Annual report 2021

Partnerships, Society and business

Through mutually-enriching cooperation and partnerships, BI will be a key supporter in the development of stronger business and public sectors, relevant study programmes and a greener Norway.

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A more connected BI

To strengthen, professionalise and institutionalise how BI interacts with business, administrations and alumni, connectedness was elevated as one of our Strategic Priorities in 2021. In the past year, the Outreach Department has led a project to gain insight from inside and outside the BI sphere, both in Norway and internationally. In the future, the insight will be used to formulate concrete recommendations for how BI can work to safeguard a campus culture to be even better connected to society and business. In 2022, BI will further develop its cooperation with our partners and alumni and clarify how these can contribute to development and ensure work-life relevance in the school's activities, courses and programmes.

A relevant example of this can be seen in the Master Merit Society, where BI's most outstanding master's degree students are introduced to selected business partners, who in turn have the opportunity to meet future leaders. In 2021, Accenture, Gjensidige and Deloitte participated as partners in this collaboration.

Alumni & events

BI Alumni is a global network of over 85 000 members from over 80 countries. Our former BI students are our most important ambassadors, both in Norway and abroad. In 2021, the pandemic led to several planned alumni events being cancelled, both at home and abroad. However, BI did carry out some events aimed at the target group, including a cooperation with the French-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce and the Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce. BI also further developed webinars with contemporary academic discussions, including the popular concept CEO Talks where business leaders discuss career and management with BI's president. 

Dialogue with business

BI has a long tradition of arranging dialogue meetings with the business sector where the goal is to gain insight into the competence needs of different industries. In 2021, these could not be carried out on campus due to restrictions, but BI arranged several smaller meetings with various companies and industry organisations where we received input that was used in innovation processes related to the development of new study programmes, both at the bachelor's and master's levels.

In 2021, BI also developed and established 20 Programme Advisory Councils for our bachelor's and master's programmes. These councils have an average of six representatives from relevant industries and businesses. The members provide BI with input and feedback to ensure that our study programmes meet current and relevant competence needs in working life.

BI Corporate

BI Corporate works with value-driven deliveries to the public and private sectors. In 2021, BI Corporate submitted 54 projects and had a turnover of around 90 million kroner, compared with about 105 million the year before.

There has been a tendency for lower demand for traditional courses and programmes in recent years. Corporate customers want long-term partners for change, innovation, value creation and process-based problem solving where practice weighs heaviest. Today, BI has secured national positions in education management, health management, tax law, and safety management.

In the school and kindergarten sector, BI has assignments on national programmes until 2025. We started four new national programmes for school and kindergarten leaders last year, on behalf of the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. BI also gained renewed confidence in starting a programme for educational leaders in kindergartens on behalf of the City of Oslo.

In the autumn of 2021, KS in partnership with the regional health authorities chose to exercise its option to extend the senior management programme for the health sector. The seventh class for the national leadership education for primary healthcare also started in 2021. A fully digital programme aimed at general practitioner services will start in January 2022.

At the start of the year, BI entered into an agreement with Veidekke to implement a tailor-made senior management programme, designed for the Group's 150 top executives. BI was also chosen as the new main provider of OBOS' two-year leadership development programme for young leadership talent.

With the Norwegian Tax Administration as a partner and customer, BI has for the past ten years offered a very popular master's degree in tax law. Our master's degree in safety management also experiences a steady supply of students.

Research that results in change

Several of our researchers were appointed to public expert committees in 2021, influenced practice in the business sector and participated in various ways in the public debate, both nationally and internationally. This is a recognition of our academic and professional expertise in areas of great importance for the development of society. Some examples from 2021:

Associate Professor Sven Klingler received 8 million kroner from the Research Council of Norway and their Researcher Project for Young Talents. The funds go to the project Funding frictions after the global financial crisis, which looks at how frictions affect funding for countries, banks, pension plans and insurance companies. 

Postdoctoral fellow Ingrid Hjort was one of two economists on the government's Expert Committee for a Medical, Socioeconomic, Legal and Economic Assessment of the Corona Vaccines of AstraZeneca and Janssen.

In 2021, Associate Professor Samson Esayas was awarded His Majesty the King's Gold Medal for his PhD thesis, which addresses how large companies such as Facebook and Google commercialise personal data.

Professor Hilde C. Bjørnland was appointed to the Financial Policy Council of Finland. As a key independent player, the Council works to improve and monitor goals and methods related to the country's economic policy.

Associate Professor Matilda Dorotic and Professor Luk Warlop received 1.8 million kroner in EEA-funded research support as part of the international research project SmartFood, which will research a more collaborative approach to the consumption and production of food in cities.

Professor Charlotte Østergaard was appointed as the first researcher from BI in 2021 to be appointed to the board of the Financial Markets Fund for a period of 4 years. The fund's purpose is to finance research and general information that provides better knowledge of financial markets and increased ethical awareness.

Professor Hilde C. Bjørnland leads the research project MACROCAMP, which in 2021 was awarded 12 million kroner by the Research Council of Norway. The project is a collaboration that also includes Associate Professor Leif Anders Thorsrud and researchers from Australia, USA and Norges Bank.

Professor Jon H. Fiva leads the research project The Dynamics of Political Selection, which in 2021 was awarded 12 million kroner from the Research Council of Norway. The project is a collaboration with researchers from Harvard and Stanford, among others, that investigates how political parties recruit politicians.

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