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Openings for foreign students and researchers in Bergen

Below is a summary of the situation in Bergen at the moment. For more detail, check the web site of the Office for Foreign Students at the University.

(A) Graduate and undergraduate studies.

Studies below the doctorate level in Norway are divided into two levels, cand.mag. (roughly BA), which in the humanities and social sciences normally consists of a combination of three different subjects and takes three-four years, and cand.philol. / cand.polit. (roughly MA), a 1 1/2-year continuity in one of the three subjects. The latter course most often includes writing a dissertation of ca. 100 pages.

Admission to foreign students is open in three ways: as general, exchange or "quota" students. All qualified foreign students may apply for admission on the same basis as Norwegian students, subject to acceptance of the academic level of previous education. However, proficiency in Norwegian language is required; as all teaching and most of the curriculum is normally in Norwegian. Application is made to the faculty or university centrally.
There are no funding, scholarships or loans/grant schemes for non-Norwegian students, except as below. There are also no fees, as higher education is free in Norway, but the cost of living is high compared to most countries.

Exchange programs

The University participates in a number of exchange programmes, such as Erasmus, Socrates and a large number of individual university-level exchanges. Special conditions and (mostly minor) funding may be obtained through these programmes. Application and information is obtained from your home university if applicable.

Developing countries and east-central Europe

The university has also established a special program (normally referred to as the "quota" system) for students from the developing world and east-central Europe. These are fully funded with travel as well as living expenses. The students are assumed to follow one of a smaller number of M.Phil. courses, where teaching is in English. There are currently no such course in Middle Eastern or related studies, but there are in Anthropology and History generally, as well as a number of other fields. The course includes writing a dissertation, which may be in any subject accepted by a supervisor, this allows for some flexibility for students coming with precise interests that can be supervised in Bergen. Candidates must have BA with a certain element in the field of the course applied for, marked upper 2nd or better, and proficiency in English. Competition is very strong, as only a small number of openings ("quotas") are offered every year. As only M.Phil.-courses are offered, the quota system does not open for doctoral studies, but a successful M.Phil. candidate may in some rare cases be continued as a Ph.D. candidate.
List of countries included in the quota system

(B) Doctoral studies

There are no particular openings for foreign applicants to doctoral studies in Norway, but foreign scholars may apply for admission under the same conditions as indicated for "general students" above. It is however very rare that doctoral students are accepted only on the basis of a non-Norwegian graduate degree. Admission is further conditioned on acceptance by a supervisor in the field / subject concerned.

There is no funding for doctoral studies. These are normally linked to research fellowships, which are full positions awarded by the University or the Norwegian Research Council. Competition for these is intense among all scholars, and there is generally little hope for an applicant without a strong basis in a Norwegian research milieu to be employed at this level.


(C) Visiting professors and employment

Employment as teaching or research staff is on the basis of positions offered. Reference is made to job offerings as and when they are made. There is no open employment policy outside of the specific offers.

Visiting or guest professorships, normally of two-four month's duration is offered by the University on the basis of competitive applications from the departments. Preference is normally given to established co-operation partners.The Centre for Middle Eastern Studies is often the host of visiting professors, but normally in co-operation with and at the initiative of a subject department. Reference may be made to the department in question.


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Responsible for this Web page is Knut S. Vikør. Last modified 2.10.2001