Annual report 2023

Board of trustees report

In 2023, BI celebrated its 80th anniversary, the first class began the school's new program in law and Artificial Intelligence made a significant impact in the education sector.

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In 2023, BI Business School marked 80 years since Finn Øien established the school on 1 June 1943. Through eight decades, BI has left its footprint on the development of society, educated 300,000 workers for the business world and created research that influences practice in working life and political decisions. The anniversary aimed to showcase the school's impact on society through several events for staff, alums, students and the business world. The board was pleased with how the organisation got together to celebrate the school's rich history and significant contribution to society.

BI's core activities are teaching and research. The board emphasises the importance and need for fact-based knowledge in a world characterised by significant challenges such as war, conflicts, the climate crisis, and fake news.

The board is concerned that BI's teaching and research should make a difference and positively impact society, which aligns with BI's strategy. Several examples of BI research are being used and discussed among important decision-makers nationally and internationally. BI has had considerable success with its academic production, and this helps to strengthen the school's teaching programmes. The board is proud that BI delivers high-quality teaching and research.

BI's new law programme was positively received, and the first class started in August 2023. This was a historic event for BI and an important milestone for Norway's legal profession and professional legal community. The applicant figures show that a record number applied to BI's bachelor's programs in 2023, helped by many applicants for the bachelor's in law.

The board is satisfied with the measures to reverse last year's deficit. In 2023, many demanding financial priorities were implemented. The board highlights the work with a new pension scheme, a 5% reduction in administrative employees, and a cost-saving inspection scheme. The board emphasises that, despite a significantly improved financial situation, BI still needs good cost control to be well-equipped in the future.

The board has followed the ongoing debate about freedom of expression in academia. The board emphasises the importance of academics getting involved in debates and that there should be room for different opinions in academic discussions. BI must be an educational institution where academic freedom and freedom of expression are important principles.

In 2023, much attention was devoted to artificial intelligence (AI). AI will significantly impact the world in several ways and areas and has already made inroads into the education sector. There is little doubt that AI will influence how people work with research, teaching and solving administrative tasks. We can already see that, for example, exam performance is affected. There are many exciting possibilities to be explored regarding the use of AI at BI. The board has high expectations for how AI will be used at the school in the future.

The board would like to thank students, staff, the student organisation BISO, alums and other partners who have enabled BI to deliver high-quality research and teaching in the past year.

Goal achievement and results

Financial results

BI delivers positive results at a time of economic uncertainty, higher costs and geopolitical unrest. BI's result is strongly affected by a large reversal of the pension liability on the balance sheet. At the same time, there has been a record-breaking admission to the school's full-time studies.

Annual results and the board's measures

BI is an independent foundation whose sole purpose is teaching and research. All profits will be used to strengthen this purpose and students' learning.

The group

BI Norwegian Business School Foundation is the parent company, with a corporate structure consisting of the 100% owned subsidiaries BI-Bygget D-Blokka AS, Sandakerveien D-Blokka AS, Sandakerveien 116-118 AS, Bedriftsøkonomisk Institutt AS, and Studentenes Hus AS. 

All the companies have their business address at Nydalsveien 37, Oslo. Of the subsidiaries, only BI-Bygget D-Blokka AS was active in 2023 through the letting of premises. BI-Bygget D-Blokka AS owns 21.7% of the property in Oslo, while the Business School Foundation BI owns 78.3%. The group's turnover was NOK 1,969 million in 2023, and the operating profit was NOK 239.8 million.

The group's property investments are financed through a mortgage in DNB Bank ASA, with security in the properties in Nydalen. Instalments corresponding to NOK 10 million have been paid in the group during the year, and the remaining mortgage loans amount to NOK 393 million at the time of the balance sheet. In total, the group's financial items amounted to a cost of NOK 20,9 million in 2023. The real value of the properties in Nydalen is considered to be well above the book value.

The group's profit before tax for the year was NOK 218.9 million. The tax cost for the year was NOK 6,5 million, which relates to the rental business in both the parent company and the subsidiary BI-Bygget D-Blokka AS. Thus, profit after tax was NOK 212.4 million.

Net cash flow from operational activities and investments was NOK -47.4 million. At the end of the year, NOK 185.7 million of the group's right of withdrawal of NOK 250 million had been used, compared to NOK 127.7 million at the same time in 2022. The book equity for the group as of 31 December 2023 was NOK 1,018 million.

BI Norwegian Business School Foundation

In 2023, the BI Norwegian Business School Foundation had a profit of 197.8 million after tax. The result for 2023 includes a reversal of the pension obligation in connection with the pension scheme change from a benefit-based pension to a contribution-based pension for a group of employees. This reversal resulted in an income of NOK 198.2 million, giving a deficit in 2023 of NOK -0.4 million. The board is satisfied with the measures taken to improve BI's financial results for the time ahead.

The BI Norwegian Business School Foundation achieved an income growth of NOK 42.6 million from 2022 to 2023, which resulted in a total turnover of NOK 1,942 million. State aid amounted to NOK 461.3 million, or 23.8% of turnover. Tuition income rose by NOK 19.3 million to NOK 1,403 million, an increase of 1.4%. The prices for studies and courses were regulated by 5% on average for the year 2023.

There was a good admission to the first year of a full-time bachelor's degree, with an increase of 408 students from autumn 2023. The number of students who progressed from the first to the second year of study for a bachelor's degree showed an improvement compared to the autumn of 2022. In the third year of study, there was a reduction in the number of students due to a weak intake in the autumn of 2021. In total, the number of full-time bachelor's students increased by 183. Admission to the first year of master's studies rose from 736 students in autumn 2022 to 830 students in autumn 2023, an increase of 12.8%.

The turnover for executive education fell from NOK 443 million in 2022 to NOK 421.1 million in 2023. The turnover in online courses and the MBA study organised at Fudan University in Shanghai sharply dropped in 2023. The turnover in the corporate market increased from NOK 98 million in 2022 to NOK 102 million in 2023.

Operating profit increased by NOK 240.3 million and ended at NOK 217.5 million. The high operating result was strongly driven by significant reversals of pension liabilities linked to liquidating a closed defined benefit pension scheme for a group of employees.

Much of the cost base is linked to wages and social costs. Salaries and other personnel costs fell by 14.7%. This reduction is related to discontinuing the defined benefit pension for a group of employees with a transfer to a defined contribution pension and the return of NOK 198.2 million in pension obligations linked to this scheme. In addition, the number of employees has been reduced by 16 FTEs. There has been a reduction in the administration of 21 FTEs and an increase in the professional staff of 5 FTEs. Launching a new law programme drove the growth in faculty. In 2023, many cost-reducing measures were implemented, which, together with reduced energy prices, resulted in decreased operating costs from NOK -24.5 million to NOK 616.1 million. This is despite high price increases for most goods and services except energy.

Depreciation fell by NOK 0.7 million from 2022 to NOK 100.7 million in 2023. Large digital investment projects completed in 2023 will be used in 2024, and depreciation will begin on these facilities, increasing depreciation in the future.  

Net financial items increased by NOK 1.7 million to NOK 17.5 million. This is due to reduced liquidity and increased use of drawing rights.

Interest-free instalments were agreed upon on the mortgage loan with DNB in 2023. On the balance sheet date, NOK 185.7 million of the withdrawal right of NOK 250 million was used, an increase of NOK 58 million compared to 2022. In 2023, a net withdrawal was made against the subsidiary BI-Bygget D-Blokka AS for NOK 56.8 million through a group account arrangement. The foundation follows a financial security strategy, meaning a minimum of 33% of the mortgage must always be secured through fixed interest rate agreements. On the balance sheet date, the part of the loan tied up in fixed interest rate agreements amounts to NOK 150 million. The hedging ratio is 49.5% on the balance sheet date. The fixed-rate agreements have different durations; the next one expires in January 2026, while the longest one expires in April 2028.

The cash flow from operations amounted to NOK 30 million, up from NOK 23 million in 2022. In 2023, pension scheme payments increased by NOK 41.8 million to NOK 184.7 million. Investments amounted to NOK 101.4, down from NOK 111.9 million in 2022. The liquidation of defined benefit pensions for a group of employees is expected to improve the balance of the cash flow going forward. Still, in 2023, this decision had no liquidity effect despite significant reversals of pension liabilities accounted for.

It is not difficult to find either short-term or long-term financing, and there is currently an agreement with DNB on drawing rights with varying limits throughout the year. For parts of the year, there is no need for a right of withdrawal, as the business has surplus liquidity in periods around the large semester payments at the beginning of the semester.

BI is financed by student fees and competes with public players who offer free studies, which creates a significant market risk. BI depends on a steady flow of students, and a large number of students at the bachelor's level is essential. The management addresses the market exposure continuously, and the board is confident that the foundation is equipped to handle fluctuations in results.

As of February, the preliminary numbers of applicants for full-time studies in the autumn of 2024 are better than at the same time in 2023. It is expected that the number of full-time students in the first year of study in the autumn of 2024 will be at least at the same level as in the autumn of 2023.

The company's financial risk is monitored and analysed continuously. Financial risk includes credit risk, liquidity risk and interest rate risk. Credit risk is mainly accounts receivable, which is considered a minor risk as the company has good routines for collecting outstanding claims. The net loss on claims has been stable over several years, and there is no reason to believe this will change significantly. Liquidity risk is assessed as low as the liquidity flow to the company is stable and predictable. The interest rate risk is considered limited. The company currently has interest-bearing mortgage loans of NOK 303 million, secured by interest-rate swap agreements of NOK 150 million. In addition to the mortgage, a part of the right of withdrawal is used, which will vary significantly during the year.

The foundation's equity was added to the year's profit by NOK 197.8 million. Changed calculation assumptions for the pension schemes resulted in a negative estimate deviation of NOK 56.3 million, entered directly against the equity following the accounting standard. Thus, the net contribution to equity was NOK 141.5 million.

At the end of the year, the building in Nydalen had a book value of NOK 1,327.5 million. Operating assets are depreciated according to the same principles as in previous years.

The remaining debt to DNB amounts to NOK 488.7 million on the balance sheet date, including NOK 185.7 million in used right of withdrawal. At the time of the balance sheet, the foundation meets the lender's covenant requirements.

Following the Accounting Act §3-3 a, it is confirmed that the prerequisites for continued operation are present. As of 2023, the board has not taken out a board liability insurance.

High quality in education and research

BI climbed nine places from last year and now ranks 39th among the 90 best business schools in Europe in the Financial Times' leading ranking of European business schools. In addition, BI has kept its status as a so-called "Triple Crown school" through the AMBA reaccreditation in 2023. Together with only one per cent of business schools in Europe, BI has the three most recognised accreditations a business school can have: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), European Quality Improvement Systems (EQUIS) and The Association and MBAs (AMBA) — clear proof that BI delivers world-class education and research.

Over time, the authorities have been clear that the course of study must be relevant to working life. Therefore, the board is satisfied that the labour market survey 2023 shows that 87% of BI's bachelor's and 97% of master's students were employed 6 months after graduation. 

As an international business school, BI recruits from recognised professional environments worldwide. The proportion of internationals in faculty was 38% in 2023, compared to 40% in 2022.

A significant part of BI's investment in research is the school's doctoral programme. The board will highlight establishing a new PhD specialisation in accounting and auditing in 2023. This was an important step in achieving the ambition that the PhD programme should cover all of BI's subject areas. It was also impressive that a record number of PhD scholarship holders defended their dissertations at BI in 2023 with 16 dissertations.

Another significant milestone was the start of BI's first CAS (Centre of Advanced Study) project in 2023. In the same year, BI was awarded its second prestigious CAS project. Both of these are important recognitions of the level of research at BI and the scientific expertise at the Department of Finance and the Department of Social Economics.

Over time, BI has invested in developing outstanding lecturers, and students attach great importance to this when choosing a place of study. In 2023, BI appointed its first five Excellent Teacher Practitioners. This scheme has been created to recognise and reward talented educators. The board hopes this investment will further develop BI's status as an outstanding educational institution.

It is an important strategic investment that BI research is published in recognised international scientific journals. Over several years, the number of articles published in top-ranked scientific journals has increased. For 2023, the number of scientific publications remained at the same high level as in 2022, a record year at BI.

In 2023, BI's externally funded research projects had a turnover of NOK 41.4 million. Despite a decrease compared to 2022, the trend over recent years shows a general increase for externally funded research. BI focuses on increasing research funding from the Research Council of Norway and the EU. As part of this, in 2022, BI started BI's Research Talent Programme, a programme for BI's young research talents who have ambitions to win in the Research Council's Research Project for Young Talents (FRIPRO) or the European Research Council's (ERC) Starting Grant programme. The first participants finished the programme in 2023, and the board looks forward to the investment bearing fruit in the future.

BI appointed three new honorary doctors as part of BI's 80th anniversary. Professor Nicholas Bloom (Stanford University) and Professor Kathryn E. Spier (Harvard Law School) were recognised for their significant contributions to important subject areas for BI researchers. BI's students elected Lise Klaveness, President of the Norwegian Football Federation, because of her efforts for equality and human rights.

In 2023, AF‐gruppen, Backe, Multiconsult, Norconsult, OBOS, Statsbygg and Veidekke joined forces to finance BI's endowment professorship in efficient construction processes with NOK 4.2 million spread over a period of three years. This endowment professorship will further develop BI's professional environment related to research, education and knowledge dissemination within the Norwegian construction, construction and property industry.

Welfare, value-creation and reorganisation

Good learning experiences and well-being among the students are a high priority for the board and the organisation. Follow-up of students, both socially and academically, is an important part of this work. BI facilitated several skills courses and guidance for students last year, in addition to social measures at the start of studies and throughout the year. Activities include: 

  • Tutoring, where students help other students.
  • Coffee Hour in the student cafeteria.
  • Courses on important study tools.
  • Assistance to students who want help forming study groups.

The board is concerned about the students' physical learning environment, which has been highlighted in the Learning Environment Committee (LMU) reports. A survey of the students' use of reading places shows capacity challenges during the exam period. BI is exploring different solutions to improve capacity on campus Oslo and campus Bergen.

Ensuring student study progression is an important task at BI. For the bachelor students, the completion rate was 48%, a reduction of just under 5% compared to last year. Among the master's students, the completion rate decreased from 84% in 2022 to 82% in 2023. The completion rate for PhD students increased significantly, from 45.5% in 2022 to 71% in 2023. For the latter, it is important to note that the numerical basis is minimal and that small changes have a significant impact.

As a leading European business school, BI's studies must be constantly developed and renewed. Large and important projects are ongoing, contributing to BI's ability to deliver research-based teaching programs and outstanding learning experiences.

The authorities have emphasised that universities and colleges must facilitate increased mobility. In this context, the board will highlight the long-term work on revising BI's bachelor's model, which was implemented for students who started at BI in the autumn of 2023. The new bachelor's model allows more students to go on exchange and gain international experience, which aligns with the authorities' expectations. The model also provides closer business cooperation through BI's internship scheme. Sustainability is also more strongly integrated into the introductory courses of the bachelor's studies.

The Degree Planning project will enable BI to manage the students' increased expectations for flexibility and individual adaptation of their course of study while ensuring BI's profitability with effective support systems and work processes. The project has been ongoing since 2021, and implementation is happening gradually. An important milestone from last year was when 200 master's students tested out the new education plan and choice of course in November 2023.

The board looks forward to BI's new application and admissions system, BIAX, launching in autumn 2024. By combining several services related to applications and admissions on the same platform, BIAX will facilitate a more seamless user experience for students and staff.

The board has high expectations for the ongoing Future Program Delivery project, an innovation project that will impact how BI delivers education in the future. Among other things, possibilities related to combinations of digital and physical teaching, classroom design, and more intensive and short-term course deliveries are explored. Technological development offers many teaching opportunities, and students also have increased expectations for BI to use this technology. The board emphasises that this is necessary for BI to deliver high-quality teaching and flexibility for both students and staff. 

The important work on BI's new strategy for 2025 to 2030 started in 2023. The board aims for the new strategy to function as a road map for the school's future priorities, with clear goals for success in teaching and research in the years to come.

In a society characterised by growth and development, knowledge and ground-breaking research will be essential to answering society's big questions and challenges in the future. BI's research must help influence society's development.

Competent teachers, digital learning tools, and flexibility in teaching are important priorities. Together with a student-oriented approach in everything we do, BI ensures that students in bachelor's, master's, and executive education receive high-quality teaching that prepares them for a constantly changing working life.

BI can demonstrate a strong regional, national, international, and digital presence. This aligns with the school's strategic ambitions and the authorities' expectations that educational institutions should offer flexible education to as many people as possible and contribute to increased cooperation and knowledge development with foreign partners.

BI's collaboration with Fudan University in China and other recognised international educational institutions ensures that BI is uniquely positioned to deliver education internationally. With today's tense geopolitical situation, the board considers BI to have the necessary experience and competence to handle any challenges and changes that the future may bring.

The board is satisfied that BI maintains a solid position in the full-time market. In 2023, BI took market shares for bachelor's and master's programs with classroom education. In addition, the expansion of the programme portfolio, with the law programme, has made the school attractive to new groups of potential students. 2023 was the year with the most applicants and new students for the full-time programmes throughout history.

Going forward, efforts are being made to secure BI's position in the national market and strengthen its position internationally. There is an expectation to maintain bachelor's studies, while investing in growth in master's studies. This is in a market where, according to Statistics Norway's projections, youth cohorts are increasing slightly.

The working life barometer prepared by OsloMet and YS shows declining interest in executive education. In addition, increased interest rates, inflation, and uncertain economic times increase the risk that students and employers are more reluctant to invest in education. This creates a more challenging situation for the executive education market.

BI still considers the need for executive education to increase in the future. This is supported by the current government's investment in executive education. Although there are already large volumes, BI's position in this market is expected to be maintained despite increasing competition from, among other things, public, partially free providers.

In 2023, the growth in applicants for economic and administrative studies through The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (Samordna Opptak) was mainly driven by applications for online programmes. This shows that public schools in the national market now deliver a wider range of programmes to the full-time target group and that different delivery models are in demand. The board emphasises that if BI is to maintain its market position, it must adapt to this development in the coming years. 

The introduction of tuition fees for international students outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, as well as restrictions on scholarships for the same group, will affect the number of international students applying for studies in Norway. International students with an A average are sought after by all educational institutions, and it is common for them to receive scholarships from their academic institutions. When Norwegian educational institutions cannot offer these students scholarships, they will no longer be as attractive to the academically strongest students from countries outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

Within executive education, the board emphasises the increased need for competence due to the high rate of change in society. Cooperation with partners will become increasingly important in the face of increased competition from national, international and public executive education providers.

The board notes that the new self-payment regulations for state universities and colleges, which began on 1 January 2024, provide greater opportunities to demand self-payment within executive education. This can stimulate even greater competition from public institutions. At the same time, the regulations allow elements and content from studies financed by public funds to be reused and offered as executive education without the costs being reflected in the out-of-pocket payment. This may give BI a competitive disadvantage, as BI depends on the students' payment to finance the offer.

The figures for 2023 showed growth in courses for private and public companies and organisations, especially tailor-made solutions—an important investment area for BI as we advance.

The authorities have clear ambitions and expectations for restructuring and lifelong learning in working life. The government set up the skills reform committee in June 2023, facilitating restructuring and learning in working life. The board and the organisation monitor how the authorities will strengthen investment in this important area.

In October 2023, BI adopted a new strategy for investment in continuing and continuing education in the years ahead: a strategy for lifelong learning. The board expects this strategy to help secure BI's current position as a central provider of executive education in the coming years. For this to happen, BI must offer studies and courses that are both attractive and relevant to students and employers.

The board is concerned with having a suitable faculty composition so BI can deliver high-quality research-based teaching that helps influence societal development. Through the Faculty Composition project, BI ensures that faculty has a composition and profile that matches the competence and capacity BI needs to deliver on its educational and research ambitions.

Externally funded research is expected to increase with an increased internal focus on obtaining funds for research from various external funding sources.


Organisational changes

BI has neither implemented nor plans any organisational changes affecting the Foundation's legal or financial position.

Temporary employees

In addition to the qualifying fixed-term positions, BI has only 15 temporary faculty employees, 3% of the total number of faculty. Three individuals are in temporary positions, nine are engaged in engagements, and three are in temporary fixed-term positions. Of the nine engagements, two are waiting to transition to a postdoctoral position, six are employed temporarily, awaiting employment in permanent positions, and one is employed temporarily in an externally funded research position.

Among administrative employees, at the end of 2023, BI had one temporary engagement, which amounted to a half FTE, and 23 substitutes for people on leave. Temporary engagements accounted for 0.2% of the total administrative employees due to short-term capacity needs related to digitalisation.

BI considers it important to offer students income opportunities and work experience alongside their studies. Student employees are students who work at BI alongside their studies. In 2023, BI had 163 student employees in temporary positions, accounting for 50% of the total student employees.

Gender equality, discrimination and accessibility

BI's policy for diversity and equality confirms that all employees must have the same rights, duties, and opportunities regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, national origin, functional ability, outlook on life, and sexual orientation. BI has a plan for equality and strives for gender distribution within the 60-40 interval and systematic pay differences to be equalised. BI's equality work is regularly reported to the board and described in more detail in BI's annual equality statement.

BI aims to strengthen its commitment to diversity, inclusion, equality, and belonging for students and employees. This work is referred to internationally as DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging). 

In 2022, HR initiated a working group to revise BI's diversity guidelines. In December 2023, proposals for new guidelines were presented to the school's management. The focus going forward will be on setting overall goals and implementing measures where necessary.

The board is concerned that BI has purposefully worked throughout the year on diversity-related activities. Seminars on diversity have been organised on campus, strengthening the school's Pride commitment. The headmaster has also been a panellist and moderator at several external conferences focusing on diversity, including the SHE conference and the Diversify Nordics Summit.

BI annually surveys gender balance and pay distribution in various positions. This, together with the work on equality and diversity, is reported in line with the activity and reporting obligation imposed by the Equality and Discrimination Act.

The proportion of women in faculty increased from 34.7% in 2022 to 36.5% in 2023. At the end of 2023, BI had 33 female professors, of which 28 were in full permanent positions. Therefore, the proportion of women among professors increased from 25% to 27.7%.

There are still significant variations across job categories and institutes. The proportion of men in administrative positions is stable at almost 35%. The proportion of men in director-level administrative management positions has increased from 30% to 42%.

BI carries out annual equal pay surveys and has not registered any systematic biases that cannot be explained. Among administrative employees, women's fixed salary as a percentage of men's salary is between 93% and 101%. The most significant difference (93%) is in job category 5 (senior advisers and middle managers). This is mainly because, in this category, there are more male employees in the Digital department, where the market salary is higher than in corresponding categories elsewhere in the organisation.

In faculty, women's fixed salary as a percentage of men's is within the interval 91% - 102% in permanent positions. This can partly be attributed to more men having been professors for a long time. It tends to even out somewhat as there is a better gender balance among professors. There are very few female professors in traditionally male-dominated fields where the salary level is generally higher.

The proportion of women on BI's board is 50%. In the College, the proportion of women is 53%. Women comprise 50% of senior management, 22% of department heads and 25% of deans.

In 2023, 62 nationalities were represented among the employees. BI has a language policy stating that English is the primary language used in internal information and when the organisation gathers. At the end of 2023, just over 21% of BI's employees had citizenship other than Norwegian, a reduction of 1% from 2022. The proportion of international employees was 7% for administrative employees and 38% for all in professional positions.

The average age for retirement with a pension is 65.8 for all BI employees. On average, faculty seniors are employed until they reach 68.6, while administrative seniors work until the average age of 65.4.

BI's campuses have been developed according to the laws and guidelines in force when they were built. The buildings follow statutory requirements, and work is continuously being done to rectify deficiencies in conversions and adaptations.

Risk management and internal control

In recent years, the board has closely followed BI's efforts to strengthen and professionalise the work with risk management and internal control. The priority is to put in place a systematic approach that helps to identify, handle, and follow up on any incidents that may negatively affect target achievement and promote compliance with external and internal regulations. A separate independent unit for Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) was established in 2020. The GRC reports its work to the board and is responsible for preventive and controlling activities. GRC looks after the Data Protection Ombudsman and the Student Ombudsman and ensures that these roles are sufficient independently of other management.

In 2021, the board decided to establish an external internal audit function. In 2023, an internal audit related to the notification system and research ethics was conducted. Findings and results were reported to the board, which was also informed of planned follow-up measures. GRC has conducted internal audits and assessments focusing on safety, preparedness, and ranking processes. None of the four internal audits revealed critical issues.

Overall risk assessment is linked to the business objectives that follow from BI's strategy. In addition, operational risks are assessed, which are of such a nature that they can prevent or negatively affect the achievement of targets if they are not handled. The board has dealt with the case regarding BI's overall risk picture as assessed in June 2023.

Public safety and emergency preparedness

The board emphasises the importance of BI preventing serious incidents in its security and preparedness work and planning for good preparedness that limits the damaging effects of incidents. BI follows the requirements and recommendations that emerge from the management document for work with social security and preparedness in the Ministry of Education's sector and grant letters to private universities.

In 2023, two exercises were carried out with strategic and operational emergency management related to cyber attacks against BI's IT systems. The internal audit on security and preparedness aimed to investigate whether BI had sufficient and appropriate routines and processes to prevent and deal with threats and violence against students and staff. No serious shortcomings were discovered, but familiarity with and knowledge of BI's routines for reporting unwanted incidents was consistently low, and measures have been taken to improve information and training. It was also recommended that a concrete risk assessment concerning access control be carried out on all BI campuses.

There were no serious incidents that threatened life and health in 2023.

The working environment

The board and BI emphasise that the school's working environment should be diverse, equal, considerate, respectful, and open communication. BI facilitates an inspiring working environment that promotes the individual's well-being, health, learning, and development. The school has zero tolerance for abuse of power and harassment.

The sickness absence based on medical certificates from doctors for BI's employees is still relatively low, although, in 2023, it increased to 3.27% from 3.0% in 2022.

In 2023, GRC gathered provisions from various regulations and guidelines in one overarching document. The board adopted BI's ethical guidelines, and HR was asked to ensure that the guidelines were well known in the organisation. The guidelines are planned to be implemented using dilemma training in 2024.

In 2021, BI introduced guidelines for the use of home offices and hybrid forms of work. These guidelines should describe how employees are expected to work in the wake of the pandemic. In 2023, an evaluation was carried out to determine whether these guidelines have successfully balanced the school's ability to be productive, flexible, and a good working environment. The result of this evaluation was positive, and new guidelines will be launched in the spring of 2024, with only minor adjustments from the 2021 edition.

It has been important for BI to show care for students and staff from conflict areas. In 2023, the school had several activities aimed at Ukrainian and Russian students and staff to ensure a good working and learning environment despite the challenges linked to their home situation.

In 2023, a safety round was carried out on all four campuses. Safety rounds and working environment surveys are carried out every two years. The rounds from 2023 show that BI has a safe and good working environment. No serious incidents, injuries (material or persons), or accidents have been registered concerning performing work at BI in 2023.


In line with BI's strategy, all graduates must have the knowledge and skills to make sustainable working-life decisions. The board emphasises that BI's work in training responsible managers is important to sustainable development. BI systematically operationalises this learning objective in the school's educational programmes. Through research and close contact with society and business, BI's professional communities contribute to developing courses that ensure that BI's candidates deliver in line with this ambition.

In the autumn of 2023, BI launched a new bachelor's model for the full-time market. In this model, sustainability and ethics are integrated into mandatory basic courses, such as social economics, accounting, organisation, marketing, and a separate course on "Doing sustainable business." Sustainability is also increasingly integrated into relevant programme courses and elective courses.

In addition to education and research, BI contributes to sustainable development through partnerships and dialogue with various networks. In 2023, BI became a member of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), in addition to the school's long-standing adherence to the UN initiative Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

BI has also committed to the sustainable operation of its campuses and was first certified as an Eco Lighthouse in 2010. All campuses are now Eco Lighthouse certified and meet the Foundation's requirements relating to HSE, transport, purchasing, waste management, energy consumption, and green conferences.

The board supports BI's commitment to the 1.5 degree target by working towards a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030. The school prepares annual climate accounts, showing that the four largest emissions sources are commuting, travel, food and drink and energy. These sources accounted for 90% of BI's emissions in 2022 (figures for 2023 available on 1 March). BI sets requirements for its suppliers and partners concerning the environment and social sustainability. The school's activities do not constitute significant pollution of the external environment.

The Transparency Act

BI implements measures following the requirements of the Norwegian Openness Act, which entered into force in July 2022 and aims to promote decent working conditions and fundamental human rights in the supply chain.

Contract templates and procurement procedures have been updated in 2023 to address social conditions and existing environmental requirements. A risk-based approach ensures closer follow-up of selected suppliers based on self-declaration forms and assessments. Routines, ethical guidelines, and training increase awareness and competence among employees regarding responsibilities and roles in complying with the law.

An account is published annually on BI's website by the end of June.

Market condition declaration

The board confirms that all transactions between BI Norwegian Business School and its associated units and internal transactions within the group are priced and implemented according to standard market conditions.

The Board of Trustees in 2023

The board consists of eight members, of whom four are external, two are representatives elected by faculty, one is a representative elected by the administrative staff, and the students elect one. Hilde Tonne is a newly elected board member from 1 August 2023.

Chair of the board

Åse Aulie Michelet has been chair of the board since 2018. Aulie Michelet has extensive board experience, and she has held management positions in Norwegian and international business.

Board members as of 31.12.2023

  • Åse Aulie Michelet, chair
  • Egil Hogna, external board member and the board's vice chair
  • Bjørn Jørgensen, external board member
  • Hilde Tonne, external board member
  • Dagfinn Rime, representative elected by faculty
  • Monica Viken, representative elected by faculty
  • Sut I Wong, deputy representatives elected by faculty
  • John Christian Langli, deputy representatives elected by faculty
  • Anine Cecilie Hansen, deputy representatives elected by faculty
  • David Sagen, observer elected by administrative employees
  • Nicole Ebbing, deputy representatives elected by administrative employees
  • Asbjørn Hia, deputy representatives elected by administrative employees
  • Sindre Aamodt, student chosen by BISO
  • Eva Emilie Rolsdorph-Sætre, student observer chosen by BISO

Election committee for external board members

The election committee propose candidates for external board members when the board requests this. The election committee consists of 6 representatives, elected for one year at a time.

The election committee for 2023 consisted of:

  • Kristin Holth, chair of the committee and business representative
  • Gunnar Bovim, representative from the public sector
  • Gunnar Bjørkavåg, business representativ
  • Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen, representative for faculty
  • Kjersti Gummerson, representative for administrative employees
  • Eva Emilie Rolsdorph-Sætre, student representative from BISO

The board recommends the following allocation:

Addition/(use) of equity this year, with self-imposed restrictions NOK 0,2m
Transfer to other equity NOK 197,6m
Total allocated NOK 197,8m

Stiftelsens egenkapital utgjør per 31.12.2023:

Foundation capital NOK 1,3m
Equity with self-imposed restrictions NOK 26,8m
Other equity NOK 937,8m
Total equity NOK 965,9m

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