This study analyzes Norwegian policy documents concerning development aid, with the aim of identifing differences between the Norwegian policy development and the international trends on the area of higher education as a tool for development. 13 Norwegian policy documents have been analyzed using a analysis framework from the work of Gornitzka(Gornitzka 1999), focusing of the following five points: policy problems, policy objectives,normative base, policy instruments and policy linkage. This framework has been used to analyze the 50 years of Norwegian policy on the area of higher education as a tool for development, to see if any major changes have taken place. This has then been compared to the major trends in international thinking on the same area, as identified by literary review.This study's major findings is that the Norwegian policy documents on development aid can be separated into three phases, distinct in their view on higher education. At the same time there can be found general trends in the thinking outside of Norway, as well as in theinternational financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF. These are in large part similar to the pattern found in the Norwegian policy documents. There have been a return to a focus on higher education in the last ten years, in coherence with a focus on knowledge as a part of economic development.