English or Norwegian at NHH?

By Astri Inga Kamsvåg

6 June 2017 13:33

(updated: 6 June 2017 14:26)

English or Norwegian at NHH?

In autum 2016 NHH asked: In which situations and how much English do we use at NHH? Thanks to contributions from faculty members, technical-administrative staff, students, alumni and collaborating partners in the business community, we now know more about our language situation.

Last week, Deputy Rector Sunniva Whittaker presented the project group's findings and recommendations to the Board at the Language Council of Norway that initiated the project. On Thursday 8 June she will present the report to the NHH Board. It will then be up to the new management at NHH to decide further steps.

Internationalisation

One of the consequences of the internationalisation at NHH is that a growing portion of staff and students do not speak Norwegian. With international academic staff, incoming exchange students and degree-taking students at NHH, we are now using English in contexts where we would previously have used Norwegian. This is true in teaching and dissemination contexts and of the administrative language at NHH.

The project has mapped the use of Norwegian and English in various situations: in oral and written communication situations in teaching, research and dissemmination and in the administrative language. 

Background

- NHH has approximately 30 percent international faculty: 19 percent of faculty in fixed positions, 63 percent of the PhD research fellows, 70 percent of the postdocs and 62 percent of the adjunct professors are international.

- NHH has 15 percent international students (incoming exchange students and degree students) on campus, and the percentage will increase dramatically in the autumn this year.

- 50 percent of our students go on exchanges during their studies.

- Almost 15 percent of our candidates get a job abroad.

- Norwegian employers report that they need good language skills both in Norwegian and in English. 

NATIONAL BEST PRACTICE MODEL

The Language Council will develop a method for how higher educational institutions in Norway are to make good and wise language choices based on the findings in the NHH project.    

Åse Wetås, Director at the Language Council of Norway, thanks Sunniva Whittaker for the presentation.
Åse Wetås, Director at the Language Council of Norway, thanks Sunniva Whittaker for the presentation.
The members of the Board at the Language Council of Norway listened carefully during the presentation of the project on 1 June 2017.
The members of the Board at the Language Council of Norway listened carefully during the presentation of the project on 1 June 2017.
"The project group at NHH has had interesting discussions during the project", says Sunniva Whittaker.
"The project group at NHH has had interesting discussions during the project", says Sunniva Whittaker.

The project group

Sunniva Whittaker, Deputy Rector
Marita Kristiansen, Associate Professor, Department of Professional and Intercultural Communication
Jorun Gunnerud, Director of Studies
Astri Kamsvåg, Office of Communication and Marketing
Ingrid Spjælnes, Office of Research Administration
Sylvi Larsen, Office of HR
Ann-Mari Haram, International Career Centre
Morten Hilt, Alumni Coordinator
Nikolai Belsvik, student  

Read more

How much English is used at NHH? (Paraplyen September 2016)

NHH selected as best practice model for parallell languages (nhh.no January 2016)

NHH's language guidelines (approved by the Board in 2010)

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