In Norway all young people between the age of 16 and the age of 19 have a legal right to three years of upper secondary education.
Secondary education is not compulsory. However; more than 95% do avail themselves of the offer.
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Bjørkåsen is a comprehensive upper secondary school for the deaf and hard of hearing. The school is located in Bergen (population approx. 230 000), a town situated on the west coast of Norway. The school is national. This means that students from the whole country attend Bjørkåsen.
The school  has approximately 40 students.


In 1997 deaf pupils got the right to use sign language as their first language and Norwegian as a second language. This right plays a very important part when building and maintaining a deaf culture. At Bjørkåsen all teachers, even hearing ones, use sign language. Students are grouped in classes of no more than 6 students per teacher with an average of 4 students per class.


Courses offered include general theoretical subjects required for university or college entrance as well as a range of vocational subjects. Students can choose from the following foundation courses:

  • General-, Administrative- and Economical Studies
  • Health and Social Care Studies
  • Mechanical Trades
  • Woodworking Trades
  • Sports and Physical Education
  • Hotel- and Food-Processing Trades
  • Media and Communications Studies

Specialised courses are offered in the second and third year (advanced courses I and II) and in apprenticeships. Apprenticeship schemes are part of the upper secondary school system. The first two years of training are provided at school, whereas the final specialized part (up to two years) is given at a workplace in the form of on-the-job training.

The school also offers a third year of General Education, which gives access to higher levels studies for vocational students. In addition we offer specially designed courses for youths with learning disabilities.

In spring 2002 Bjørkåsen became an adult education centre for deaf and hard of hearing people. We offer education, training and testing/documentation of competence acquired through adults' non-formal learning.

Detailed information about each of the courses can be obtained from the schools administration:


International contacts are important to staff and students at Bjørkåsen. The school cooperates with schools for hearing impaired people in Portugal, Czech Republic, France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

Information about Norway in English

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