The pandemic led to less mobility to and from BI in the past year. BI’s ambition, nevertheless, is to take a global approach to teaching, research and business, and we place strong emphasis on providing the students with international perspectives in the classroom.
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 institutions than business schools.
A different year for exchange and student mobility
The corona pandemic had great consequences for many students and BI’ s work to make arrangements for outgoing and incoming students. The majority of Norwegian students abroad interrupted their stay abroad while several international students decided to stay in Norway rather than go home.
A total of 90 students from BI were taking part of their Bachelor’s Degree in International Marketing (BIM) at different institutions in seven counties. During the spring, 79 returned to Norway whereas 11 chose to stay.
84 BI students, scattered around the world, were abroad on their exchange semester. 23 of them chose to stay, whereas the rest returned to Norway during the spring.
17 Double Degree students, who spend one year at BI and one year at a partner institution, were studying at institutions in Europe and Canada. Some of them returned to Norway but were able to complete their programmes digitally. Three students were strongly affected and have had to delay their graduation.
8 QTEM students, who take a master’s degree with a compulsory stay abroad and an internship, were studying in Europe and Australia. Six of these completed their programmes, whereas two students of foreign origin were hard hit by closed borders, since entry into the country is governed by nationality and not affiliation with a programme of study.
In the spring semester of 2020 BI’s Oslo campus had 178 bachelor’s degree students and 96 master’s degree students from partner institutions. The students were well taken care of and they were all offered digital teaching and examinations. Some chose to return home, while many students thought it was safer to remain in Norway than to return to their home countries during the pandemic.
At the end of April and in May, BI decided to cancel all mobility for the autumn semester (including incoming and outgoing exchange) to and from countries outside Europe and countries inside Europe respectively.
International summer school
BI had more than 50 master’s degree students who intended to attend a summer school abroad in the summer of 2020. Many of them cancelled their plans and the rest attended the teaching digitally. This has been recognized as part of their degree. In order to meet the great need for a summer course, we also decided to offer two courses for master’s degree students from BI.
70 students took the course Crisis Management – Preparedness and Response, whereas 40 students. took the course Cross-Cultural Negotiations: Doing Business Internationally. The students’ response was very positive.
BI International Case Competition
In February, before the lock-down, we hosted our international case competition BIICC for the fifth time. Twelve teams from eleven different countries and four continents, 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 the winner was Queen’s University, Canada.
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. Since the start, several programmes for top executives, with participants from several of the country’s biggest technology enterprises, have been conducted. We have also hosted a number of delegations from, among others, Abelia and Equinor who visited our centre for innovation in Beijing. In 2020 it was decided to postpone all planned activities at Tsinghua due to the corona pandemic.
International alumni involvement
BI Alumni 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. In 2020, due to the corona pandemic, several planned alumni events abroad were cancelled. Instead, our members were offered a number of webinars in Norwegian and English. We believe that international alumni activities contribute to brand building, which is an important element in our international recruitment strategy.
BI International Advisory Board
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.