Fulbright in Norway

Fulbright in Norway

The U.S.- Norway Fulbright Foundation for Educational Exchange is a bi-national foundation with a Board of Directors composed of four American and four Norwegian members. Governments of both nations support the program with annual allocations of funds.

The Fulbright Agreement between the United States of America and Norway was signed and entered into force on May 25th, 1949 in Oslo. The agreement  was based on an amendment to the U.S. Surplus Property Act of 1944, which authorized the United States to apply credit from surplus military property toward educational exchange activities;  as a contemporary columnist described it, it was “an ingenious piece of higher mathematics that found a way to finance out of the sale of war junk a worldwide system of American scholarships”  - and indeed, a perfect example of “beating swords into plowshares.”

As U.S. proceeds from surplus property began to diminish, the need for  binational financing of the program increased; the Fulbright-Hays act of 1961 authorized the President to “to seek the agreement of the other governments concerned to cooperate and assist, including making use of funds placed in special accounts ... in furtherance of the purposes of this Act..." On March 16, 1964, the United States and Norway signed an amendment to the original agreement that provided for binational financing of the program through the two nations’ annual budgets.  (see more about the history of the program at: http://eca.state.gov/fulbright/about-fulbright/history/early-years)

Since the start of the program in Norway, some 1,500 Americans and 3,800 Norwegians have been awarded a Fulbright grant. While the program was originally supported exclusively by American funding, today approximately 70% of its funding comes from the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, with the remainder coming from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United States Department of State. 

Each year, approx. 40 Norwegians receive grants to study, teach or conduct research in the US, and approx. 25 Americans receive grants to do the same in Norway.

The Fulbright Program in Norway works closely with cooperating agencies in the selection, supervision and administration of particular grantee categories: The Institute of International Education (IIE) manages the graduate students program, while the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) manages the scholars program. The United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs oversees the program worldwide.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board  (FSB), a 12-member presidentially-appointed body, provides policy guidance for the entire Fulbright program. It operates through the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

The Commission of the US-Norway Fulbright Foundation is located in Oslo. It has a staff of five and is responsible for the daily management of the Fulbright Program in Norway, which includes both Norwegian grantees going to the US and American grantees coming to Norway. In addition, it offers advising services for Norwegians who would like to study in the U.S. The Counseling Center is open to the general public, not just Fulbright grantees. For more information about studying in the United States, please see the Education USA online information center.

The work of the Commission is supervised by a Board of Directors, comprising four Norwegian and four American members. The Norwegian and American members are appointed respectively by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Ambassador to Norway, who are ex-officio Honorary Co-chairs of the Board. The Board normally meets four times per year, oversees and adjusts the direction of the program, and makes the final selections of the Norwegian and American grantees.