The conservative government’s budget proposal delivered today includes NOK 60 million to help finance high school for immigrants in Norway whose own high school educations aren’t accepted by Norwegian authorities.
Education Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen claimed the proposal will remove “one of the stupidest rules I’ve ever seen politics.” The rule has held that immigrants who have graduated from high school in their homelands don’t have a right to attend high school in Norway. At the same time, Norwegian authorities often refuse to accept high school graduation certificates from abroad that are needed to qualify for college or university.
It’s been a classic “Catch-22” situation for many immigrants and Norwegians returning from studies abroad, who also often encounter a lack of acceptance for their higher education as well.
“We’ve been putting these people in an impossible situation,” Isaksen told news bureau NTB. “The worst part is that the rule has often hindered those who have the greatest possibility of quickly integrating and completing higher education.”
The NOK 60 million is due to increase next year. Isaksen’s ministry estimates that around 1,000 immigrants will now be able to secure a spot in one of Norway’s videregående (high) schools next fall.