Poll reveals who Europe’s students are

Students in Norway differ from students in many other European countries. Did you know that…

Norwegian students

Photo: VisitNorway
University of Agder campus

Anna Lene Keute

Half of students are 25 or over

The median age of students in Norway is 25 years. One in four students in Norway is 30 years or over. Norway differs from countries such as France, where four out of five students are under 25, and where the median age of students is only 22 years.

Among other Nordics, in Finland and Sweden more than half of the students are 25 years or over. It is common for students to take a break before college or university, which can also explain differences in students’ age between countries. A fifth of Norwegian students have taken a break of more than two years before starting their studies.

Norway is also among the countries with the highest share of female students: six out of 10.

Only 10 percent live with their parents

One in 10 students in Norway lives with parents, and the figure in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden is also below 15 percent.

This is in contrast to Italy, where seven out of 10 students live with their parents. It is also common for Italian students age 30 and over to live with their parents.

Many students in Norway live with other persons, most commonly a partner and/or children, with a third of students in Norway having this housing situation.

Many students receive public support

Students in Norway have a high median income compared to students in other European countries. In Norway, 80 percent of the students not living with their parents receive support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen). Support is also common in the other Nordic countries and in France. However, this is not the case in Germany and Italy, where only 27 and 17 percent, respectively receive public support. Among students in Norway receiving support, this support represents 60 percent of their income. In France, on the other hand, many students receive support, but it only accounts for 40 percent of their income.

In Germany, France, and Italy, family support is an important income source. In the Nordic countries, on the other hand, income from paid work is the largest share.

Students in Norway work more

Income from paid work is an important income source for many students in Norway, and it is common for students in Norway to work while in school. More than 40 percent of students have paid work during the entire semester. On average, students in Norway spend 12 hours a week on paid work, more than students in the other Nordic countries and in France, Germany, and Italy. In Italy, students work an average of just 5 hours a week. Only one out of 10 students in Italy work during the entire lecture period.

The Eurostudent VI survey

Eurostudent is a survey of students in European countries to collect comparative data on the social dimension of higher education in Europe. This includes students’ study, economic, and housing situations.

Of 24,000 students in the Norwegian sample, 37 percent answered the survey.

This article originally appeared in the September 7, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.