Annual report 2021

A word from the President

BI took several steps in 2021 to develop and secure our position as a leading European business school.

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The pandemic continued to affect BI's plans and activities this past year. Systematic and strenuous efforts have been made to deliver good learning experiences through a combination of digital teaching and classes conducted on campus. This situation has been challenging for students and staff, but we kept campuses open and were encouraged as they slowly came back to life.

Efforts to improve social and academic integration among students were significantly strengthened, partly by launching the national mentoring scheme for new BI students. More than 5000 first-year students were offered mentors from among +200 student mentors in 2021. 

To ensure that BI continues to shape people and business for an international, digital and sustainable future, even in the post-pandemic period, we decided in 2021 to revise our BI Strategy for 2025. The strategy document sets out a clear course for how BI will continue to deliver attractive and relevant teaching programmes, develop strong academic environments that assert themselves internationally, and involve society and the business community in our activities. The strategy sets the guidelines for how BI will work even more purposefully in several areas, including internationalisation, sustainability and research.

NOKUT accreditation is a precondition for the existence of Norwegian universities and university colleges. In 2021, we were pleased that NOKUT approved BI's quality assurance system and systematic quality control work.

Work on BI's revised bachelor model was accelerated last year. The model facilitates increased mobility and relevance to working life, in line with expectations and requirements set by the authorities. The model will be launched in the fall of 2023. BI students are given unique flexibility with opportunities to integrate internships and exchange programmes as part of their course of study.

The government amended the Masters Regulations in 2021. These regulations tell us which educational institutions are authorised to offer five-year professional studies in law. BI applied for NOKUT approval for a 2-year MSc in Law and has started work to develop a 3-year bachelor's degree. Both programmes will focus mostly on corporate law and be ready for the fall semester of 2023.

BI was ranked as Norway's best business school for the sixth year in a row by the Financial Times. BI also experienced growth in applicant numbers in 2021, with a subsequent turnover increase of 9% for full-time and 9.6% for the executive education market. BI was recognised by the UN in 2021 for our work and reporting on sustainability. We celebrated 25 years of successful collaboration with the Fudan University School of Management (Shanghai), where we have trained over 3000 business leaders in our BI-Fudan MBA programme since 1996.

Such results are not possible without the support of our students, employees, alumni and partners. I would therefore like to thank everyone who has contributed to BI's growth and development this past year.

Inge Jan Henjesand

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