The Norwegian Government is offering financial security to Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian students in Norway

The Norwegian Government wants to help Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian students in a difficult situation. Students who are struggling financially due to the war will now receive funding to cover their subsistence costs.

‘Many Ukrainian students in Norway are going through a very difficult time, both mentally and financially. It is important to us to include Russian and Belarusian students in this scheme, too. These students share as little responsibility for the war as you or me,’ says Minister of Research and Higher Education Ola Borten Moe.

This is why the Norwegian Government is establishing a grant scheme for the spring semester 2022. All students who qualify for the grant will receive up to NOK 11 500 per month from March to August. PhD students will receive up to NOK 21 000.

‘I am very pleased that we have managed to organise this. It would be unfortunate and unfair if these students had to end their studies in Norway because they cannot afford to continue,’ says Mr Moe.

The reason for this is that some Ukrainian, Russian, and Belarusian students in Norway are having financial problems as a result of the war. This may be because their parents or other sources of funding can no longer continue to help them, or because they have lost access to their funds as a result of economic sanctions against Russia.

Eligible applicants:

  • Students at universities, university colleges, and vocational schools and PhD students from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
  • Self-funded students who have lost access to their funding due to the war.
  • The scheme excludes Ukrainian, Russian, or Belarusian citizens who have ordinary rights to a student loan through Lånekassen.

Students who believe that they are eligible must apply for the scholarship via their educational institution The scheme will be in effect from 1 March to August 2022.

‘Even though this scheme will only be in effect until August, solutions will also be put in place from autumn 2022. We must ensure stability and predictability for the students in question,’ states Mr Moe.

Facts:

Numbers:

  • Figures from the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills for the spring of 2022 show that there are 150 Ukrainian, 400 Russian, and about 50 Belarusian students in Norway. There is reason to believe that several of these students are settled in Norway, or have a permanent residence permit, and have ordinary rights through Lånekassen.

  • It is unclear how many of them will need financial aid this spring, and we estimate that this number is between 50 and 300 students.

  • To be granted a residence permit for studies in Norway, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration requires that students transfer NOK 126 357 in funds to a Norwegian bank account to cover one academic year or have a corresponding financial guarantee (or a lower amount for studies lasting one semester). It is therefore likely that many students will have funds to sustain them in Norway until June. There may nonetheless be cases where students have funds deposited in a bank account in their home country to which they currently do not have access.

Practical matters:

  • Universities, university colleges, and the vocational schools must make sure that they inform all eligible students about this scheme. Students must then file an application with their educational institution. They will be required to produce documentation. The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills will determine what documentation is required shortly. The educational institutions will then request a refund from the Directorate.

  • The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills allocated about NOK 12 million for project collaboration with Russia through the UTFORSK and RUSSUT programmes for 2022. RUSSUT has now been stopped, and Russian project partners cannot be included in the current call for UTFORSK. These funds are therefore being used for the scholarship scheme.