Strategy for NHH 2018 - 2021

Strategy for NHH 2018 - 2021

NHH's strategy defines purpose and vision, values, aims and objectives and strategic priority areas.

Megatrends and change

In a rapidly changing world, NHH shall lead the way for the development of knowledge and expertise in the disciplines that characterise a leading international business school.

  • In more detail

    In more detail

    The changes are largely due to the combined effects of a series of megatrends: increasingly rapid technological development, globalisation, demographic changes, as well as climate change and resource shortages. The effect of these changes challenges established business models and public institutions. Students graduating from NHH will develop and lead businesses and hold important positions in society. NHH must therefore take a leading position in developing the knowledge and expertise needed to address these megatrends.

    • Rapid, continuous technological change is taking place all around us. New technologies such as artificial intelligence, robots and machine learning, as well as access to increasing amounts of data, interact with other global megatrends. The current digital revolution is without boundaries, and emerging economies start using new technology at least as quickly as mature economies. While technological breakthroughs can represent great challenges, they also provide opportunities for those able to adapt and take advantage of the new technologies. Technological change will lead to increased efficiency, but may also contribute to greater inequality and a more polarised society with the tensions this entails.
    • Globalisation is not a new phenomenon, but recently, new technology has both contributed to and reinforced the effect of globalisation. The internet and the emergence of a large digital marketplace have helped to make the world smaller. The path from a good idea to a global business can be short, and new players and new technology can challenge established ones to a far greater extent than before, regardless of their location. Companies’ lifespan is decreasing and to remain competitive, businesses in both Norway and abroad must constantly reinvent themselves. In addition, globalisation contributes to shifting the world’s economic centre of gravity towards emerging economies in Asia and Africa.
    • As the global population grows, becomes more urban and prosperous, the demand for food, water and energy will increase. The world’s natural resources are scarce, and meeting this increased demand will therefore be challenging. In addition, increased economic activity and greater demand for energy are still associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions. Resource shortages and the climate change threat therefore requires significant changes in business and society to achieve sustainable growth.

    In addition, megatrends affect research and educational institutions and intensify the international competition between them. The need for curriculum development becomes more pressing. Established knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete, and we must teach students to learn, while attending to the need for lifelong learning.
    All education, research and dissemination that take place at NHH shall be characterised by academic substance and relevance for the business community and society at large. This requires continuous curriculum development in step with observed megatrends and new developments. The ability to attract excellent students and staff, and a flexible, inclusive and action-oriented organisation, are prerequisites for achieving this.

Purpose and vision

NHH shall be a driving force for development in business and society, and shall educate people for the purposes of value creation and sustainable development. NHH aims to be a leading international business school that leads the way in the development and dissemination of knowledge and expertise.

  • Purpose and vision in more detail

    Purpose and vision in more detail

    NHH is engaged in education, research and dissemination in the field of economics and business administration. A key characteristic is close, extensive interaction with businesses and public institutions. Substance and relevance characterise study programmes, research and dissemination activities.

    NHH aims to be an international top-tier business school. This requires systematic efforts to achieve continuous quality development and knowledge renewal, the ability to attract excellent students, faculty and staff, and the development of a flexible, inclusive and action-oriented organisation. EQUIS and the ongoing AACSB accreditation ensure a comprehensive, thorough quality assessment of NHH in an international context, and together with NHH’s membership of the CEMS alliance, this helps to raise NHH’s profile as a leading international business school.

    NHH’s activities shall support the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Research, education and cooperation with society and business shall contribute insight into how to achieve the goals and raise awareness of our shared responsibility for making the necessary choices. NHH’s particular focus includes the following goals:

    • Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (Goal 4)
    • Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (Goal 8)
    • Reduce income inequality within and among countries (Goal 10)
    • Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (Goal 12)


High quality, high ethical standards and dedication to common goals characterise all activities at NHH. Students, staff and alumni are committed, open and ambitious, and passionate about creating positive change in society.

  • Values in more detail

    Values in more detail

    There is a strong quality culture at NHH, and NHH expects all employees to contribute to high quality in all the school’s activities. This means that its research, teaching and dissemination activities must be relevant and of a high academic standard, and that the administrative support functions must be efficient and characterised by a high level of expertise.

    All members of the academic and administrative staff shall contribute to NHH maintaining its high ethical standards. The principle of free and independent research is the basis for all NHH activities. Academic freedom must be exercised within ethical limits and in a manner that serves the interests of the discipline, NHH and society as a whole. The school’s organisational culture and working environment are characterised by the ability and will to advance NHH’s common goals and ambitions.

    The value committed is about identifying with the institution, contributing to a high level of activity and playing an active part in the community, both at NHH and by making positive contributions to society.

    The value open reflects a number of qualities that characterise members of the NHH community:

    • that they are intellectually open and inquisitive
    • that they are inclusive
    • that they are internationally oriented
    • that they communicate openly, both internally and externally.

    The value ambitious reflects that individuals set high goals both for themselves and for the institution.

Aims and Objectives

NHH has defined main aims and obejctives in four areas.

  • Education


    NHH shall educate excellent economists and managers with sound analytical skills, a good understanding of technology and a strong commitment to society.

    Objective 1: Admission quality

    NHH shall attract students with strong academic results and a high motivation for learning. NHH’s study programmes shall be a clear first choice in the fields of economics and business administration among Norwegian students and attract highly qualified international students.

    Objective 2: Quality of studies

    NHH shall have a culture for quality in its education, where the administration, academic staff and students continuously strive to improve the quality of studies. Our teaching, study programmes and learning environment shall be on par with the best international business schools.


    NHH graduates shall be preferred in the national market for economists and managers, attractive in the international labour market and qualified for the best international master’s degree and PhD programmes.

    In detail

    Our study programmes at all levels shall provide our students with the knowledge, skills and general competence that make them attractive in the national and international labour markets, both as new graduates and later in their careers. The teaching shall be research-based, and the programmes shall ensure academic progress, have ambitious learning objectives and facilitate lifelong learning. Our Executive programmes shall provide economists, managers and other decision-makers with relevant continuing education in all phases of their careers. The activity level in this area shall increase to meet the needs of society for lifelong learning.

    Knowledge/skills: NHH shall be among the leading business schools in Europe and shall provide core competence in relevant business and economics disciplines. This means that NHH graduates shall have relevant theoretical and analytical competences, and strong problem-solving and communication skills. In addition, NHH shall provide students with a broad introduction to the digital economy and provide technological literacy through both specific technology courses and traditional business school courses, as well as knowledge about sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation.

    General competence / attitudes: NHH graduates shall be knowledgeable, enterprising and self-confident, with the ability to learn, ask good questions and seek creative solutions to problems. Our graduates shall be committed, inclusive and responsible, eager to contribute to positive change both locally and globally, and have the ability to cooperate with other people across industries, cultures and national boundaries.

    Relevance: Our study programmes shall strike a balance between theory, analysis and relevant practical application. This means that questions, examples and cases used in teaching activities shall be relevant and current, and that NHH shall strengthen the integration of internships in the study programmes. To ensure quality and relevance, NHH shall continuously evaluate and revise its study programmes in relation to developments in the labour market and in society in general. NHH shall achieve this by (1) academic staff drawing inspiration from outside impulses and NHH engaging in extensive dialogue and cooperation with businesses, public institutions and others who employ and collaborate with NHH graduates, and (2) an agile organisation with strong procedures that allow study programmes to rapidly respond to changes in society through continuous programme and course innovations.

    Pedagogy: NHH’s academic and administrative staff shall be familiar with and have the ability to extract the best from available forms of learning and assessment, and they shall have access to modern teaching technology to achieve this. The educational methods used shall be adapted to the content of the courses, create engagement and ensure good learning for students. To ensure that study programmes, courses, teaching activities and their organisation and communication are on par with the best, systematic comparisons shall continuously be made between NHH and a selection of top international business schools (benchmarking).

    Learning/study environment: NHH shall facilitate an inclusive physical and psychological learning environment where we treat each other with respect. This includes an open, diverse study environment characterised by a high degree of academic and social interaction between students from all backgrounds. In addition, NHH shall ensure a greater diversity of candidates and students with regard to gender, background and nationality. This will both strengthen the learning environment and contribute to a broader recruitment basis.

    Internationalisation: NHH shall recruit more international full-time students at the master’s degree level and still be nationally leading in student exchanges. In addition, NHH shall make targeted efforts to strengthen international collaborations by establishing and further developing alliances with selected international educational institutions, and with businesses, organisations and public institutions. NHH shall obtain external funding from Erasmus+ and national partnership programmes for projects aimed at enhancing the quality of its study programmes.

    Careers advice: NHH shall ensure that its students have the best possible basis for making good career choices. Students shall become familiar with the wealth of job opportunities for business school graduates during the study period, and they shall acquire the skills needed to succeed in national and international recruitment processes.

  • Research


    NHH shall be an internationally recognised business school that conducts research at the highest international level.

    Objective 1: quality

    NHH shall be characterised by research at the highest international level, and shall increase the number of publications in top international journals and be awarded more external funding in recognised national and international funding arenas.

    Objective 2: relevance

    NHH shall conduct relevant, innovative and independent research in topics central to a top international business school. NHH shall produce research results that create value and help businesses and public institutions to make better decisions.

    Objective 3: phd programme

    NHH’s PhD programme shall attract the best Norwegian and strong international students. NHH shall produce more graduates who succeed in the competition for scholarly positions at recognised international institutions.

    In detail

    NHH aims to be an internationally recognised research institution, and shall be an attractive workplace for outstanding researchers. All members of the academic staff shall publish research, and both the number of publication points per academic staff member and the proportion of academic staff who publish their work shall increase.

     More NHH staff shall publish in top international journals, and NHH shall continue to offer publication incentives. NHH shall further develop the specialisation strategy from the previous strategy period to increase the number of research groups that regularly publish at the top level in topics central to an international business school. To ensure resources for the research groups and protect NHH’s reputation as an excellent research institution, NHH’s researchers must obtain more funding from international funding arenas. NHH will place particular emphasis on applications for EU funding. International benchmarking will be an important means of assessing goal attainment.

    Relevant, innovative and independent research shall contribute to promoting NHH’s role as an internationally recognised business school. Together with the Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration (SNF), NHH will conduct high-quality research in the whole spectrum from basic research to applied research. The research shall contribute new insights for business and society both in Norway and abroad. In addition, the research topics shall continuously reflect and make a positive contribution to ongoing developments in business and society. NHH sees income from external sources of funding as an important indicator of relevance and aims to increase such funding.

    Teaching conducted at NHH shall be research-based at all levels and teaching and research topics shall overlap considerably. Students are a resource that NHH more closely integrate into research. NHH will increase the amount of external funding for educational projects through schemes like Erasmus+ and will seek to link such projects with research. More graduates from the master’s programmes shall apply for PhD programmes in Norway and abroad.

    The PhD programme shall be an integrated part of the research activities at NHH, and PhD students shall therefore be part of research groups at the departments and collaborate with other academic staff on projects and publications. NHH shall offer better career support for PhD candidates to give them a better chance of succeeding in the competition for scholarly positions at recognised national and international institutions, and for prominent positions in business and society at large.

  • Cooperation with the business community and society

    Cooperation with the business community and society

    NHH shall set the agenda for and influence public debate on topics that are relevant for a top international business school. NHH shall actively disseminate research-based knowledge to the business community and society, and strengthen dialogue and interaction with businesses and the public administration.

    Objective 1: Cooperation with the business community and society

    NHH shall be a driving force for innovation and sustainable development in business and public administration, and be a preferred partner in research and education. Cooperation with external enterprises, and a vital alumni network, shall play a key role in NHH’s development.

    Objective 2: research Communication

    NHH shall enhance the public debate and raise its profile nationally and internationally through the dissemination of research conducted at NHH. NHH’s researchers shall communicate sound, research-based insights to society and the business community, and be journalists’ preferred source of knowledge about economics and business administration. NHH’s communication shall be independent, transparent and trustworthy.

    Objective 3: position

    NHH shall strengthen its national and international position. NHH will place increased emphasis on both international accreditation and important rankings by the Financial Times and other players.

    objective 4: meeting place

    NHH shall be an open and accessible institution that engages in dialogue with its surroundings. NHH shall offer the best, most relevant academic arenas within the school’s core areas, and be a meeting place for knowledge sharing.

    In Detail

    NHH shall be the natural point of contact for expert knowledge on topics relating to economics and business administration. New partnership models and closer integration between research centres, industry clusters, innovation hubs and other players will be important to ensure relevance. Former NHH students hold a number of important positions in society and serve as ambassadors for the school. NHH shall build even stronger relations with its alumni.

    Based on their expertise, NHH’s academic staff shall set the agenda, challenge and influence society and the business community. Staff members using their expertise to participate in expert committees, boards and councils highlights and strengthens the school’s position. Communication, dissemination and social responsibility shall be an integral part of the academic communities and the staff’s activities.

    NHH’s communication shall be innovative and constructive. Quality in the form of substance and relevance shall be in focus, consolidating NHH’s role as an important agenda setter.

    NHH shall create arenas where researchers, businesses, the public administration, and former and current students get together and exchange knowledge and experience. These arenas shall stimulate fresh thinking, lifelong learning and extended collaboration. NHH shall further develop its presence in Oslo.

  • Organisation and resources

    Organisation and resources

    NHH shall have an efficient, agile and adaptable organisation that facilitates achievements at the top international level in research and education, and in partnership with society and the business community.

    Objective 1: Human resources

    NHH shall recruit and retain highly qualified, motivated staff with solid and relevant expertise in all parts of the organisation. NHH shall promote diversity and equality with particular emphasis on a better gender balance in academic positions. 

    Objective 2: Organisation

    NHH’s organisation shall be characterised by high expertise, professionalism, flexibility and efficient work processes, and the ability to cooperate across entities and functions to achieve goals.

    Objective 3: Finances

    NHH shall achieve greater financial flexibility to ensure financial strength and stability and to create a basis for strategic initiatives. To achieve this, NHH shall increase its income from externally funded activities, partnerships with businesses and public institutions and through other sources.

    Objective 4: Infrastructure

    NHH’s infrastructure shall be of a high standard that underpins the institution’s ambitions. Necessary renovation of NHH’s oldest buildings shall facilitate an excellent working and learning environment.

    In detail

    NHH shall be an attractive workplace for highly qualified people. NHH shall facilitate professional development for all members of staff and promote a good working environment and positive cooperation between colleagues. The need for digital expertise shall be emphasised in connection with recruitments and in the further development of employees’ expertise. NHH shall also facilitate systematic management development at all levels.

    NHH shall recruit academic staff at a high international level through conscious, targeted international recruitment. The school shall pursue an active recruitment policy that helps to employ more women in academic positions.

    In terms of quality and efficiency, NHH’s administration must be on par with leading international institutions. Work processes at NHH shall be efficient, rational and of high quality throughout. Digitalisation shall lead to better and more efficient work processes and thereby free up resources for other important tasks.

    NHH’s organisation shall be characterised by the collective ability to promote NHH’s common goals and ambitions, and knowledge sharing and experience transfer shall be encouraged. The organisation shall facilitate good internal communication that defines each employee’s responsibilities and expectations. NHH shall pursue a language policy that effectively balances NHH’s social mission in Norway with its international ambitions.

    Targeted long-term financial planning shall give the school a stable and predictable financial framework and facilitate greater financial flexibility. The internal allocation of resources shall be based on the overriding strategy and directly underpin the achievement of NHH’s strategic ambitions. NHH shall achieve efficient and reliable management of finances and resources through, among other things, the digitalisation, improvement and standardisation of work processes.

    NHH’s compact campus shall match the needs of students and staff for space and opportunities for interaction. Premises used for teaching and learning shall be flexible and accommodate varied forms of teaching and learning. Renovation of the oldest buildings (the high-rise building etc.) has top priority and will play a decisive role in establishing a modern building infrastructure.

    NHH will take steps to ensure that researchers gain access to relevant, up-to-date research infrastructure that at all times provides them with what they need to be able to produce high-quality research. In addition, NHH shall establish robust and expedient digital infrastructure that effectively supports all academic and administrative activities. The school shall further develop a well-functioning system for information security that enables it to safeguard its ethical and legal obligations, including privacy.

Strategic priority areas

NHH will have a special focus on five areas over the next four years.

  • Renewal and relevance

    Renewal and relevance

    Continuous renewal of study programmes, profiles and courses shall ensure that NHH graduates are relevant in the labour market at all times. Among other things, all NHH students shall gain a sound understanding of technology through both new courses and continuous updating of traditional business school courses. This entails developing our range of programmes and courses in step with the megatrends that affect Norway and the world. NHH shall increasingly offer students practical experience as part of their education, such as by focusing on internships.

    • NHH shall systematically review its programmes and courses to ensure that they are relevant.
    • NHH shall develop new technology-related courses.
    • NHH shall offer students more experiences that are practical as part of their education.
  • Outstanding learning environment and educational methods

    Outstanding learning environment and educational methods

    NHH shall at all times provide a learning environment that appeals to a diverse group of students with regard to nationality, region, social class, ethnicity, gender and interests, and NHH’s study environment shall feel safe and inclusive for everyone, both physically and psychologically. NHH shall offer varied forms of learning that is adapted to the content of the courses, creates engagement and ensures good learning for the students. Academic staff shall use the best forms of teaching and assessment available at all times shall. The expertise of academic and administrative staff and the available teaching technology shall reflect this.

    • All students shall feel safe and included at NHH.
    • All of NHH’s study programmes shall have at least 40% students of each gender.
    • NHH shall offer educational methods that create engagement and facilitate learning, such as by increasing the number of courses that use student-centred teaching methods. As a result, NHH shall achieve a higher score on the Student Survey (Studiebarometeret) on questions concerning students’ own engagement and expectations to come prepared to lectures.
    • NHH shall systematically review the use of assessment forms in its courses to maximise learning.
  • Top-level research

    Top-level research

    NHH shall focus on increasing the number of research groups that regularly publish at the top level in topics central to an international business school. NHH shall make systematic efforts to identify areas that have such potential and ensure that they can achieve the highest international level, both with regard to publications and research funds.

    • NHH shall increase the number of publications at the highest international level.
    • NHH shall succeed more often in the competition for national and international research funds.
  • A clear NHH imprint on society and revitalised alumni work

    A clear NHH imprint on society and revitalised alumni work

    NHH shall focus more on dissemination and communication and help to set the agenda for and influence public debate on topics central to an international business school. NHH shall revitalise its alumni work and contribute to a vital, relevant and dynamic alumni network.

    • NHH shall raise its profile and make constructive contributions to public debate, and more of its academic staff shall be active in dissemination.
    • NHH shall increase the emphasis on international accreditations and rankings.
    • NHH shall revitalise its alumni work based on a wider range of alumni activities and the establishment of network groups and an advisory alumni board.
  • Systematic digitalisation

    Systematic digitalisation

    With the digitalisation of society, digital technology has become an important, necessary tool for achieving outstanding education, research, dissemination and administration. NHH shall therefore devise a broad and systematic digitalisation plan centred on the development of digital solutions and digital literacy and competence among both administrative and academic staff. Digitalisation shall characterise studying at NHH – both in the form of digital services and processes, and through the content of study programmes and courses.

    • NHH shall integrate digitalisation into existing study programmes and further develop specific courses relating to digitalisation.
    • NHH shall use digitalisation as a strategic tool to facilitate high-quality research and education and thereby remain an attractive place to work and study.
    • NHH shall digitalise administrative systems and services to achieve efficiency gains and higher quality.

NHH's strategy 2018-2021 (PDF 100 kb)

NHH's strategy 2018-2021. Illustration