Routes into higher education in Norway
There are different routes into higher education in Norway. A substantial share of students entering higher education for the first time comes directly from upper secondary schools. Others enter higher education from other activities, such as other types of education or a period of work.
In this report, different routes into higher education in Norway are analysed by looking at the activities in which new students performed prior to entering higher education for the first time in 2019 and more specifically during 1.10.2018-30.09.2019. Such activities include education, work, and being a recipient of welfare benefits. Administrative data from the National Education Database (NUDB) and the System for Data on Persons (SDP) are used.
In our analysis, females make up most of the new students in 2019 with 58 percent. 57 percent were 20 years or younger when entering higher education for the first time, whereas new students in the age group 21-25 years old account for 30 percent. 13 percent was 26 years or older when first entering higher education.
In the report, a distinction is made between new students with direct transition from education and new students entering higher education from other activities. Almost 47 percent of new students in our analysis had direct transition from education. 61 percent were females, whereas an equally large share were 19 years old or younger when entering higher education for the first time.
76 percent of new students with direct transition from education came from Norwegian upper secondary schools. 14 percent came from folk high schools. An equally large share entered directly from vocational schools and from a period of apprenticeship training respectively – around 2 percent. Direct transition from upper secondary schools was most common among females, while the largest share coming directly from a period of apprenticeship training is found among those who were 21 and 22 years old when entering higher education for the first time.
92 percent of all new students had achieved general university admissions certification when entering higher education for the first time in 2019. 2 percent was registered with prior learning as competence for admission, while 1 percent had vocational competence. The remaining 5 percent had other or unknown competence for admission.
The student group that entered higher education for the first time from other activities than education is analysed by looking at their main activity prior to entering higher education. Other activities include work and being a recipient of welfare benefits. Some students combined other activities with education.
45 percent of new students with known status in the SDP were working only, without taking any education or being a recipient of welfare benefits. Whereas male students made up the majority among full-time employees, more females were part-time employees.
23 percent of new students in 2019 combined education and work prior to entering higher education for the first time. The average student in this group was a young female from Norway, having a part-time job besides education. 26 percent of new students were in education only during the autumn of 2018. Moreover, 6 percent were recipients of welfare benefits or participants in welfare schemes only – or in combination with education and/or work – in 2018.