Utilization of Higher Education : A Review of Employment Challenges and Job Practice among Refugees in Norway


Publication date



Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for lærerutdanning og internasjonale studier

Document type


Master i flerkulturell og internasjonal utdanning


Purpose of the study: If refugees from Africa and Asia are able to use their foreign higher education in the labor market of Norway is the main topic of this study. Thus, the study explores the impact of Norwegian language training, foreign higher education recognition, NAV job seeker courses, service/job provision by employers, further higher education in Norway, etc., on the labor market outcomes of 18 refugees who fled to Norway with tertiary foreign higher education from West African, East Africa, and Asia. Methods, theories, and strategies: Qualitative interpretative phenomenology is the research paradigm adopted to focus on the participants‘ experiences, describing the different meanings and commonality of phenomena in their experiences. To answer the research questions, the section on the analysis and interpretations of the findings incorporates ‗thick descriptions‘ and direct quotations drawn from a one and a half hours semi-structured interview conducted with each participant. Results: Norwegian language deficiencies six months after their participation in a one-year Introduction Program creates initial unemployment and underemployment for about 94 per cent of the refugees with prior foreign higher education. This evidence suggests that the labor market constraints refugees with foreign higher education face initially had not changed significantly after the first 18 months in Norway to create educational-skill job-match relationships. The significance of duration of residence and undertaking relevant Norwegian education are more important for Norwegian language proficiency and finding a relevant job.


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/873