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Frequently asked questions

On this page, you will find the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding NOKUT’s general recognition.

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NOKUT’s general recognition is a voluntary recognition of higher education acquired abroad. We do a comparison of the educational systems, where the foreign education programme is evaluated against the Norwegian system of higher education.

NOKUT evaluates:

  • the status of the educational institution and the qualification in the country where the education was acquired
  • the duration of the education programme
  • the level of the education programme

If the education programme is recognized as higher education in Norway, you will receive a decision from NOKUT, which describes:

  • the duration of the education programme
  • the number of credits the education programme is worth
  • which academic degree the education programme is equivalent to in Norway, if relevant
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You can apply for NOKUT’s general recognition if you have higher education from abroad.

Please be aware that your education may require a special authorisation. If it is a regulated profession, a different form of recognition will be necessary. Find out whether your profession is regulated.

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In order to apply for general recognition of your foreign education, you must register in NOKUT’s applicant portal and submit your application electronically there.

More about NOKUT’s general recognition and login to the applicant portal

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NOKUT’s general recognition is a tool to help you to establish yourself in the Norwegian labour market. You can use NOKUT’s general recognition when applying for jobs in professions that are not regulated. It is up to the individual employer if they require you to have recognition from NOKUT or not.

The recognition document can also be used as an aid in salary placement.

In addition, the recognition document may be used in connection with admission to further studies in higher education, but you do not normally need recognition from NOKUT to apply for admission to higher education in Norway.

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In order for a foreign education programme to be recognized as equivalent to Norwegian accredited higher education, it must meet certain criteria.

Read more about NOKUT’s criteria for general recognition

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NOKUT’s general recognition of higher education does not include assessment of:

  • education that is not higher education
  • education on upper secondary education and training level
  • tertiary vocational education
  • whether the programme contains the same courses as a specific Norwegian programme
  • whether your education gives you special expertise
  • the possibility of admission to further studies
  • education acquired in Norway
  • work experience
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You are responsible for submitting an application containing all the information NOKUT needs to assess your foreign education.

We will not process your application until you have uploaded all the required documents. Therefore, we ask you to please make yourself familiar with the documentation requirements.

More on documentation requirements

Remember! We will not process your application until we have received all the necessary documents.

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Fill in all the sections in the applicant portal.

Make sure to upload all the documents we ask for. We will not process your application until we have all the documents we need.  This will ensure a faster and more efficient processing of your application.

If you are unable to obtain all the required documentation, please include an explanation when you submit your application through the applicant portal.

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When you submit an application through the applicant portal, it will automatically be registered in NOKUT’s system, and you will receive a confirmation email with a reference number.

If we have not received all the documents we need to process your application, you will be notified by email. You will be asked to log into the applicant portal. There you will find a letter with information about which documents are missing in Your Document overview (left menu). This information is also available in the applicant portal under My tasks.

If we have not received all the required documents within two months, your application will be rejected.

Processing time starts once we have received the required documentation. It normally takes around two months from NOKUT receives all documentation, until we have finalised the evaluation. Because of introduction of a new case processing system it may, during the transitional period, take up to four months until your application is finalised. We will let you know if processing time will be longer than usual.

When NOKUT has finalized the evaluation of your application, you will be notified by email. You will find NOKUT’s decision letter in your digital mailbox and in the applicant portal.

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Processing time starts once we have received the required documentation. It normally takes around two months from NOKUT receives all documentation, until we have finalised the evaluation. Because of introduction of a new case processing system it may, during the transitional period, take up to four months until your application is finalised.

Are you wondering whether we have received your application or not? If you have received an email with a reference number, this means that we have received your application.

To find out whether we have started the evaluation, you can log into the portal and check the status there. If the status of your application is “complete”, this means that we have received all the required documentation. We will let you know if anything is missing. Please remember that it might take some time from you submit your application, until we start the evaluation.

If you are in the process of applying for jobs or admission to studies, you must apply within the given deadlines, even if you have not yet received NOKUT’s evaluation. Potential employers or educational institutions may contact NOKUT directly for information about your education.

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When NOKUT has processed your application, you will receive an email with information about the decision letter. To read the letter you must log into your digital mailbox. If you do not have access to a digital mailbox, you can find the decision letter in the applicant portal.

The decision letter states:

  • which education you have applied for recognition of
  • how your education is recognized in Norway, i.e. the number of credits your foreign education confers in the Norwegian system, and, if applicable, that it is equivalent to a Norwegian degree
  • the grounds and explanation for the decision
  • reference to relevant legislation

NOKUT will send you a decision letter with a justification even if your education has not been evaluated as equivalent to Norwegian higher education. See next question for more information.

Together with the decision, you will receive a letter with supplementary information.

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There can be several reasons why an application is rejected:

  • Does the decision letter state that your education is not higher education? NOKUT’s general recognition applies only to higher education acquired at a university or university college.
  • Have you applied for recognition at the appropriate recognition office? Find information on recognition systems in Norway.
  • Was your application rejected because it did not contain all the required documentation? If you still want NOKUT to assess your education, you can submit your application again through the applicant portal. We recommend that you upload all your documents once more, to speed up the process. Your application will then be treated as a new application, and will be subject to regular processing time. Remember to upload all the required documents. More information about documentation requirements.

If you disagree with the outcome of the recognition process, you have the right to appeal. More information about the right of appeal.

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NOKUT’s decision is an individual decision that you have the right to appeal, pursuant to Section 28 of the Public Administration Act. Appeals must be submitted within three weeks from the day you receive the decision. If we receive your appeal too late, it will be rejected.

We recommend that you carefully read NOKUT’s criteria before you make an appeal.

If you want to appeal a decision, you must log into NOKUT’s portal and complete your appeal there. You find the appeal form under «actions», in the overview of your applications. Please include your grounds for appeal, and attach documentation you think is relevant for your case.

After you have submitted the appeal, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. NOKUT will then re-evaluate your education. If we find that the decision should be changed, you will receive a new decision letter. If we maintain the decision, or if the appeal only partly succeeds, the case will be forwarded to an external appeals board.

The appeals board has been appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. You will receive a copy of the letter that is sent from NOKUT to the appeals board.

The appeals board meets three to four times a year. This means that the appeal process will be long. NOKUT does not have any influence on the time it takes to get your case processed by the appeals board.

What can the appeals board evaluate?

The appeals board can evaluate whether NOKUT has committed procedural errors or misapplication of the law, and if there has been abuse of lawful authorities, unjustified differential treatment, or other breaches of the principles of administrative law.

The appeals board cannot review NOKUT’s evaluation of the level and scope of the obtained education, nor can they review the evaluation of the expert panel.

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NOKUT’s decision is an individual decision. The following laws and regulations form the basis for the decision:

  • section 3-4, second paragraph of the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges (Universities and University Colleges Act) of 1 April 2005, No. 15.
  • section 6-1 of the Regulations concerning quality assurance and quality development in higher education and tertiary vocational education.
  • regulations concerning requirements for master’s degrees.
  • the Public Administration Act.

More information about laws and regulations

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For some countries, it is a requirement that students have acquired higher education in addition to upper secondary education from the country of origin, in order to study in Norway. The GSU-list gives an overview of what kind of education is required for admission to higher education. GSU is a Norwegian acronym for Higher Education Entrance Qualification for Foreign Applicants. The list is used by the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) in connection with admission to higher education. In addition, NOKUT uses the list in their assessment of applications for general recognition of foreign higher education.

One of NOKUT’s criteria for recognition of foreign higher education is that the education programme is on the same level as Norwegian higher education. If there is a requirement of one or two years in addition to upper secondary education from the country of origin to gain admission to higher education in Norway,  these years cannot be recognized by NOKUT as equivalent to Norwegian higher education.

Go to the GSU-list

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It is not a legal requirement to have NOKUT’s general recognition of an education in order to apply for admission to higher education in Norway, but an educational institution may in some cases require this.

When an institution requires an assessment from NOKUT, you should be aware that NOKUT does not take into account the language requirements for admission. NOKUT cannot assess whether the subjects you have taken at a foreign institution can be transferred to a degree at a Norwegian institution. This is the responsibility of the educational institution.

More information about admission to higher education

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No, it is free to apply for NOKUT’s general recognition.

Please note that NOKUT requires that diplomas, transcripts and any proof of name change issued in a language other than Norwegian, Danish, Swedish or English be translated into one of these languages. These requirements may cause you some expense.

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We recommend that you apply for recognition through NOKUT’s electronic applicant portal. If you cannot apply through the electronic applicant portal, you must notify us that you wish to opt out of online communication. We will then send you a paper application form.

There are many advantages to applying through NOKUT’s electronic applicant portal. You will save time, you can easily track the progress of your application, and the result of your application is always available as a downloadable PDF-document.

If you still want to opt out of online communication, you will need to register via ID-porten if you have previously registered your mobile phone number or e-mail address when logging in to an online public service via ID-porten.

In order to receive a paper application form from NOKUT, you must send an email to utland@nokut.no. The email must include a text that explains your wish to opt out of online communication. In addition, you must include the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Language preference: You can choose between English and Norwegian
  • Desired recognition procedure: You can choose between General recognition of higher education and Recognition of vocational education and training

A paper application form will be sent to your mailing address.

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