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Norway’s new government has caused ripples among academics by floating the idea of non-EU students paying tuition fees – but parliament seems likely to oppose the reform drive.
Despite the backlash Education Minister Torbjörn Roe Isaksen retained a sense of self-deprecatory humour as he visited the National Students Union (Nationell studentorganisasjon (NSO) earlier this week. He was met by applause.
“Don’t clap so much that you end up regretting it,” the education minister quipped.
He may be young and fresh-faced, but the education minister has already proved his battle-worthiness by launching the idea of tuition fees for students from outside the EU. The proposal has sparked debate in Norway, with representatives among university staff and students alike adding their concerned voices to the fray.
“The government’s wish to introduce tuition fees for international students stands in sharp relief to the principle of equal right and access to education in Norway,” Ola Magnussen Rydje, chairman of Norway’s National Student Union (Norsk studentorganisasjon – NSO), told public service broadcaster NRK earlier this week.