The Norwegian government has assigned a fund of €43 million for new student housing, distributed to eight organisations.
According to a press release issued by the Norwegian Education Ministry, the main beneficiary is Northern Norway, with Nordland, Finnmark, and Tromso, with the latter receiving nearly €8 million for 200 new dormitory units. In addition, Studentinord in Bodo receives €5 million for 178 new student dormitories in Skavdalslia, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
“For most students, rent is the biggest single expense. This year, we are increasing our efforts, especially in northern Norway, but also student housing projects in the south, east and west will receive large grants this time,” the Minister of Research and Higher Education, Ola Borten Moe, said.
In addition to that, the Minister pointed out that 15 construction projects will be funded from this budget, in which case the pace of construction of student housing will be accelerated in a bid to reach the long-term goal of 3,000 dorms in a year.
“I know that the pandemic has led to higher construction costs, but I think the student organizations are good at planning new projects so they can start quickly. This means that it is not long before the first shovels can be thrown into the ground,” she said, stressing that the next goal is to increase the number of applications.
Moreover, the education search platform, Erudera.com recently revealed that among the largest projects regarding the new student buildings in Norway include the 120 student housing in Elverum and the rehabilitation of some 120 dormitories in Sogn student town in Oslo.
Previously, the Norwegian government established a €17 million fund for students that struggled to carry on with their studies during the two-year-long pandemic period. More specifically, €8.2 million were allocated for public universities and colleges, about €1.1 million to private colleges, and about €1.7 million to vocational programmes. In addition, an amount of €6 million is dedicated to student organisations.
The number of higher education students in the Scandinavian country has increased gradually in the last decade, as data from Statista reveals. There are 26 per cent more students enrolled in Norwegian higher education institutions, jumping from 241,302 to 306,453 – which equals 65,151 more students. In addition, the number of students surged by 3.4 per cent in 2020 compared to the previous year, when 296,182 students attending universities and colleges were recorded in the country.
On the other hand, data shows that many Norwegian students are keen to travel abroad while still studying, with the United Kingdom and Denmark being the most popular destinations for Norwegian students in 2020.