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The Norwegian School of Economics (Norwegian: Norges Handelshøyskole) or NHH is a business school situated in Bergen, Norway. Opened in 1936 by King Haakon VII, it is Norway's oldest business school and has since its foundation been a leading Norwegian teaching and research institution in the fields of economics and business administration. The school celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2011.
NHH has a strong international orientation. The school participates in exchange programs with more than 130 foreign institutions in over 30 countries, and around 40 percent of the school's students spend at least one semester on exchange. The school is member of CEMS (The Global Alliance for Management Education) and the Partnership in International Management (PIM) network, and is accredited by EQUIS.
Admission to NHH is the most selective in its field in Norway. For seven years in a row (2007–13), the NHH undergraduate programme received more applications than any other undergraduate study programme in Norway, and around 20% of applicants are admitted annually. In 2013, NHH received 2265 applications for 450 spots in its undergraduate program.
NHH has changed much since it was first opened. Norway's first business school is now part of a global network universities and business schools. This has been achieved over the last 100 years, with much work being done before the doors opened in 1936.
1900–1936: Establishing a business school in Norway
The business communities in Oslo and Bergen began discussing the establishment of a Norwegian business school at the end of the 19th century. A number of schools had been opened across Europe and during the early 20th century several business schools were established in Scandinavia based on the German handelshochschule (business school) model. Amongst them, the Stockholm School of Economics and the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration (Hanken) in Helsinki were both established in 1909, followed by the Helsinki School of Economics in 1911 and Copenhagen Business School in 1917. In 1917, Norway's parliament (the Storting) passed a resolution to establish a Norwegian business school.
1936–1963: NHH opens and sets to work
After much lobbying and hard work, especially by Kristoffer Lehmkuhl, NHH was finally opened by King Haakon VII on Monday the September 7, 1936. This was 10 years before the University of Bergen was established. The strong involvement of the business community in Bergen had ensured that not only was the school established, but that it was established in Bergen and was closely linked to business community from the very start.
When NHH first opened, the academic staff consisted of fewer than ten people and sixty students were enrolled each year. The first degree course offered was the Handelsdiplom (business diploma) and graduates received the title Handelskandidat (business graduate). This was initially a two-year course and, starting in 1938, a one-year additional course was offered to candidates who wanted to become teachers. In 1946 the Handelsdiplom course was extended to three years.
After the Second World War, American influence became more important and also started to influence NHH to a greater extent. Graduates and staff began to go to the US to continue their studies and work for a period, a trend that greatly increased in the 1960s and 1970s. By the early 1950s the need for a doctoral programme at NHH had grown. In 1956, NHH received permission from the Norwegian government to award doctorates and in 1957 the first doctoral candidate graduated from NHH.
1963–1980: A new campus and rapid growth
By the late 1950s NHH had outgrown its original premises and work began on developing a new campus for the school at Sandviken, just outside Bergen city centre. In 1963, the school moved to its new campus, an event which in many ways marked the transition to a new period characterised by a rapid increase in the number of students as well as teachers. The new campus provided a large increase in capacity and the annual intake of students increased from 60 to over 200.
An important feature of this period was the growth and development of the faculty. The new facilities made it possible to employ many new, talented people and the importance of research as well as teaching was strengthened. Many successful graduates went to the US to study for doctorates and came back to NHH with international experience and a more research based focus. Many faculty members took advantage of sabbaticals to study and continue their research overseas, many textbooks were published and the volume of publications in international journals increased significantly. A driving force behind this expansion and internationalisation of research was Professor Karl Borch.
During this time Professor Jan Mossin's seminal paper "Equilibrium in a Capital Asset Market" was published in Econometrica, contributing significantly to the development of the capital asset pricing model (CAPM). About the same time as Mossin returned to NHH from Carnegie Mellon with his doctorate, future Nobel laureate Finn E. Kydland went to the same university for his doctoral studies. Most of the US educated doctoral graduates came back to NHH to teach and continue their research, but some stayed in the US and a few (like Kydland) returned to NHH only to later go back to the US to continue their work.
As the faculty grew and developed so did the academic offerings, with several advanced level courses established. In 1963 the name of the Handelsdiplom degree was changed to siviløkonom, with graduate receiving the same title. A master level programme, høyere avdelingstudium (HAS), was introduced in 1972 as a preparation for siviløkonom students wishing to continue on to doctoral studies; and in 1973 Professor Dag Coward established a master level programme for students wishing to specialise in auditing, accounting and the financial management of firms, the høyere revisorstudium (HRS). In 1975 the siviløkonom degree course was extended to a four-year programme.
1980–2000: Specialisation and international expansion
In the early 1980s it was realised that the doctoral programme required updating and a new, structured PhD programme was introduced involving taught courses in addition to the research and writing of a thesis. This new PhD programme continued the focus on research at NHH, rather than just teaching. The first candidate to graduate from the new PhD programme did so in 1985 and the annual number of graduates rose from 1 in 1985 to 12 in 1990.
The focus on expansion and internationalisation of research was recognised in 1984 as NHH was ranked 7th globally and 3rd in Europe in the American Economic Review amongst economics schools or departments in non-English speaking countries by publications in leading journals.
During this period, close relations with international research environments were also established. The international activities at the school have increased considerably and the international focus has become stronger over the years. In 1984 NHH established their first international exchange agreement with the Stockholm School of Economics, and in 1986 NHH became the first institution in Norway to offer a master's degree programme taught entirely in English - the Master of International Business (MIB). Following this, greater emphasis has been placed on exchange arrangements for students, and the school joined the prestigious Community of European Management Schools (CEMS) and the Erasmus programme in 1992 and the global Partnership in International Management (PIM) network in 1995.
Student and staff numbers continued to rise throughout the 1980s and 1990s. By 1985 there were 1670 students and 198 members of staff in total.
2000–present: Continued growth and development into the 21st century
The siviløkonom qualification was extended to 5 years in 2003. In line with the Bologna declaration, it now comprises a 3-year Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration combined with a 2-year Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration.
NHH alumnus and Adjunct Professor Finn E. Kydland was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2004, together with Professor Edward C. Prescott of Arizona State University. Kydland was giving a lecture at NHH when news of the award arrived. Prescott was a Visiting Professor of Economics at NHH in 1974-75.
In 2007 NHH announced the launching of a new master programme taught fully in English, the MSc in Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment.
Today, NHH is part of a global network of business schools and universities. International partner institutions include:
- Columbia University
- Cornell University
- University of California, Berkeley
- New York University
- University of Chicago
- HEC Paris
- London School of Economics
- Skema Business School
On June 1, 2011, the school simplified and changed its English name from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration to the Norwegian School of Economics.
- CEMS – Community of European Managements Schools
- Erasmus programme
- PIM – Partnership in International Management
In 2012, NHH was ranked among the 101-150th best universities worldwide in Economics/Business by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. in 2013, NHH dropped to the 151-200 bracket in the same ranking. In 2012, NHH was ranked as the 8th best European school in economics in the ranking "Top 10s by subject" by FT.com. In 2013, NHH was ranked as the 46th best European business school by the Financial Times.
Senior students and young researchers from Russia have the opportunity each year to receive a scholarship from the Norwegian Consulate. On transport and meals out tend to EUR 1,900 per month.
Like all public institutions of higher education in Norway, NHH does not charge tuition fees. However, a small semester fee of NOK 490 (roughly US$80) is charged. This money helps fund the Student Welfare Organisation in Bergen, which subsidises kindergartens, health services, housing and cultural initiatives.
The Student Association at NHH (NHHS) has groups to accommodate many student interests. As would be expected for a leading business school, NHHS has many groups involved with economics and business issues. These groups maintain contact with the business community and serve to stimulate interest in and improve knowledge of various sectors Norwegians and international business. This is achieved through conferences, seminars, company visits, excursions in Norway and abroad and trainee programs in various businesses. The Student Association is led by a board of seven people - Kjernestyret.
- NHH has several bands and choirs. Although each choir and band has their own distinct character and charm, they do have some common features. The musical groups with a long history at NHHS include the male choir Svæveru', the female choir Sangria, the mixed choir Optimum, the brass band Direksjonsmusikken and the Big Business Band.
- NHH also has school teams in several sports, including badminton, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, handball, golf, indoor bandy and diving.
- Every two years NHHS organises a three-week music festival called UKEN. The origins of UKEN date back to 1946 when the students at NHH organised the first studenteruken or students' week. After 1980 UKEN developed into a much broader event and it has now grown into the second largest festival in Western Norway.
- The largest event held by NHHS for the business community is Symposiet, a visionary biennial conference at which leading executives, researchers and students from Norway and abroad participate.
- Profileringsutvalget (PU - the Promotion Committee) is a student union group responsible for promoting the student union internally and externally. The group is responsible for arranging the general assembly, the strategic forum and also the student elections.
- Næringslivutvalg (NU - the Business Committee) is the main link between students at the NHH and employers worldwide. They establish contact between companies looking to recruit and students looking for jobs, and provide all the necessary services needed by both parties.
- In addition to the on-campus facilities at NHH, NHHS also owns the cabin Kramboden in the mountains south west of Bergen. Many of the clubs and societies within NHHS organize trips to Kramboden and students can rent the cabin themselves for a reasonable price.
- NHHS has its own TV news program, K7 Minutter and a wide variety of groups cover various sports, economics and business topics, music and other interests. A selection of groups that have been very popular among international students in the past include:
- The local committee of AIESEC at NHH is one of the original seven founding committees. AIESEC is the world's largest student-run organization focusing on leadership development, through a large internship program.
- Amnesty International is a globally renowned human rights organization focusing on the release of prisoners of conscience. NHH has its own chapter of Amnesty International.
- Friluftsgruppa (Hiking group) arranges tours in the mountains of varying length and intensity every semester.
- GEP (Global Economic Perspectives) focuses on the consequences of global economic activity. GEP has no political affiliation. The group's main focus is to arrange debates and conferences with academics, business leaders and politicians around topics related to global economic perspectives.
- Foto NHHS is the student association's photo group.
- K7 Bulletin, or Bulle, is the school newspaper and is printed every two weeks.
- Lurken Telemarkslag (The Telemark Skiing Group) is one of the largest groups in the school, with over 200 members. It arranges trips to Voss, Finse, Eikedalen and the student association's own cabin.
- MiB Council All MSc in International Business students are automatically members of the MiB Council, which organises social events and activities to help the International Business students get to know each other better, to involve them with the local business community and to raise the profile of the students overseas. The MiB Council organises the MiB Forum for Norwegian businesses every autumn semester.
- NHH Aid is the student group for humanitarian work. The students collect money and work to raise awareness regarding the poor living conditions in third world countries.
- Oikos is part of a network of student groups in business schools across the world, working to integrate sustainability into business and management through education.
- StafettKomiteen (Stafkom - The Running Club) The goal is to beat BI (The Norwegian School of Management) in the annual relay race between Bergen and Oslo. It takes place at the end of the spring semester, lasts for 2–3 days, and ends with a grand banquet at either BI or NHH.
- Økonomiske Vinterleker (Economic Winter Games) takes place at Ål during the first week of February. Almost 300 students from both NHH and BI (The Norwegian School of Management) gather to compete in winter sports and to socialise.
- Børsklubben (the Stock Club) is the stock analysis group. Børsklubben founded Lehmkuhl Invest AS, a joint investment company owned by students at NHH.
- NHHS Consulting This is a student-run and owned consulting firm. It aim is to offer various services for student groups at NHH and do commissions for local firms in Bergen.
- Markedsgruppen (The Marketing Group) Markedsgruppen supervises all corporate relations the student association is involved with.
- it.gruppen, the IT group, runs the student association's servers, maintains and develops their websites, develops software for requested projects, and helps the other groups with IT issues.