Norway has eight accredited universities, five accredited specialized university institutions, seven accredited university colleges, one accredited national colleges of the arts and several private institutions of higher education with either institutional- or programme accreditation.
The Norwegian system of higher education comprises all the institutions and/or programmes that are accredited. With the exception of some private university colleges, all higher education institutions are state-run. In general, tuition is not required for study at Norwegian higher education institutions, although fees may be imposed for certain professional education programmes, further and special education programmes and studies at private institutions.
In addition to their teaching activities, all the higher learning institutions, and particularly the universities, are responsible for conducting basic research as well as researcher training, primarily by means of graduate-level studies and doctoral degree programmes.
Since 2003 Norway has been following the objectives of the Bologna process in the European higher education. Most of the elements have been implemented through the Quality Reform. Central to the reform has been implementation of a 3 + 2 + 3 degree system with a Bachelor's, Masters and Ph.D. structure following the European standards.
With the introduction of the new degree system it has become easier for students who complete all, or part of their education in Norway, to obtain recognition for their qualifications in other countries.