Annual Report 2019

Focus Areas


BI has a global approach to teaching, business and industry and public administration, and focuses on imparting international perspectives to the students in the classroom. They are also given the opportunity of gaining international experience through exchange.

Our lecturers are supposed to have international experience and to be able to draw on such experience in their own research and teaching. Therefore, high priority is given to an international background and international experience when researchers are recruited.

All master’s degree programmes are taught in English and we see an increased interest in these from international students. We are also working to further develop the programmes in order to attract even more international students and students with bachelor’s degrees from other business schools.



I 2019 we had 675 exchange students from international partner institutions, and in addition to that, 169 international students participated in our Summer School. 522 BI students went on exchange in 2019, and another 213 students spent a full academic year abroad as part of their Bachelor’s Programme in International Marketing.

BI has exchange agreements with around 230 international partner institutions.

On most bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes, a one-semester exchange period is offered.

BI has exchange agreements with around 230 international partner institutions. On most bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes, a one-semester exchange period is offered. The students who take a Bachelor‘s Degree in International Marketing, spend a full academic year in either Australia, the USA, France, Germany, China, Spain or England.  

BI also offers Double Degrees on three master’s degree programmes. The students are awarded a degree from two schools and stay one academic year at each. The QTEM programme, an exclusive master’s degree programme with an international and analytical focus, combines one to two semesters at two academic partner institutions, as well as an eight-week internship.



I 2019 we organized our international case competition (BIICC) for the fourth time. Twelve teams from ten different countries, consisting of top students from prestigious global schools came to BI to solve real business cases provided by some of BI’s business partners. In the main case from Equinor the winner was Queen’s University, Canada.


Ten of BI’s Executive Master of Management Programmes offer participants one module abroad. Most of these are conducted jointly with the institution’s international partner schools. 

On the Executive Master of Management in Energy, two of five modules are taken at IFP, one of BI’s partner schools in Paris. Executive MBA students do half of their six modules on the 18-month programme for top executives, at highly recognized international schools in cities such as Berkeley, Shanghai and Berlin.  


After more than 20 years of activity, BI has gained broad experience with education in China through our cooperation with School of Management at Fudan University in Shanghai. So far, around 2,600 business leaders have taken the BI-Fudan MBA. Many of these graduates are now employed by the largest Nordic and international enterprises in the region.

In 2017 BI also started cooperation with Tsinghua, a top university in Beijing, to help Chinese technology entrepreneurs and leaders develop global business models. Several programmes for top executives, with participants from several of the country’s biggest technology enterprises, were conducted in 2019. In 2019, BI also hosted delegation from, among others, Abelia and Equinor who visited our centre for innovation in Beijing.

Moreover, BI was a central player the year’s Norway Asia Business Summit in Shanghai, the largest business conference in Asia with more than 1,000 participants, including the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry.



BI Alumni is a global community with more 85,000 members in more than 80 countries. Former BI students who live and work outside Norway are BI’s most important ambassadors internationally. Annually, the school organizes a number of alumni events in selected cities in Europe, Asia and North America. More than 9,000 persons attended these events only in Norway in 2019. These events are often organized in close cooperation with alumni, business and industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Innovation Norway and chambers of commerce. We believe that international alumni activities contribute to brand building, which is an important element in our international recruitment strategy.  


BI International Advisory Board is an independent body consisting of business leaders from major international enterprises, academics and alumni. They have an advisory function towards the Management and the Board of Trustees, where the objective is to strengthen BI internationally through an external look at BI’s role in society, its strategic priorities and the implementation of these.


In 2018 BI was one of the founders of the Future of Management Education Alliance (FOME), a worldwide alliance of business schools with the objective of developing future delivery models for learning in the executive education market. I 2019 BI had a portfolio of six courses with around 200 participants on Isendi, the joint learning platform of the alliance.

During the 2019 QS Reimagine Education Conference, known as «the Oscar of education», the FOME Alliance won first place in the category Business Education and second place in the category e-learning.


Digitalization helps set the premises for how BI’s employees work, for the content of BI’s programmes and for how the programmes are taught. Today’s students know that they need digital expertise as a part of their degree, regardless of which education or career path they have chosen.

This applies as much to further and continuing education as to bachelor’s programmes for young students. BI actively responds to the changed expertise requirements that accompany this technological development.


Over several years, BI has experimented with new teaching methods and learning technologies for a larger part of the programme portfolio. In 2018 a major project was initiated to look at the bachelor’s programme model of the future as a whole, including, among other things, what teaching methods should be focused on in the time to come. In 2019 the project group submitted its final report. Here, web-based and flexible forms of learning were seen as particularly important.

Over the last few years BI has done very much to produce digital programme content adapted to multimedia forms of presentation.

Over the last few years BI has done very much to produce digital programme content adapted to multimedia forms of presentation. An example of this is the growth in the number of webinars, with almost 450 conducted in 2019, mainly linked to web-based Executive programmes. Besides, 700 new videos have been produced through a self-service studio, remote recordings, and case videos. In 2018 BI also introduced podcasts as a new teaching method. This has been continued in 2019 with 58 new podcasts.


In the same way as the students expect digital competence, they also expect digital studies. To realize its ambition of being a leading European business school, BI Norwegian Business School has made substantial investments in technology for digitalization of its core operations and for support functions, to the benefit of students and employees.

During the past year, BI organized 933 examinations. 61 per cent of these were examinations held at school of which 27 per cent were digital examinations. For examinations without invigilation, that is to say examinations with submission of answer papers, 92.4 per cent were in digital form.

During the past year, BI organized 933 examinations. 61 per cent of these were examinations held at school of which 27 per cent were digital examinations. For examinations without invigilation, that is to say examinations with submission of answer papers, 92.4 per cent were in digital form.

In order to reduce both costs and the risk of problems during examinations, as well as increase system support for examinations and forms of assessment, the decision was made in 2019 to change the digital examination tool from DigiEx to WISEflow. In the spring semester of 2019, a successful pilot was implemented with five examinations through WISEflow. Further implementation was planned during the autumn semester. The objective is that all digital examinations will be taken through the new system during the autumn of 2020. Apart from this, all digital examinations in 2019, as different from the previous year, took place without any major challenges.

In 2019 all diplomas and certificates were issued in digital form as standard. In the past year a total of 5,641 digital diplomas and course certificates were issued. Transcripts are no longer produced at BI as students with a Norwegian national identity number will now find these in the Diploma Portal.  

Furthermore, the past year has been used to further develop, test and optimize the new mobile- phone-adapted student portal that was introduced prior to the start of studies in the autumn of 2018.



In 2019, in order to simplify the process for both applicants and employees, an integration module between BI’s own system for applications and admissions (SOPP) and the national diploma database (NVB) was made. This has resulted in improved quality assurance and simplified the administrative work process.





In 2019 BI invested NOK 92.2 million in development projects. These projects comprise tools that will help to realize BI’s strategy. Several moves have been made to professionalize the way projects are managed and carried out. Among other things, a new management model for prioritizing investments in development projects has been developed. In 2018 a specific project department was established under the digital unit. This department was strengthened through the appointment of a new leader and an extra project manager during the past year.  


The project to provide a new CRM platform was started in 2017. The main purpose is to provide customers and students with a better experience, among other things, through improving our dialogue with interested parties, converting applicants into students, administering and providing service and strengthening alumni relations. In 2019 Salesforce was chosen as supplier of the new platform and the implementation of the new BI Customer Experience (BICX) will be started in January 2020.


The purpose of the BI&A project is to collect, perform quality assurance of, and make data available to facilitate fact-based decisions. In 2019 the work has been concentrated on developing dashboards to be used in the admission process, and for quality assurance and CRM purposes. A Faculty dashboard has also been established for better follow-up of academic production. In 2020, support to reduce the drop-out rate and support in connection with the examination process will be focused on.


In 2019 work on several prioritized measures to ensure that BI’s operations are in line with the new personal data protection legislation has been carried out. The final deliveries of this project are planned for the summer of 2020.


Our strategy obliges us to provide courses and programmes that focus on responsible business operations and sustainable value creation. Our involvement regarding social responsibility is within three areas: Research, teaching and operations. Our partners expect that this involvement is clear and documentable.

Sustainable business operations and social development are becoming increasingly important to leaders, politicians and society in general. It is crucial, therefore, that BI students understand how challenges related to sustainability affect business practices, economic growth, consumer behaviour, as well as politics and rules and regulations.

In 2018 all BI programmes were updated with specific learning outcomes related to social responsibility and sustainability. Our faculty have an obligation to acquaint themselves with the way the sustainability targets will affect theoretical models and research, and make sure that this knowledge is imparted to the students. In 2020 a special «inspiration app» for BI’s employees will be introduced, with the purpose of providing increased knowledge on important matters related to sustainability.  

In addition to incorporating sustainability issues in the learning outcome for all full-time programmes from 2019, BI also offers a number of Executive courses focusing specifically on sustainability.


BI also participates in the UN PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) network. PRME is a global network for dialogue, interaction and development of responsible management and management education. The membership involves an obligation to comply with PRME’s seven principles for responsible management education. A. Detailed account of our activities related to social responsibility and ethics is available in BI’ PRME report, which is submitted every second year. The next report will be published in the autumn of 2020.


In addition to the PRME goals and principles for business schools, we act in accordance with the United Nations’ sustainability goals. We have chosen to focus on the following three goals in particular: No. 4. Good education, no. 5. Gender equality and no. 13. End climate change.

We have chosen to focus on the following three goals in particular: No. 4. Good education, no. 5. Gender equality and no. 13. End climate change.

Securing good equality and diversity is very important to BI. We still have some distance to go, particularly with respect to the recruitment of women to academic positions. In 2019, a dedicated working party has developed a plan of action for this area, and in 2020, this plan will be completed and specific measures prepared.

Both students and staff are involved in cooperation with a number of non-profit organizations by providing financial support and voluntary work related to various international projects. An example of this is BISO Impact, which was established in 2019 to ensure that all units of our student organization act in an ethical and responsible manner.

In 2018 BI, as the first academic institution in the world, joined Global Opportunity Explorer (GOE) as a partner. The goal is to change the focus from risk to new business opportunities and solutions. In 2019 the GOE cooperation was continued by BI, BISO Impact, DNV GL and UN Global Compact in Oslo.

BI was also proud partner in Oslo European Environmental Capital in 2019 where BI organized events related to green growth, focus on sustainability during the buddy weeks, Open Day at Nydalen and the seminar «The Importance of Bees», where King Harald, Crown Prince Haakon and the Slovenian President Borut Pahor visited the school to learn about our work to place bees on the roof of Campus Oslo.


Several research projects and researchers at BI may be linked to sustainability. An example of this is the project Sustain, coordinated by Professor Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen and Professor Marianne Jahre. This is a cooperation project between BI, Jimma University in Ethiopia and Mzumbe University in Tanzania. The project received five million NOK through NORPART 2018 and covers the period 2019-2023. The purpose is to promote international understanding, intercultural competence and to build networks for faculty and students in the three countries.

In the project «Measures for Improved Availability of Medicines and Vaccines» (MIA), Marianne Jahre will also look at the question of how we may fight the lack of medicines. The project will cover a period of four years and in 2019 it received NOK 12 million from the Research Council of Norway.

Professor Christian Fieseler will coordinate the research project «ARTSFORMATION - Mobilizing the Arts for Inclusive Digital Transformation», which is the largest EU funded project ever coordinated by BI. The project will study how art may be used to build sustainable communities by making inequality and discrimination visible and understandable. In 2019 the project was granted 30 million NOK by the European Commission.


For many years, the environment and the climate have formed part of our core activity. One of the focus areas in Strategy 2025 is to help create a better environment and fight climatic change.

In 2017 surveys showed that 90 per cent of the emissions BI is responsible for were due to commuting, business travel, food and drink, and energy use.

In the autumn of 2019, we opened our new campus in Stavanger, a Breeam Nor Excellent-certified building that has been built in accordance with the passive-house standard. Heating and cooling are based on sea water and electricity is mainly generated by solar cells.  

The Trondheim Campus, which was new in 2018, is also based on the same energy-saving principles. All our campuses are certified as Eco-Lighthouse buildings, and we focus on area efficiency, recycling of materials, phasing out unnecessary plastics and stricter environmental requirements in our tender processes to ensure green procurement. The EU requires all member states to achieve 65 per cent recycling of materials by 2035. BI’s ambition is even higher and the school has decided to reach this goal by 2022.

In 2019 all campuses were certified for organizing green conferences. In the past year, 30 such conferences took place.

Since air travel is one the largest sources of emission for BI, this has been compensated for through the purchase of EUA emission credits over several years. In the autumn of 2019, it was decided to extend the arrangement to direct emissions, energy and air travel.

BI prepares annual climate accounts and in the spring of 2019 decided that ambitions in this field should be in line with the 1.5-degree target. For BI this implies cutting up to 50 per cent of all emissions (based on figures for 2017), increased use of renewable energy at the campuses, as well as greener solutions for travel. In the autumn of 2019 a climate actions analysis was carried out in cooperation with the climate accounts provider Cemasys. The analysis is expected to result in new actions during the spring of 2020.