Annual Report 2020

Accreditations and rankings

BI is again ranked as the best business school in Norway, but the brand is not equally strong internationally. Covid-19 also made 2020 a challenging year for rankings. Our accreditations and rankings are still an important stamp of quality and show that our programmes are at the level of the best in the world.

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Both in Norway and abroad, BI’s accreditations, in the same way as rankings, are of great importance for our reputation. They increase the value of a diploma from BI and are a valuable factor in the competition for recruiting international faculty and students. BI Norwegian Business School was in 2020 still the only business school in Norway with the top three international accreditations: EQUIS (European Quality Improvement Systems), AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and AMBA (The Association of MBAs). Schools with all three accreditations are called Triple Crown schools. On a global basis, less than one per cent of all business schools have been able to achieve triple accreditation.

The tree accreditations are awarded for five years at a time and then have to be defended through a reaccreditation process. During the period 2018-2020, BI has completed such a process with all three. BI succeeded with AMBA reaccreditation in 2018 and AACSB in 2019 and was awarded reaccreditation until 2023 and 2024 respectively. A digital visit by EQUIS took place in November and the decision is expected in February 2021.

The accreditation by NOKUT is the backbone for a private specialized university institution like BI. After the introduction of the new supervision model, which was tested at BI among others in 2018, the school uses the experiences from this in an intensive work on improvement areas, and the further development of the Programme Quality System, as well as the systematic work on quality at the institution. This work has made BI well prepared for a new inspection by NOKUT in March 2021.


Covid-19 made 2020 a challenging year for performing rankings. One of the most important groups of respondents is our alumni, and in 2020 many of these experienced social isolation, had to work from home offices and were sometimes laid-off. For many, this removed the focus from answering questionnaires. For the Financial Times ranking of the master’s programmes in finance (MSc in Finance), the number of respondents was too low for BI to be ranked. In the ranking by the same newspaper of the Masters in Management programmes (MSc in Business) BI chose to opt out due to feedback from alumni who did not want to participate.

Nevertheless, BI participated in the Financial Times Executive Education ranking (Customized programmes and open enrolment programmes), where we were ranked no. 80 of 85 and no. 65 of 75 respectively. BI also participated with two programmes (BI EMBA and BI-Fudan MBA) in the Executive MBA ranking by the same newspaper. Here the results were no. 76 of 100 and no 28 of 100.

In the Financial Times overall school ranking, The European School Ranking, BI was ranked the best business school in Norway and no 49 of 90 in Europe.

Besides, BI participated in the QS Masters ranking with our MSC in Business (no. 27 of 148), MSc in Strategic Marketing Management (no. 24 of 93) and MSc in Finance (no. 44 of 166).

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