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Plan to Impose Tuition Fees for Non-EU students

The Norwegian coalition government is investigating ways of introducing tuition fees for students from outside the European Union/European Economic Area on the grounds that such fees have already been introduced in Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark.

The Ministry of Education is exploring a system that could be adopted in 2015. But Dr Daniel J Guhr, head of the Illuminate Consulting Group which has advised several Swedish universities on the introduction of tuition fees, said that if the government decided to introduce fees it should undertake proper research and consider the policy implications.

Guhr told University World News that Denmark and Sweden had not considered all implications when devising fees for their programmes, which had unnecessary negative results. He said the government would need to determine what the ‘brand power’ of Norwegian universities was before introducing fees.

Implications should be considered

Guhr believes the government should consider how the fees system should be structured: whether at the national, institutional or programme based level; whether the system should be based on a cost-recovery base or be market driven; what offset mechanisms there should be, such as scholarships, paid internships, or post-study work opportunities; and how the diversity of higher education delivery models should be accounted for, for example, how to treat Erasmus Mundus or bilateral exchanges.

Guhr said the government would also need to consider what the long-term “talent acquisition strategy of Norway” was, such as pricing for short-term income versus long-term talent needs, as well as which authority would regulate, set and adjust fees.

“We are currently working on three tuition fees projects,” Guhr said. “These include an analysis of international tuition fees, including in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden; a consortium of eight universities benchmarking fees across 50 universities worldwide; and a national government benchmarking the total cost of a programme across the entire country.”

Source: http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20131120101528719

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