Norwegian version of this page

Language policy guidelines for the University of Oslo

The University’s language policy guidelines shall serve to help implement the University’s strategic plan and its goal of being a research-intensive university of a high international calibre.

The University of Oslo shall promote so-called parallel-lingualism. This means that Norwegian is to be nurtured as the primary language at the University, at the same time as linguistic diversity is encouraged, with English as the main foreign language.

The University is also bound by the provisions in the Act relating to Language Usage in the Civil Service.

See also Språkrådet's Guide for language choice in the university and university college sector.

Main objectives

  • The University’s language policy shall be designed to promote and develop use of Norwegian and technical terminology
  • English or other foreign languages shall be used when appropriate or necessary for academic reasons
  • Scholarly works shall be published in the language most relevant for the individual academic employee
  •  In teaching and other academic communication, language proficiency shall be considered a part of the learning outcome


  • Norwegian is the main language of instruction
  • Norwegian, Swedish and Danish are considered equal for teaching purposes
  • Students are expected to know and be able to use technical terminology in Norwegian and English or another foreign language. The requirements concerning use of Norwegian do not apply to foreign-language students on international programmes
  • Students are not obliged to use English or another foreign language in teaching or examinations, unless this is part of the subject and is defined in the course description. Reference is also made to the provisions in Regulations relating to programmes of study and examinations at the University of Oslo
  • Teaching should enhance students’ language proficiency and scholarly writing skills
  •  International students and employees should be offered Norwegian language courses


  •  All doctoral dissertations shall include an abstract in English and an abstract aimed at the general public in Norwegian. Reference is also made to Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo
  • The University shall arrange access to editing, revising and proofreading services for use in academic and administrative contexts

Publication and information

  • Information shall be published in the language considered most appropriate for the audience the information is intended for
  • The University’s website shall also contain easily accessible information in English

For official information from the University in English the standard is British English (Oxford English Dictionary).

These guidelines were approved by the Rector in September 2010

Published Oct. 5, 2010 8:10 AM - Last modified Feb. 26, 2019 11:08 AM