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Programme/grant schemeNumber of grants: 1

UTFORSK is a program that provides funding for educational collaboration between Norwegian higher education institutions and partners in Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, South Africa, South Korea, and the USA.


UTFORSK is a central measure under the Panorama strategy (2021-2027), the government’s strategy for cooperation on higher education and research with prioritised countries outside of Europe: Brazil, Canada, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and the USA.

The Panorama strategy has five main priorities:

  • Constructive interaction in higher education, research, and innovation cooperation.
  • Good links to working life and the business sector.
  • Good student mobility.
  • Good interaction between bilateral and multilateral cooperation, with particular emphasis on the EU's framework programs for education and research.
  • Research-based knowledge to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda).

The strategy forms part of the follow-up on the "Long-term plan for research and higher education (2023-2032)" and the White Paper "A world of opportunities — International student mobility in higher education (Meld St.7 (2020-2021)". The latter is also linked to the White Paper "Quality culture in higher education (Meld St. 16 (2016-2017)" and the ambition that, over time, half of those graduating with a degree in higher education in Norway will have had a study or training period abroad.

The Panorama-strategy is based on the following principles of cooperation: quality, relevance, reciprocity, long-term perspective and accountability. Accountability was added to the revised strategy in 2021 and is defined as “When entering into specific cooperations, consideration should be given to fundamental academic values and national interests, including security interests”. To support relevant assessments national guidelines for responsible academic cooperation were developed.

UTFORSK also has relevance to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Agenda 2030), where education is mentioned both as a goal in itself, and as a means to achieve several of the other goals.

How the grant is administered

UTFORSK is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and administered by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills.


The overall aim of UTFORSK is to contribute to enhanced quality and relevance of higher education in Norway and in the prioritised partner countries, preparing candidates to address local and global societal challenges.

UTFORSK funds projects that aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Strengthened institutional partnerships for education between Norway and prioritised partner countries.
  • Sustained student mobility between Norway and the partner countries.
  • Increased integration between higher education, research and working life within the institutional partnerships.
  • Enhanced international learning environment for students through collaborative initiatives with project partners.

Who can apply?

Accredited Norwegian higher education institutions or institutions with accredited higher education programmes may apply.

Each application must also include a main partner institution that is an accredited higher education institution in one of the prioritised countries.

Other partners may be included as network-partners. Other partners may include higher education institutions, higher vocational education institutions, public or private enterprises, research institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other organisations in Norway and the partner countries.

Currently UTFORSK does not support new collaborations with partners in Russia.