On commission by the Centre for International Education (SIU) has NIFU conducted a survey among Norwegian students abroad.
The study is the largest ever conducted among Norwegian students abroad, measured in sample size and number of responses.
Want international experience
Students’ motives for selecting studies abroad are complex. Most states that desire for new experiences is a contributing factor to study abroad, and many seek also an international career.
Students abroad are overrepresented in programs that are difficult to get into in Norway, such as medicine and dentistry.
Students with such subjects choose training abroad primarily because they were rejected in Norway. Most have a high grade point average from upper secondary education, but not necessarily high enough to get the desired education in Norway.
There are also some students who are keen to get an education that is different than the one they can get in Norway, in terms of content or quality.
The majority of the students stated that support from the National student loan fund (Lånekassen) has been an important factor when they choose an education abroad. Norway has a more generous aid for students abroad than most other countries.
There is considerable variation between students in different countries and the different types of education in motives for studying abroad.
Greater use of “recruiters”
When it comes to the sources of information, it has been a goal to provide new information on the importance of so-called agents, ie professionals who recruit students on behalf of foreign institutions that require tuition.
Overall, one in three students used their agents in the application process.
Although there are many operators who offer assistance with the application process, there is a small number of agents who have a large part of the market.
The use of agents is particularly prevalent among those studying in the UK and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand). More than six in ten who is studying there, has used agent in the application.
Agents primarily operates in markets where there are tuition fees, and Norway is seen as an attractive local market for British universities.
Those who have used agents in the application process, essentially provides a positive assessment of the assistance they have received.
Reputation importantly for selecting institution
Learning places reputation is claimed to be by far the main reason for the choice of educational institution. Other conditions that stated as important, is that it was easy to find information about the institution, that the offer was well marketed and that the application process was simple.
Coincidences also seems to play a significant role.
International students wants to stay
Norwegian students are satisfied with their education abroad and are more satisfied than the average for students in Norway. Half of the students want to work abroad after completing education
Past research shows that the vast majority returns to Norway after a few years, so it is uncertain how many people who will realize their plans to work abroad.
Ministry of Education created in 2016 a working group to ensure better and more coordinated public information to students. The survey goes into the workgroup’s mission, and it has served as a reference group for the project.
Source: NIFU / Norway Today