Norway: reception of Ukrainian refugees in the education system
Introduction programme for immigrants
Immigrants aged 18-55 who come from countries outside the Nordic region and the European Economic Area, and have been granted a residence permit in Norway, are obliged to participate in an introductory programme. The programme lasts from 3 months to 3 years (with possible extension) and is adapted to the participants’ level of education. It is focused on work- and education-related activities. Paid work and higher education (including higher VET) can be among these activities. In addition, it can include Norwegian language courses, social studies, life skills and parental guidance.
The Education Act
According to the Education Act, all children who have resided in Norway for more than 3 months have the right to primary and lower secondary education, and municipalities must provide a fully-fledged training offer within 1 month. The government proposes extending it to 3 months to allow for more flexibility. Training can be organised in separate groups until refugees are able to follow the teaching in the Norwegian language. Currently, consent of both the parents and the learners themselves is required to provide refugee education in separate groups. In the new proposal, the government intends to remove the consent requirement. This will give municipalities some flexibility in organising the offer for both children and adults. Ukrainian children will have the right to education in their mother tongue until they can participate in regular classes.