In 2021, BI celebrated 25 years of successful cooperation leadership education in China. This is true even as the pandemic continued to complicate our students’ plans to study abroad.
Exchange and student mobility during corona times
The situation for student exchange at BI was unpredictable and uncertain during the two years of the pandemic and government restrictions, both for outgoing and incoming students. There are many costs associated with exchanges and many students had a hard time balancing the uncertainty against all the practicalities that need to be arranged.
Still, the interest in exchange programmes among BI students remained high. However, the uncertainty resulted in several cancellations by our partner schools, and the practical challenges forced students to cancel their exchange plans. The situation was particularly challenging in countries outside of Europe. In 2021, BI welcomed far more exchange students than we sent out, partly because Norway had good and predictable entry rules and quarantine schemes.
In 2021, BI had a total of 295 outgoing and 506 incoming exchange students. In a normal year, that number would normally be 500 outgoing and 750 coming in.
Students from our Bachelor of International Management programme were hit particularly hard by the pandemic over the past two years. This group has a mandatory third year abroad where they can choose from seven international destinations. In 2021, the teaching in most of these destinations was conducted digitally, and unfortunately many students were not able to experience living and studying in another country and culture.
International Summer School
A total of 207 students attended BI's digital summer school in 2021; of these, 32 were international students from BI's partner schools. Although the majority were our own students from our four campuses, as many as 30 nationalities were represented among the participants. Topics for this year's course included crisis management, programming, storytelling for the business sector and multisensory marketing.
BI International Case Competition
The pandemic did not stop the BI International Case Competition in 2021, but this was the first Nordic and all-digital edition since its inception in 2016. This year's main topics included sustainability, digitalisation, and workplaces of the future.
Eight teams from the various Nordic countries participated and delivered case solutions provided by BI's strategic partners – Sbanken and ISS Facility Services. This year's big winner was the student team from Copenhagen Business School.
25 years in China
BI celebrated 25 years of successful collaboration in 2021 with the Fudan University School of Management (Shanghai) in training future business leaders through our BI-Fudan MBA programme. The anniversary was celebrated in China with several events for students, alumni and the business community. Since its inception in 1996, the programme has educated around 3000 business leaders who currently work in several of the region's largest Nordic and international companies.
BI International Advisory Board
In 2020 and 2021, the BI International Advisory Board met virtually on three occasions to discuss key issues for BI. The board plays an advisory role for BI administration and the board of trustees. It is comprised of business leaders with experience from major international companies, academics from international institutions of higher education and members from our alumni network. The Advisory Board's goal is to strengthen BI internationally by allowing an independent and external body to assess BI's role from the outside – in terms of our role in society, and in terms of our strategic priorities and their implementation.
A global alumni network
BI has a global network of alumni with over 85 000 members from over 80 countries. Former BI students who live and work outside of Norway are our most important ambassadors abroad and are key to our international recruitment strategy. Since the pandemic led to several planned alumni events being cancelled, BI has prioritised offering our members a number of internationally-oriented webinars over the past two years with guests from the business community.