Government cuts in funding for universities and colleges with 80.5 million NOK and advises higher institutions to compensate this through tuition fees.
Student organizations fear domino effect when the government wants to introduce tuition fees for students outside the EEA, according to NRK.
– This is a bad idea. We can not accept that the government will move away from fundemental principle, says leader of Norwegian student organization, Anders Kvernmo Langset.
He notes that free higher education is one of Norway’s main competitive advantage and helps to attract students with high competence in Norwegian higher education. This proposal will be lose for Norway, says Langset.
As a response to the proposal, Norwegian Student Organization, Norway International Students Union (ISU), students, teachers and more held a demonstration outside the University of Oslo yesterday.
ISU leader Abbas Sharif said it is incomrehensible why international students has to pay for government cuts.
– We also fear that the introduction of tuition fees for international students is the first step towards tuition for all as experienced in other European countries, adds he.
He believes the proposal threatens all students, and goes against the principle, which he believes is one of the cornerstones of higher education in Norway.
Oslo University Rector Ole Petter Ottersen participated in the protests yesterday.
– The introduction of tuition fees for students from outside the EEA is a step that is difficult to understand. Experiences from Sweden is clear: Such measures lead to Europeanization of campus. The diversity on campus is reduced. The supply of essential skills for Norwegian industry is less. We are a country on the edge of Europe and a country with large living costs. What makes us attractive to foreign students, is that we have hitherto clung to the principle, writes the rector on his blog.