BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School is Norway’s second largest educational institution, and one of the largest business schools in Europe. Research is the school’s key strength. The school received the prestigious EQUIS accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development in 1999 and was reaccredited in 2005.

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Nydalsveien 37 , Oslo , 0484 Norway
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  • BI Norwegian Business School is a private, independent, specialised university institution with a total of six study locations in Norway.
  • Oslo is the main campus with all international programmes - in addition Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Drammen.
  • BI Norwegian Business School is a self-owned, not-for-profit foundation whose sole focus is education and research. Any profit will be used to strengthen BI’s research and learning environment in accordance with the objectives of the school.


BI Norwegian Business School is a private, independent, specialised university institution with a total of six study locations in Norway: Oslo (main campus with all international programmes), Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Drammen.

BI Norwegian Business School is a self-owned, not-for-profit foundation whose sole focus is education and research. Any profit will be used to strengthen BI’s research and learning environment in accordance with the objectives of the school.

BI Norwegian Business School is one of Europe’s largest business schools with around 20,000 students and 340 permanent  faculty.  BI is the largest supplier of economic and administrative competence and skills in Norway with more than 200 000 graduates since 1983.

BI Norwegian Business School boasts the country’s leading faculty in the school’s spear-head  areas of economics, management, strategy, marketing and finance. BI Norwegian Business School has organised its academic activities in eight separate research departments covering all of the disciplines that can be expected at a modern European business school.

BI Norwegian Business School has an international profile. BI’s faculty cooperate extensively internationally and BI has student exchange agreements with more than 170 institutions in 45 different countries. This gives BI’s students excellent opportunities to obtain international experiences and to experience intercultural learning.

BI Norwegian Business School of develops and delivers custom-made courses and programmes for a number of specific industries and organisations in the public and private sectors.

In June 2010 the Board approved BI's strategy for the period 2010 2014.

In a not too distant future...

  • BI will confirm its position among the top European business schools in international rankings.
  • Even more of BI's academic disciplines will be at the forefront of research within their fields in Europe.
  • BI will be considered an even more attractive employer by top qualified staff at home and abroad.
  • A degree from BI will be even more attractive to employers, nationally and internationally.
  • Many more ambitious students and companies will choose BI as their learning partner.
  • Many more top-ranked business schools abroad will want to cooperate with BI on teaching and research.

  • By developing and disseminating research-based knowlegde in demand by students and employers from the corporate and public sector.
  • By being a business school that develops its strength through a combination of international research and experience from business and industry.
  • By making competence accessible to those seeking it throughout all of life's phases.
  • By helping society utilise its resources efficiently by developing and distributing education in a highly efficient manner.
  • By making an impact on the national and international arena.

  • Academic freedom
  • Professional integrity
  • Ethics
  • Excellence
  • Value creation


Research-based education is at the core of BI's activities:

  • BI's portfolio of courses and programmes will have top academic quality and be accessible to many.
  • Access to expertise and market demand will decide what courses are offered.



BI's research and teaching will focus on economic and administrative subjects.

BI will be committed to becoming one of Europe's leading business schools in the following prioritized fields:

  • Marketing
  • Strategy
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Business economics and business law
  • Finance
  • Economics


BI's faculty will consist of:

  • People with significant scientific and pedagogical competence.
  • People with relevant experience from business and key positions in society.

BI will compete to attract more academic staff who are at the forefront of their fields. More faculty will be recruited from the international community.


  • Career services
  • Alumni
  • Support for student exchange schemes, international programmes and international faculty
  • IT-based learning
  • Support to commissioned research

BI Norwegian Business School is an independent self-owned foundation whose contribution to society is to create added value through development and dissemination of research based knowledge in demand by students and employers from the corporate and public sectors. From the time of it´s founding in 1943, BI has focused on bridging academia with the practice field.


Academic rigour and relevance position BI among the top business schools in Europe.

Mission statement

BI builds the knowledge society.


As a Specialised University Institution BI is committed to...

  • academic freedom, with an open and dignified exchange of opinions internally and externally
  • professional integrity, where scientific ideals and curiosity prevents mechanical thinking and servile behaviour
  • ethics, where staff and students show personal responsibility to exercise the power that comes with knowledge in a responsible manner
  •  excellence, where research, education and administration is measured against best practice
  • value creation, where the measure of success for BI is students, companies and governments willingness to pay tuition and support research

Internationalisation is one of the spearheads of BI Norwegian Business School’s Strategy 2010 – 2014. BI has ambitions in the following areas:

  • Increase the number of courses taught in English at undergraduate level. Currently, two out of 14 bachelor programmes is fully taught in English (Bachelor of Business Administration and Shipping Management). BI will steadily increase the number of undergraduate courses and eventually the number of programmes taught in English. At the postgraduate and Doctoral level all courses are taught in English already.
  • Increase the number of international degree-seeking students, faculty and staff. BI will increase its marketing and recruitment efforts on the international student market and make more scholarships available to excellent international students. The BI Marketing department, Career service, Alumni service and the International Relations Office will join hands to focus on the interrelated phases of the international students’ life cycles (e.g. by enabling contacts between potential students and alumni). BI’s HR department will put in place measures to make BI a more attractive workplace for international faculty and staff.
  • Increase exchange activities. Currently BI has student exchange agreements with more than 170 institutions and BI exchanges approx. 450 students every year.  BI is committed to a gradual increase of the number of exchange students in and out, not only by increasing the number of exchange partners but also by making a more effective use of the present portfolio of exchange schools through exploring other models than (semester) exchange (e.g. ‘study abroad’ and summer programmes).
  • Offer internationally oriented programmes in Norway and abroad. Currently, BI offers programmes in Norway that have a (mandatory) study abroad component both at the pre-experience and the post-experience level. Examples are: Bachelor of International Marketing with a mandatory year abroad in 7 different countries; MSc in International Management with a mandatory exchange semester; Executive MBA with international modules in three different counties.

In addition, BI offers double degree and joint programmes at the MSc and Executive MBA level. An example of the former is the joint master programme in Strategic Innovation Management (jointly with Lancaster University Management School, Catolica Lisbon, WHU Koblenz, ESCP Europe); examples of the latter are the Executive MBA in Shipping Management (jointly with Nanyang Business School, Singapore) and the Executive MBA in Energy (jointly with Nanyang Business School and IFP School).

Finally, BI offers programmes abroad in cooperation with local institutions. Programmes like the BI-Fudan part-time MBA programme is taught in Shanghai, in cooperation with Fudan University.

BI will further develop the abovementioned programmes but will make sure that this will happen in a sustainable way through a contribution to BI’s financial position, academic strength and international profile.

Accreditation and ranking help the institution in keeping focus on achieving high academic standards and continuous quality development, and are also instrumental in building reputation.

BI Norwegian Business School´s vision of becoming a leading European business school will be reflected  by the accreditations we hold and how we do in international rankings.

National accreditation

In 2008 the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, NOKUT, granted Specialised University Institution status to BI. This is the single-most important decision with strategic impact in the recent history of BI and a sign of recognition and final endorsement by its peers of BI as a bona fide-high quality academic institution. NOKUT also has the responsibility to review the institution´s quality assurance system for educational programmes. BI´s quality assurance system was accredited in 2004 and given new approval in 2011.

International accreditations

The three most renowned accreditation systems world wide are the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Association of MBAs (AMBA).

BI has had EQUIS accreditation since 1999 and was among the first to obtain this status. Accreditation is given for a maximum period of five years and re-accreditation was bestowed upon BI in 2004/05 and then again in 2010. The requirements that have to be met are raised each time and it is no “walk over” to be reaccredited based on former merits.

BI was given membership in AACSB in 2008 and is well underway in its preparations for AACSB accreditation. The process differs from EQUIS in that the school must document that it meets the quality standard before it can enter the final stage of the process. This opens up for a fairly lengthy process that may last up to seven years. BI´s goal is to complete the process in 2013/14.

AMBA accredits the institutions portfolio of  MBA/DBA programmes (full time/part time). BI has undertaken to restructure and further develop its executive MBA programmes. In line with this development BI considers to enter an application for AMBA accreditation.

Ranking differs from accreditation in that the institution is measured against the other participant schools based on a sett of criteria. These criteria are related to characteristics of the alumni, the programme and the institution. BI participates in two of the most renowned rankings for business education, the Financial Times Ranking and the Eduniversals Top Business Schools Worldwide.

Financial Times Ranking
The Financial Times ranking consists of five partial rankings, addressing specific programmes (customised programmes, master of science programmes, executive MBAs etc.), and a final school ranking. The most influential criteria pertain to alumni salary levels and carreer development, two factors that BI at best can influence indirectly. During the last two years, BI has been placed among the 60-65 best schools world wide, a result that we are moderately satisfied with. However, it is BI´s long term goal to climb in these rankings.

Eduniversal Top Business School Worldwide
Eduniversal allows a thousand participants annually. The ranking is based on the individual participants standing among the others. During the two recent years BI has been placed among the top twenty schools in Europe, along with such well renowned schools as London Business School, INSEAD and HEC School of Management.

BI Norwegian Business School was first established as a night school by Finn Øien in 1943. Over the next decade, BI came to offer a two-year daytime programme approved by the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

BI has always focused on being innovative and future-oriented. As early as 1963, the decision was made to concentrate on languages at the school and a modern language laboratory was purchased. Four years later, BI purchased the school’s first computer. At this time, there was only one other computer in Norway.

BI’s three-year Bachelor of Management programme was granted government funding in 1969, which provided motivation and drive to expand and improve the programme. In 1983, BI took on its first four professors, and in 1985, BI was awarded the Master in Business and Economics title, which has had great significance for BI’s recognition as a business school.

National network

In 1985, BI established a new network of national schools, and from the end of the 1980s, the three-year Bachelor of Management programme was available at ten BI schools. In the 1990s, BI’s relevance to business and industry was strengthened by entering into partnerships with several large Norwegian companies as well as establishing the Master of Management for continuing education.
BI merged with a number of schools and adopted new subject fields in this way. The Norwegian School of Management – School of Marketing, Oslo Business School and Norges Varehandelshøyskole (Distributive Trades College) (2000) are some of the schools BI merged with.


BI was early (1990) in establishing a full-time master’s programme in English. Foreign exchange became more and more popular both in and out of Norway, and what is now known under the name Bachelor of International Marketing was established as early as in 1979.
The Nordic centre at Fudan in Shanghai was opened in 1995 and the following year, what is now known as the BI Fudan programme was started. In 1999, BI received its first international accreditation, EQUIS, and in the year 2000, the International School of Management (ISM) in Lithuania was established with BI as its primary owner.

Vision for Europe

BI’s vision is to make BI one of Europe’s leading business schools through academic clout and relevance. The goal is to develop some academic spearheads within marketing, strategy, organisational behaviour, business administration and business law, finance and social economics, which will make BI one of Europe’s top business schools.