Annual Report 2019

Programmes and students

A fundamental principle for BI is to be learning-oriented. This means that the school has to work continuously on adapting and improving learning methods, the learning environment, and the teaching practices on courses and programmes. The school must listen to its students.

Through systematic insight into learning processes and pedagogical development, it will be possible to improve the students’ learning experiences. Everybody with course and teaching responsibilities is offered pedagogical practice and training in use of the most sophisticated learning tools.



BI aims to have a good and including learning environment at all campuses, where diversity among students is appreciated. Close cooperation between the students and employees is a key to success in this respect. In practice, this cooperation takes place at multiple levels – during regular dialogue meetings between the student organisations and BI’s management, as well as in the studies and at the campuses and in the Learning Environment Committee. The Learning Environment Committee is the formal body overseeing BI’s learning environment, with an advisory function towards the Board of Trustees. It has an equal number of student and administrative members. The main purpose with the committee is to ensure real influence for the students in creating a good learning environment.



The student survey, which is prepared every second year, shows that BI on average obtains a low score on «feedback and supervision». In 2017 a test of assessment methods and technology was initiated and followed up through a large pilot with 3,700 students in the autumn of 2018. In 2019 the experiences from this project show that fellow student grading is well suited as a pedagogical activity for increased involvement and better learning. More courses will therefore be included in the pilot until 31 July 2021. The pilot has also shown the need for additional efficiency and automation measures. In January 2020 a new evaluation will be made in order to have feedback from the students regarding this solution.


In connection with the revision of BI’s quality assurance system, a number of measures were implemented from the autumn of 2019 to increase student participation in the work on quality assurance. The following are some examples of this:

  • A common training programme for class representatives at all BI campuses

  • A common procedure and a common set of templates for mid-semester dialogue between students (class representatives) and lecturers at all BI campuses, where the lecturers shall publish a summary with action points for the whole class

  • A common procedure and a common set of templates for programme evaluation meetings every semester between the Associate Dean (academic head of each programme), student representatives and the academic administration

  • Student representatives are annually invited to dialogue meetings about the status, quality and development of each programme. The students’ suggestions are included in the final version of the programme reports, and these are published for students and employees


In 2019 eight workshops with six students from different years and programmes were conducted. This initiative was started in the autumn of 2018. During the past year, these representatives discussed topics such as course descriptions, learning space, and forms of assessment. The results have been used in connection with the development of new physical learning space, improvement of existing areas and the development of new course descriptions. In addition, the feedback has been shared internally in pedagogical courses and externally at conferences.


BI has fought very hard to stop the decline in applications to BI’s bachelor’s programmes as this decline is a threat to our business model. With 3,578 new bachelor students in the autumn of 2019, as compared to 3,131 in the autumn of 2018, it seems that we have been able to turn around the negative development. In this context, three new bachelor’s programmes were crucial, and in particular, Organization Psychology, HR and Management. The programme immediately became a great success and is already our second largest bachelor’s programme.

With 559 students, as compared to 565 in 2018, which was record high, admissions to our master’s degree programmes is somewhat down. In 2019 three new programmes were introduced to meet the increased interest we see both from national and international MSc students.

When one-year programmes are included, a total of 4,647 new students started at BI’s full-time programmes in the autumn of 2019, as compared to 4,241 in the autumn of 2018.


The trends from previous years continue. Executive Master’s programmes have seen a steady positive development in the number of students over the last few years, whereas in 2019 there is a decline for Executive Bachelor’s courses and programmes, as well as for web-based programmes.

During the past year, therefore, the work to further develop the programme portfolio has been continued in line with market needs and market trends, and in order to make it even more relevant to customers.  A number of new courses in relevant fields such as sustainability and digitalization were introduced. A grant from Kompetanse Norge to develop a more flexible educational provision in the area of digital change was also received. The growth in student number at the campuses outside Oslo increased by 16 per cent, which was due to an increased focus on improving results here, as well as changes in economic activity in general.

The Executive Division was reorganized in order to make sales, development and implementation processes more efficient. We are preparing for a transition to new digital tools, and have a clear ambition to increase sales and customer satisfaction. In 2019 the report of the Markussen Committee, as well as Norwegian authorities, increased the focus on life-long learning. We are preparing for the new situation. At the same time, the requirements set by the Government will result in a larger number of players in the market and affect competition.  

Forty students, an increase of ten students from the previous year, were admitted to the executive MBA class for the specializations Digitalization and Global Business. In 2020 the two new specializations Sustainable Business Models and Business in China, will be introduced. With 59 new students, our BI-Fudan MBA saw a small decline as compared to the record admissions of the previous year. 

Number of students

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*Numbers taken from the Discover Dashboard Student Insight. The figures do not include students on a leave of absence or with prolonged periods of study without active examination or course registrations. The figures for Executive Bachelor’s programmes do not include students on web-based programmes.

The overview shows the number of students on each programme/course of study. The same student may participate in two programmes at the same time (e.g. an Executive Bachelor’s programme and web-based studies), but will then only be counted once. The total number of students does not include PhD students.


In 2017 BI introduced a number of measures to improve the start of studies, as well as social and academic integration and better individual follow-up. Since then the school has worked determinedly to reduce drop-outs and increase the completion rate. This has given positive results in the form of a somewhat higher completion rate within the nominal length of study, about 38 per cent for the past two years. After five years, which is the completion deadline for bachelor students, the completion rate is 55 per cent. As regards master’s degree programmes, the completion rate within the nominal length of study is relatively stable at around 66 per cent, whereas it is at around 90 per cent after four years.

In 2019 more than 100 students gave extra tuition to fellow students to support their academic development through a special supervision scheme. In 2020 the school is planning to implement data related to drop-out students digitally. This will make it possible to replace manual work with a digital reality where big data and analysis tools will help identify patterns more easily and plan preventive measures.

The programme portfolio

In 2019 three new programmes contributed to revitalizing the bachelor’s programmes portfolio. In 2020 a number of important decisions will be made, and a new course towards the structuring and implementation of the project “The Future of the Bachelor’s Programmes Model” will be marked out.

The project is about what will characterize bachelor graduates in the future and how to prepare for the students’ educational journey in a sustainable way. In 2020 BI’s management team will report on and determine the structure of the new model, and then make a plan for the implementation and incorporation of the new model in existing programmes.


  • Bachelor of Organization Psychology, HR and Management
  • Bachelor of Digital Communication and Marketing
  • Bachelor of Business Analytics
  • Master of Science in Applied Economics
  • Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Master of Science in Business Law and Economics



  • Sustainability as Competitive Advantage
  • The Digital Change Agent
  • Attentive Management in a Digital Age
  • The Insurance Broker Role - marine and energy issues, reassurance and framework conditions
  • Compliance, Law and Ethics for the Insurance Industry



BI wants to offer full-time master’s degree programmes outside Oslo. In the time to come, work on a concept of how deliver such programmes in the best possible way at several campuses, in view of the fact that almost all the faculty are located in the capital, will be continued. In 2019 a successful pilot for a full-time master’s degree programme with nine students was conducted at our campus in Bergen. This is an arrangement that will be continued and extended in 2020.


BI needs both an excellent staff and excellent students. In 2019 the school received many strong applications for scholarships both at bachelor’s and master’s level (MSc).

A total of 51 talented international students from 24 countries and 8 Norwegian students were granted MSc scholarships in 2019. At master’s level the following scholarships are granted: BI Presidential Scholarship, MSc International Scholarship, BI Norwegian Business School/QS Scholarship and A. Wilhelmsen Foundation Scholarship. BI is the sponsor of the first three, whereas the A. Wilhelmsen Foundation is the sponsor of the last scholarship.

At bachelor’s level, 12 competent students, of which 5 were international and 7 Norwegian students, were granted scholarships that covered all or part of the tuition fees.



BI has had a strong focus on the internship scheme over time, including the year 2019. We believe that practical experience and contact with business through credit-giving internships constitute an important element in the course of education for our students. 

We believe that practical experience and contact with business through credit-giving internships constitute an important element in the course of education for our students.

For 186 bachelor students and 199 master’s degree students internships formed part of their timetable in the past year, as compared to 130 and 99 respectively in 2018. In 2019 26 students had internships in their own enterprises compared to 19 in 2018.