New Guidelines for Recognition of Foreign Higher Education

NOKUT has adjusted its guidelines and practices for recognition of foreign higher education. The changes will make the recognition process more flexible and better suited for today’s state of affairs in education.

Do you have a foreign higher education qualification that may be unknown to Norwegian employers? Then it could be smart to apply for recognition, but be aware that recognition is not required for using your diploma in Norway.

With the new guidelines there will be less focus on the number of credits, and more emphasis on what types of further studies you are qualified for in the country where you obtained your qualification.

Furthermore, more types of foreign master's degrees are regarded as equal to the various Norwegian master's degrees: shorter master's degrees, one-and-a-half-year master's degrees, two-year master's degrees and integrated five-year master's degrees. This means that more applicants will be able to get their degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian master's degree.

“The former guidelines were created more than 15 years ago. Since then both educational systems and international recognition practices have changed, with UNESCO’s Global Recognition Convention being the latest development. It is therefore necessary for us to adjust and update our guidelines and practices for recognition of foreign higher education,” says Terje Mørland, Chief Executive of NOKUT.

Although NOKUT adjusts the guidelines for recognition, previous recognition decisions remain as valid as new decisions.

Automatic recognition of education from the Nordic countries, Lithuania and Poland

NOKUT has created a standardized recognition statement, which confirms that some degrees from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden are automatically recognized by NOKUT. This means that holders of such degrees can have their degrees automatically recognized, and do not have to go through an application process.

The automatic recognition scheme will be expanded continuously in line with new guidelines for general recognition of foreign higher education.

If you have any questions regarding the new guidelines, you can send an email to

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