Quota Scholarship Scheme 2011 for Developing Countries (Norway)

The Norwegian government provides scholarships for students from developing countries in the South and countries of Central- and East-Europe and Central-Asia under the Quota Scheme. The overall objective of the Quota Scheme is to promote the internationalisation of higher education.

The goal of the Quota Scheme is to give students from developing countries in the South, Central- and East-Europe and Central-Asia, relevant education that would also benefit their home countries when they return after graduation. The programme also contributes to strengthen Norwegian institutions of higher education’s participation in global knowledge cooperation.

Today, the scheme provides funding for a total of 1100 students, 800 of them from developing countries in the South and 300 from Central- and East-Europe and Central-Asia.

Each year universities and university colleges in Norway are allocated a certain number of quota students. Most of the universities and university colleges in Norway offer courses and educational programmes in English. The scheme normally includes courses at the Master and Ph.D. level, in addition to certain professional degrees. In order to locate a programme eligible under the scheme, please contact the Norwegian institutions directly.

The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund ( Statens LĂ„nekasse) is responsible for managing the financial support provided for the Quota students. Each student receives the same amount of money as a Norwegian student would do in an equivalent educational programme. About 30 per cent of the amount is given as a grant and 70 per cent as a loan. However, the loan portion is waived when the student returns to his/her home country after completing the course of study. Normally, the financial support will not not exceed a time span of four years for one definite study plan, or a combination of two programmes.

Additional financing
Travelling expenses for entry into Norway can be reimbursed (fixed price). Students can apply for one annual home visit if the educational programme lasts more than one year, as well as financial support for travelling expenses for field work during the course of study. When the student returns home within 3 months after finishing the course, the cost of travelling home is covered by the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.


The Norwegian universities and university colleges participating in the Quota Scheme have an English version of their website, where applicants can find more detailed information about the admission requirements for each course offered. Below are some general requirements.

Students usually apply for a degree course which is based on continuation of their studies in their home country, or a course which can be a joint part of a degree course in their home country ( joint degree or sandwich programmes). Most of the programmes are at the Master or Ph.D. level, but the Quota Scheme also offers certain professional studies.

Students must apply directly from their home country and must have stayed at least one year in their home country directly prior to the planned course of study at the Norwegian university/university college.

Basic general requirements
All candidates should typically have the following basic qualifications:
  • Secondary school certificates
  • Minimum two years of higher education from your home country
Some exceptions apply for certain professional educational courses.

A list (GSU-list) has been compiled by the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) with the general entrance requirements for applicants with higher education qualifications from abroad. NOKUT is the Norwegian governmental organisation for recognition of foreign higher education. If you cannot find your academic papers on the list you may contact NOKUT to get an evaluation of your certificates.

Basic English language requirements
English is the main teaching language of instruction in most of the educational programmes and degrees in the Quota Scheme. Applicants who are not native English speakers therefore must document their proficiency in English by passing one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL ( Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 500/ 550 (170 if computer-based)
  • IELTS ( International English Language Testing System) with a minimum score of 5.0 (6.0 if computer-based)
Please note that the requirements may differ, and in some cases be higher than described above.

Basic Norwegian language requirements
A few courses in the Quota Scheme are offered in Norwegian and require good Norwegian language skills. Applicants who are not native Norwegian speakers therefore must document their proficiency in Norwegian by passing one of the following tests:
  • Bergenstest (Norwegian language test) with a minimum score of 450
  • Norwegian language course Level 3 with E as a minimum
  • Norwegian in the secondary school (The Teaching Plan for Norwegian as a second Language) written and oral, with a minimum score of 2
Admission to the Quota Scheme is highly competitive and meeting the minimum requirements is no guarantee for enrolment. Please refer to the International Office at each university/university college for more detailed information about admission requirements.

Eligible countries in the Quota Scheme
The Quota Scheme is for certain developing countries that are on the DAC-list issued by OECD, and is eligible for students from the category of “ lower middle-income countries” and under. Also, the scheme accepts students from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and Palestinian students from the Palestinian Authorities.
The process of allocating quota places focuses on a purposeful distribution according to country, area of study and institution of higher education.


The Quota Scheme as a rule only enrols students from institutions which have collaboration agreements with Norwegian universities or university colleges. Norwegian institutions usually do not admit free movers (individual applicants) to this scheme. Only in very special cases can free movers be considered. Please contact the Norwegian institutions for individual information.

To find out which institutions collaborate with Norwegian institutions, please refer to the websites of the Norwegian institutions.

Students who come to Norway as self-financed students will, as a rule, not be considered as being qualified for the Quota Scheme.

Who handle the applications?
The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) is not the admission office for prospective quota students. The institutions of higher education that are part of the Quota Scheme are handling all applications from prospective students, and at no time is SIU involved in the admission process. Thus, SIU cannot answer questions from individual students regarding applications, courses, recognition of papers, etc.

Where do I find the application form?
Applications forms are available from the websites of the universities and university colleges. All applications should be sent directly to the International Office at the university/college to which the student applies.

Application deadline
The deadline for applying for the Quota scheme is usually December 1 every year. Some courses and educational programmes may have other deadlines than the this. Please contact the International Office at the university/college to which you want to apply for detailed information.

The Letter of Admission is normally sent to the successfull candidate by April 15 every year. Accepted students will also receive relevant practical information about studying in Norway.

Reimbursement of the educational loan
One of the main objectives of the Quota Scheme is that students should return home after completing the course of study in order to support competence building in the home country. The loan will then be waived when the student leaves Norway and returns to his/her home country.

If the student remains in Norway or resides in a country other than Norway that is not the home country, the loan must be repaid in the same way as Norwegian students are required to do. This also applies to students who return to Norway within ten years after the loan originally has been waived.

If there are certain circumstances in the student’s home country which prevent the student from returning, such as war, the loan is written off as a general rule.

The student should apply to have the total amount of the educational loan waived when he/she has returned to his/her home country, and has resided there for at least one year. A prerequisite for waiving of the loan is that the student’s residence period upon return is for a continuous period of 12 months. Only when this requirement is met can the application for a loan waiver be given consideration.

To find further details, list of eligible countries, participating institutions, as well as lists of application documents, please refer to http://siu.no/en/Programme-overview/Quota-Scheme