NORSA is the branch of the Student's Association for Norwegian students and was founded in 1952. The connection with Norway goes back to the early twentieth century with Alfred Bjorn-Hansen, the first Norwegian student to attend Heriot-Watt College. He studied mechanical engineering between 1908 and 1917 and a small amount of Norwegian students followed his example and studied engineering before WWII.
During the war Riccarton was the base for planning the invasion of Norway and after the war some soldiers remained in Edinburgh. It took a long time for the Higher Education system in Norway to recover from the war. As a result many Norwegian students chose to study abroad and Edinburgh was a popular choice. The growth of the oil industry in both Norway and Scotland, and the emergence of classes in petroleum and offshore engineering at Heriot-Watt University, strengthened these links.
The role of NORSA s to keep up the contact between students, helping newcomers and arranging charter flights to Norway. They produce literature in Norwegian and organise the National Constitution day celebrations on 17th May. There is also a Norwegian branch of the Watt Club.