‘This is for the next generation of economists and leaders'
Isabella and Henrik Müller-Hansen are donating a total of NOK 1.25 million to an annual award that goes to NHH researchers who demonstrate extraordinary effort in teaching.
‘The best gift we can give to the next generation is outstanding communication of new knowledge and research,’ says Henrik Müller-Hansen.
‘The researchers who receive the award will be outstanding at teaching. I’m sure that their academic engagement and enthusiasm for teaching will make a difference to young students about to enter working life, whether they are going to work as economists, entrepreneurs or managers,’ says Isabella Müller-Hansen.
Annual award to a teacher
Isabella and Henrik Müller-Hansen, both economists from the Stockholm School of Economics, are passionate about entrepreneurship, sustainability and internationalisation. Together with his wife Isabella, Henrik Müller-Hansen sold everything he owned to create and invest in the technology company Gelato. Today the company is what is known as a ‘unicorn’, a company worth more than one billion dollars.
Isabella and Henrik Müller-Hansen signed last year an agreement with Øystein Thøgersen, rector of the Norwegian School of Economics.
The ‘Inspirational teaching award’ of NOK 250,000 will be awarded every year up to and including 2026. The award is given as a donation from Müller-Hansen to individuals, not to departments or research centres.
Also read: Last year's winners:
- A committee comprising two representatives of the student association, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Isabella or Henrik Müller-Hansen and a representative of the scientific staff appointed by the rector will decide who is going to receive the award each year.
- The award is based on an overall assessment of teaching effort in a broad sense, but with particular weight on the following criteria:
- the ability to create enthusiasm for the subject and its application in the business community and society at large
- close interaction between the students and lecturer
- lucidity, enthusiasm and good cooperation skills
- the ability to shed light on the subject from new angles
- innovation and creativeness, including the development of new courses and learning tools
- the ability to relate the subject matter to other parts of the programme
- The ability and will to cooperate with the business community, the labour market, other departments and other institutions.
Focusing attention on teaching
The first award took place in spring 2022, during the graduation ceremony for NHH students.
Øystein Thøgersen believes the award will make a big difference.
‘The generous donation from Isabella and Henrik Müller-Hansen cuts to the core of NHH’s ambitions. We constantly endeavour to ensure that the teaching at NHH is relevant, of high academic quality and engages our students,’ says Thøgersen.
Will help to create an inspirational learning environment
NHH’s rector is convinced that both the nomination process and the award will lead to a greater focus on teaching. This will generate new learning, Thøgersen says, and adds:
‘Being good at research doesn’t mean you can’t be good at teaching, quite the opposite. If you’re a good researcher, you have the perfect point of departure for being skilled and up-to-date when it comes to teaching.’
Henrik Müller-Hansen agrees with the NHH rector.
‘We want the teaching award to contribute to an inspirational learning environment and outstanding research-based teaching at NHH. Research and new insights have little value if they are not communicated expediently and with enthusiasm to those who are going to use them.’