwegian students must pay tuition fees to study abroad. There is no reason why it should be any different here. Norway will still be open to students from all countries, but we think it is right and reasonable that they also pay for themselves, the Minister of Research and Higher Education Ola Borten Moe stated in the same press release. 

Students protest
Current Norwegian and international students were worried about the consequences the introduction of tuition fees may cause. In a demonstration in front of the Storting in October 2022, the students demanded two things: increased student support and free education for all. 

Students demontrating in front of the Storting in October 2022, to show their opposition to the Government's wish to introduce tuition fees. Among them were engaged AHO students. Photo: Sigve Fredriksen

Students weren’t the only ones to react. The International Office at AHO worried too. To respond, they decided to write a report of concern to be read in the ministry’s official budget hearing, in the hopes of changing their minds. International Advisor Solvei Grimen Fosse comments on behalf of the International Office at AHO: 
– The principle of free education for all, has been a fundamental pillar in Norwegian society. The possibility to receive a quality education, no matter what your background, is vitally important for our social democracy. Universities across the country have; in unity, urged the Norwegian Government to offer scholarships for students who no longer will receive a free education. So far, the government has declined this proposal. We are continuously working for a better solution to this matter, says Grimen Fosse.  

Siddharth Kothyal from India is a Master of Design student at AHO and one of the International Student representatives. Here from the demonstration with a sign that reads #stop tuition fees. Photo: Siddharth Kothyal

The decision 
After negotiations between the governing parties, a new National Budget for 2023 was concluded. The decision to introduce tuition fees was confirmed, already in effect for new students starting autumn semester 2023. 

At first glance, the introduction of tuition fees may look like a new source of income rather than a budget cut. The answer to this is both yes and no. To explain: The Government will no longer be funding universities per place of study from the mentioned student category. Hence, implementing a tuition fee is needed for the universities to compensate for the lost fundings. 

The aftermath 
Discussions were held in the sector, set out in a note from Universities Norway (UHR) of 18 January 2023. And with little to no time to prepare models for determining tuition fees, it made sense for AHO to use the rates from the ministry’s previous funding categories for universities as a basis, when determining the amount students who fall under the new regulations will have to pay. 

AHO’s well-facilitated workshops, the unique benefit of providing individual workspaces for all students, and the low student per teacher ratio, are among the contributors that places AHO at the high end of these funding categories. 

It is a prerequisite that the tuition fee must cover the minimum cost AHO from now on will have with these students. The conclusion: As one place of study at AHO costs NOK 363.550 to fund, the annual amount was set accordingly. 

Last week, all international students who had applied to study at AHO from autumn semester 2023 received the disappointing news. 
Deeply disappointed 
– AHO is deeply disappointed by the decision, Grimen Fosse states on behalf of AHO’s International Office. She continues: 
– As an educational institution, we are proud that our students up until now have had such a diverse background. Before the pandemic, 25% of our student mass was international. For our 2022 admission, more than 30 countries were represented. Our international students are a vital resource for the quality of our studies. Students from outside Europe bring with them new perspectives that add value to Norwegian Architecture, Design, Urbanism, and Landscape Architecture. We fear what a homogenous student mass will do to our learning environment, learning across borders and to our partners across the world. 
 Students taking a well-earned break from their studies at the AHO campus. The International Office at AHO regularly organizes gatherings for the Norwegian and International students to connect. Photo: Solvei Grimen Fosse Students taking a well-earned break from their studies at the AHO Campus. The International Office at AHO regularly organizes gatherigs for the Norwegian and International students to connect. Photo: Solvei Grimen Fosse

Details about who the decision affects and how the tuition fee has been implemented at AHO can be found under our information page for costs and living for international students. Any further questions can be directed to opptak@aho.no.