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Record-high number of Norwegians study abroad

A total of 23,400 students left Norway to study abroad last year. That's an increase of seven percent compared to the previous year - and a new record.

Never before have this many Norwegians taken their entire, or part of, their education abroad.

The Norwegian student association ANSA (association of Norwegian Students Abroad) thinks the increase is due to higher volume of students, not that studies abroad have become more affordable.

ANSA, however, emphasizes that although the increase is positive, it reflects a larger volume of students, and that more people in total decide to apply for higher education, explains ANSA president Henriette N. Thommessen.

The numbers show that the actual share of Norwegian students abroad does not increase, but remains at a steady 13-14 percent of those who receive support from the State Educational Loan Fund, and seven percent of the total number of students,.

The Ministry of Education, however, views the numbers somewhat different. They think the higher number of students who choose universities abroad is related to less hesitation when it comes to student debt.

"Studies in Norway are free. We also have a good arrangement for those who choose to study abroad. But it is not fair that the Norwegian government should fund people's international degrees," says Ragnhild Setsaas in the Ministry of Education.

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