Department of Higher Education

The Department of Higher Education as the overall responsibility for higher education, post-secondary vocational education and training, researcher training, research and other activities at universities and university colleges.

.The department consists of the:

  • Section for Ownership and Governance;
  • Section for Budget and Finance;
  • Section for Research and Innovation;
  • Section for Higher Education Structure and Quality Assurance.

The department has administrative, supervisory and overall management responsibility for state universities, specialised institutions at university level, and state university colleges including national academies of the arts, as well as for the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education and the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education. 

The department has responsibility for a number of grant schemes, including grants to accredited private colleges, post-secondary vocational education and training institutions, student welfare organisations, and to several administrative bodies with national functions: the Norway Opening Universities initiative, the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre, the Felles studieadministrativt tjenestesenter (common student administration service centre), the BIBSYS Library System, the CRIStin Current Research Information System in Norway, the Norwegian Artistic Research Fellowship Programme and the Nasjonalt senter for realfagsrekruttering (national centre for recruitment to mathematics and natural sciences).

In addition, the department is responsible for administering the state’s ownership of four wholly-owned limited companies: University Centre in Svalbard, Simula Research Laboratory, UNINETT and Norwegian Social Science Data Services.

The department is headed by a director general.