BI is strengthening its international approach

17 February 2009

Monday 19th of January marked the start of BI Norwegian School of Management’s new international Executive MBA programme in Shipping, Offshore and Finance.

The programme is unique internationally, and the 18 participants hail from ten different countries. The academic content has been carefully adapted to the needs of the industry, and the industry itself is very pleased.

“This programme is part of BI’s international approach and strategy. BI has ambitions of being one of the leading business schools in Europe, and we have a strong international work, not least in Asia,” says the President of BI Norwegian School of Management, Tom Colbjørnsen.

“The programme represents collaboration with Nanyang Business School in Singapore. Nanyang is one of Asia’s best business schools, and has for example an MBA programme which the Financial Times has ranked among the 25 best in the world. This collaboration is a reflection of BI’s wish to be a key player and supplier of global maritime and offshore competence in close cooperation with business and industry,” Mr. Colbjørnsen concludes.

The programme participants are senior or medium-level executives in shipping, oil, energy, bank, finance and maritime activities from across the world.

“Both Singapore and Norway is a shipping and offshore cluster. The programme is the first of its kind, and the industry has been very positive. This is a global programme with students from 10 different nationalities. We are very proud and glad that this programme attracts leaders from so many countries,” says Professor Nilanjan Sen, in charge of parts of the academic programme at Nanyang Business School, on the phone from Paris.

The management leads the way

BI wants to prioritise niche areas that can give a competitive edge internationally. In global industries such as shipping, offshore and finance, it is essential to cooperate with other international players to provide breadth of scope in a competitive industry.

“Competence is a key factor in oil and energy. The industry has employees of a high academic standard, and the challenge in days to come will be to draw on their competence. That requires a management with strong, updated knowledge of management execution and strategy,” says Stig Frøysland, Vice President in Noreco. Personal development was another reason why Mr. Frøysland chose to do this programme, which he believes will boost value creation internally in the company.

On the industry’s terms

Representatives from the industry help design the programme, and they also provide relevant guest lecturers. It has been crucial for BI to cooperate closely with the industry on the development of this programme.

Rolf Wikborg, a partner in AMA Capital Partners that have offices in New York, Los Angeles and Oslo, is a member of the board and acts as a link between the programme and the industry’s need for competence. He is very impressed with what BI has achieved.

“Shipping, Offshore and Finance are an extremely interesting area that has not been covered at a Master level to the same extent before. It is important to have unbiased, sceptical research analysis side by side with the industry’s own assessments. A dialogue with big shipping companies and financial institutions show that those who are more analytical and in closer touch with research institutions frequently have a better perspective in their evaluations of risks and returns. It is important to think new thoughts in this industry, too,” says Mr. Wikborg.

“Besides lecturers of a high academic calibre, the participants will also meet other major players in the industry, and the contacts established may become valuable later on in their career. Many of the industry’s top leaders who support the programme attended the opening, and this is also expected to happen in Singapore,” he concludes.


Text: Christina Undli

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