Annual report 2021

Accreditations and rankings

Our accreditations and rankings are an important stamp of quality that shows that BI delivers educational programmes in line with the best in the world. BI was ranked as Norway's best business school by Financial Times for the sixth year in a row in 2021. NOKUT also approved BI's quality assurance system.


Accreditations are of great importance to our reputation. They increase the value of a diploma from BI and are valuable when recruiting international employees and students. In 2021, BI was still the only business school in Norway awarded the three prestigious international accreditations;

  • EQUIS (European Quality Improvement Systems)
  • AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)
  • AMBA (The Association of MBAs).

Schools with all three accreditations are called Triple Crown schools. Less than 1 % of the world's business schools have achieved triple accreditation.

For the period 2018-2021, BI has also completed successful re-accreditation processes in all its national and international accreditations (NOKUT, AMBA, AACSB, EQUIS and EOOCS). Once again, BI succeeded in defending and maintaining our accreditation status for all of these agencies, which are granted for five years at a time. The EQUIS process, which was carried out in November 2020 and awarded in February 2021, was done digitally for the first time, yet the experience was still positive. The committee had access to BI documentation a long time before the meeting, and BI provided the logistics for Zoom meetings between the committee and the different target groups.

NOKUT's supervision of BI's systematic quality work ended in June 2021 with NOKUT approving our quality assurance system and our practical quality work. The NOKUT system which supervises Norwegian educational institutions is the spinal cord of private scientific universities like BI. The successful outcome was therefore very important and came after a long period of good and intense work in a number of areas of improvement, as well as further development of the study quality system and the systematic quality work at the institution. The preparations also included a broad mobilisation across the organisation prior to the NOKUT audit in March 2021.


BI was ranked as Norway's best business school for the sixth year in a row by the Financial Times (European Business Schools Ranking). In 2021, BI participated in more secondary rankings than ever before (Financial Times, The Economist and QS). Our BI-Fudan MBA programme in China is still ranked as one of the world's very best.

Results in other secondary rankings vary, but BI is stable in the lower tier. The reasons for this are that we compete with a number of the other schools on different terms. Unlike the best schools, we do not have programmes that are suitable for scoring highly to the same extent, and the proportion of academics with a PhD is lower. The latter is natural and correct as BI must at the same time be research-based and practice-oriented.

The pandemic continued to make its mark in 2021 on the implementation of our rankings, both for ranking bodies and schools. As far as BI is concerned, it was still demanding to get sufficient support from our alumni, on whom several of the secondary rankings depend, probably because many still have a demanding everyday life that takes the focus away from participating in surveys.