Around two dozen international students enrolled in master’s programmes at OsloMet currently find themselves in precarious financial positions after having lost their part time jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A number of them lack sufficient funds to cover basic expenses such as food and rent for the rest of the semester.
To address the challenges facing this group of students, OsloMet is creating a crisis fund designed specifically to assist students who are not eligible to receive support from The State Educational Loan Fund, known in Norwegian as Lånekassen.
“It’s high time that these students receive some support,” Rector Curt Rice declared.
International students deserve the same opportunities
Rice expressed surprise that Norwegian authorities have yet to find a solution for international students facing these kinds of challenges.
“Internationalisation demands our commitment, also in difficult times! I would have hoped that the Ministry of Education and Research would have come up with a national solution for all of the institutions of higher education in Norway as soon as they learned that this particular group of students is not covered by any other emergency support measures,” the rector told us. “It is important that all of our international students who are in this situation have the same opportunities as every other student,” Rice continued.
One-time funding to students with demonstrated need
Support from the crisis fund will be given as a one-time grant, and students can be awarded a maximum of 10,000 NOK.
This particular solution is available only to international students who have come to OsloMet to take a two-year international master’s degree. Recipients must have remained in Norway and find themselves in acute need of economic support to be able to meet their financial obligations, such as rent, electricity bills, and food.
Programme coordinators for the international MA programs will be responsible for notifying qualifying students about the establishment of the crisis fund. They will also be asked to evaluate the needs of individual students who apply to the fund.
Students who apply for support from the crisis fund must specify in their applications what expenses they need help covering, and will be required to demonstrate need. The university’s Department of Educational Affairs is responsible for the final funding determination.