Get to Know OsloMet

OsloMet glass building in the city.

The success the Scandinavian countries have had balancing a high standard of living with relative equality has attracted the attention of scholars and policymakers the world over. Read on to learn more about what makes the Norwegian model of welfare distinctive—and the role our university plays in sustaining and improving the welfare state. 

Norway ranks near the top of a lot of lists: human development, worker productivity, gender equality, quality of life, peace, happiness—to name just a few. A century ago, this country in the north of Europe was a relatively poor backwater with a rural population and one of Europe's highest rates of emigration. Today, Norway is a a forward-thinking, prosperous, increasingly urbanised country of 5.3 million people. 

In the late 1960s, oil and gas reserves were discovered off the western coast of Norway. In a decision that has had far-reaching consequences for Norwegian society, the government established the Government Pension Fund to set aside profits from the sale of oil and gas for future generations. In this way, Norway succeeded in distributing the benefits from its natural resources among its citizens.

Mountains and lakes.

Besseggen and Jotunheimen. Photo: OsloMet

The Norwegian Model of Welfare

Unlike many other wealthy countries—especially countries whose wealth is closely tied to natural resource extraction—gaps between rich and poor are small in Norway. The main driver of this relative equality is the Norwegian model of welfare, or welfare state. 

A welfare state is defined as a form of government in which the state promotes the well-being of its citizens through a system of rights, benefits and obligations. In Norway, the welfare state is financed primarily through relatively high taxes, as well as interest from the Government Pension Fund. The Norwegian model of welfare seeks to ensure equality of opportunity and relative equality of outcome in all areas of life—health, education, and economic and social well-being.

There are some disagreements in Norway about how to define equality and whether the welfare state should be expanded further. But there is broad agreement that the Norwegian model of welfare has had a positive impact on society and is worth preserving. 

Two men with white coats working in a lab.

From farmers and fishermen to a research driven welfare state. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / OsloMet

Driving the Welfare State Forward

OsloMet is a large, urban university home to some of Norway's oldest and best-known programmes of professional study. Many of our alumni work on the front lines of the welfare state. Every year, OsloMet graduates begin working as teachers, social workers, nurses, engineers and other welfare state professionals striving to improve the lives of people across the life cycle. 

Our impact does not end here. OsloMet researchers contribute to society in an equally important way—by producing knowledge and proposing solutions to challenges facing the Norwegian welfare state and societies around the world.  

Our university's logo takes the shape of an arrow. This is meant to symbolise OsloMet’s role as an educational institution driving the Norwegian welfare state forward through innovation, cutting-edge research, new approaches to long-standing problems.

A student welding with sparks flying.

Product Design students in action. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / OsloMet

Norway’s Most Urban University

They say location is everything, and we are inclined to agree. Our largest campus, Pilestredet, is located in the centre of Oslo, a short walk from major transport hubs, the Norwegian parliament and city hall. Oslo is far and away Norway’s largest city, and is the undisputed centre of Norwegian political, economic and cultural life. It is also one of the fastest-growing capital cities in Europe, and is home to an extremely diverse population with origins from all over Europe and the world. 

Our second campus, Kjeller, is located halfway between central Oslo and the Oslo airport just outside the small city of Lillestrøm. The area surrounding Campus Kjeller is one of the fastest-growing and most economically vibrant regions in all of Norway. There are frequent train and bus connections to Oslo and other regional centres. 

The glass facade entrance of the modern university building at Kjeller.

At the Kjeller Campus close to Lillestrøm. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / OsloMet

A New University with a Long History

Our logo and name may be new, but the OsloMet story dates back more than two centuries. Our programme in midwifery was established in 1818, and several of our other study programmes are the oldest of their kinds in Norway. 

During the 1990s and 2000s, a number of colleges in the Oslo region merged to form two large university colleges. In 2011, these two institutions came together to become Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. 

Black and white picture of an old brick building.

Christiania Tekniske Skole opened back in 1873. Photo: Oslo byarkiv.

In 2018, we gained university status—no small feat in Norway, where the criteria are quite strict. Since then, OsloMet has continued educating professionals who are sought-after in the labour market and conducting research that contributes to solving important societal challenges. At the same time, we are using our new name and identity as an opportunity to introduce our university to the world—including you reading this. So what kind of university is OsloMet?

A male paramedic student in a hospital bed while a female student practise on his arm.

Our paramedic students practising on each other. Photo: Benjamin A. Ward / OsloMet

This Is OsloMet

Small waterfall in Akerselva River with a bridge over it.

Akerselva—Brekke waterfall at Frysja with its old power station. Photo: OsloMet