Alumni of the Week

Passionate principal

Elisabeth Dullum


Elisabeth Dullum

Apalløkka Skole

Executive Master of Management with specialisation in School Management 2015

“I think my success is based on creating enthusiasm, motivation and learning. The student’s learning should always be in focus.”

As a principal, the biggest challenge facing Elizabeth Dullum is ensuring that her school offers quality in all aspects, making sure her students receive the education they deserve.

Text: Mikaela Hincks
Foto: Marte Garmann

You work as a principal of a secondary school. When did you embark on your choosen career?
– I trained as a teacher in the early 1990’s and have been in the education system ever since, progressing through various positions.

You have been known for turning Apaløkka around. What is the secret behind this success?
– I’m surrounded by a good team and having worked as a teacher, I know what makes a good principal. I think my success is based on creating enthusiasm, motivation and learning. The student’s learning should always be in focus.

What is the biggest challenge in teaching today?
– Everything we do is about increasing pupils’ knowledge, both academically and socially. We have to work closely with our pupils, and we have to be able to motivate our staff. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that we offer quality in all aspects. If changes are necessary, we have to make them. My motto is that you have to have a keen eye and a warm heart.

What do you think needs to be improved within the Norwegian education system?
- I would say that a lot of positive changes have been made. The Norwegian school system focuses on critical thinking, cooperating, creativity and communication. Will we achieve this? I hope so. One problem we face is addressing the issue of pupils leaving school with insufficient knowledge. Our curriculums have changed to increase students’ motivation. We have a big responsibility here – our students must feel that they have support at school.

Why did you choose this management programme at BI?
– BI offered the specialisation I was after, and I knew they are renowned for their leadership and organisation courses. They also cooperate with the Department of Education in Oslo.

What is your relationship with BI today?
– I still see people from there. Three of my employees have studied at BI and brought back information on new research. I’m involved in BI Alumni and I hope to continue to do so.