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Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education (SFU)

Programme/grant schemeNumber of grants: 0

Academic communities with the status 'Centre for Excellence in Education' demonstrate excellence in teaching and education, and develop innovative practices in education. The ambition of the prestigious national initiative is to foster excellent research-based education.

About Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education (SFU)

The scheme is a long-term effort to stimulate the development of education and innovative approaches to learning in higher education at bachelor’s and master’s degree level.

Centres for Excellence in Education are leading academic communities in developing quality in higher education. The awarded centres must be in the forefront of national and international developments in education. Centres are expected to instigate change by disseminating knowledge and practices both within and outside their host institutions.

The scheme was established to:

  • contribute to the development of excellent quality in Norwegian higher education
  • make visible that teaching and research are equal tasks for universities, scientific colleges and universities of applied sciences

Centres for excellence in education

There are today 13 active centres for excellence in education:

How the grant is administered

The Centres for Excellence in Education is financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The scheme was established in 2010 and is administred by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.


The Centres for Excellence in Education scheme shall:

  • stimulate universities and university colleges to establish and
  • develop academic communities that offer excellent education,
  • contribute to knowledge-based analysis and development of
  • teaching and learning, that underpins quality enhancement and
  • innovation capable of making significant impact,
  • contribute to sector-wide development and dissemination of
  • knowledge and excellent educational practices,
  • stimulate stronger interaction between higher education and
  • relevant working life and wider society.

Academic communities that are awarded centre status must therefore:

  • offer excellent R&D-based education,
  • develop innovative ways of working with R&D-based education,
  • encourage student engagement and ownership of learning,
  • develop and disseminate knowledge and practices about the design of teaching and learning environments that are conducive to learning,
  • relate to international developments in higher education and in the relevant field of education.

Who can apply?

Accredited universities, specialised universities or university colleges in Norway.

Norwegian Centres for Excellence in Education