Language guidelines

Language guidelines

NHH shall use high-quality, recipient-oriented language in all communication.

"NHH will pursue a language policy that effectively balances NHH’s national responsibilities with its international ambitions. Clear language policy guidelines will specify how the policy should be implemented and administered in NHH’s core activities and organization."

NHH's Strategy 2022–2025


  1. NHH shall use high-quality, recipient-oriented language in all communication.
  2. Norwegian and English are both important languages at NHH.
  3. NHH shall use the Norwegian language forms Nynorsk and Bokmål as stipulated in the Language Act. Staff and students whose primary language is Nynorsk are encouraged to use this variant.
  4. NHH shall practise parallel use of languages where appropriate.
  5. Permanent faculty at NHH are expected to have sufficient Norwegian and English language skills to enable them to communicate satisfactorily with students, staff and external contacts.
    – Permanent faculty who lack Norwegian or other Scandinavian language skills when first employed, shall be offered good quality Norwegian language training. They are expected to achieve command of Norwegian to intermediate level B1 within three years of permanent employment, and shall, if necessary, complete an approved course in Norwegian.
  6. NHH shall offer its staff the opportunity to upgrade relevant language skills.
  7. NHH shall actively manage the maintenance and development of Norwegian professional language within the economic-administrative fields, to fulfil its statutory responsibility.


  1. Norwegian is the primary teaching language for NHH’s bachelor’s programme.
    – The general rule is that compulsory courses shall be taught in Norwegian.
    – The syllabus literature for the compulsory courses shall be in Norwegian, provided that Norwegian textbooks exist and are of the same quality as the corresponding English textbooks. When the syllabus literature for these courses is in English, the course description should list supplementary literature in Norwegian.
    – Optional courses should generally be taught in English.
  2. Norwegian and English are both important teaching languages for NHH’s master’s programmes and the choice of language shall reflect both academic and pedagogic considerations.
    – It must be possible to take all majors in NHH’s MSc programmes in Economics and Business Administration, in English.
    – The question of what comprises an acceptable level of courses offered in each language shall be kept under continuous review. Developments shall be monitored and, if necessary, corrective action must be taken. Courses with many students should be taught in both Norwegian and English if offered more than once a year.
  3. English is the primary teaching language for NHH’s PhD programme.
  4. Information about the study programmes shall be available in both English and Norwegian.
  5. The course description shall clearly state the teaching language for each course.
  6. Exam questions will be set in the teaching language for the course, unless otherwise stated in the course description.
    –  The students may choose whether to answer exam questions in a Scandinavian language or in English, unless otherwise stated in the course description.
  7. NHH shall ensure that Norwegian and English terms for the key concepts in the compulsory courses in the bachelor’s programme are accessible in a national term portal.
  8. NHH shall offer tuition in the principles of communication and academic writing in order to ensure that linguistic, textual and genre competence is developed in all study programmes.
  9. NHH shall offer courses in Norwegian language, culture and social affairs to foreign students.

Research and publication

  1. Academic works shall normally be published in English. Research of particular interest to the Norwegian-speaking public should also be published in Norwegian.
  2. NHH shall contribute to sustaining Norwegian-language academic journals in the economic-administrative field.
  3. NHH shall disseminate research-based knowledge to the general public, the business community and the administration in both Norwegian and English.
  4. NHH’s social responsibility means that a significant proportion of the information disseminated is directed towards a Norwegian-speaking public. Such communication shall normally be in Norwegian.
  5. NHH shall offer tuition in disseminating research results in Norwegian and English.
  6. A popular scientific summary of all PhD theses shall be published in both Norwegian and English.
  7. NHH shall offer linguistic quality assurance for research publications and dissemination pieces.

Administration and information

  1. The administrative language at NHH is Norwegian.
  2. NHH shall ensure that all staff and students receive relevant information in a language they can understand.
  3. In external communications and official documents written in English, NHH shall use British or American English.

Implementation and management

  1. Managers at all levels in NHH shall be responsible for implementing and managing the language guidelines.
  2. Establishing practices that ensure compliance with the guidelines is a line management responsibility within the organisation.
    – The responsibility includes developing action plans and progress reporting procedures.

Adopted by the NHH board on 3 June 2019