BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School is helping students develop professional competencies with help from the Financial Times


The challenge

Teaching students to keep up to date on real life business and events is an essential aspect in education, to help students cultivate their commercial awareness, even after they finish their degree and become an alumnus.

The solution

BI provide lecturers and students with access to the FT’s business case studies, articles and archives, to bring current affairs and an international perspective into their curriculum.

The benefits

An FT Group Subscription provides the tools to link business theory and practice, whilst helping students develop professional competencies that extend beyond the classroom and last a lifetime.


The need for a global perspective

Ranked as one of the top 50 business schools in Europe, BI Norwegian Business School holds the gold standard of ‘Triple Crown’ accredited – a standard held by just 73 out of over 16,000 business schools worldwide. It is also the second largest business school in Europe, with over 20,000 students.

BI sees its purpose as building the knowledge economy, through empowering people and improving business. It is therefore important for students at all levels to understand how what they learn can be applied in the real world.

BI wants its graduates to be first in line for the best jobs, both nationally and internationally. In the increasingly competitive labour market, two things will help graduates achieve this: making sure they stay on top of their industry and the world of business in general (rather than relying on past knowledge and experience) and being able to work in an international context, whether they want to work domestically or abroad.

From business theory to real-world understanding

Staff at BI believe that reading the Financial Times is an effective way to achieve both these capabilities. “I held a class in international economics for Executive MBA students,” says Arne Jon Isachsen, Professor of Economics. “The object of the course was simple: ‘Learning to read the Financial Times, and getting into the habit of doing it’. Learning to read the FT, and really to delve into an article, promotes the continuous learning that students need. I gave students reading assignments from FT articles and asked them to answer a number of questions, in order to show their understanding of international economics.”

Professor Isachsen says that an increasing problem with economics is the tendency to focus on models, rather than observing what goes on in the real world. To counter this, “articles from the FT give the students a glimpse of the world and of the real issues that need to be addressed,” with the Comment section proving particularly useful.

“The primary way we do this is to assign an article from the FT, have the students read it carefully in class, and answer specific questions. In addition they are encouraged to discuss the issues raised amongst each other. Exams are also given along these lines, where an article from FT is enclosed and concrete questions posed”, says Isachsen. “ The Chinese saying applies here; give a man a fish and he does not go hungry that day. Teach him how to fish and he will never be.”

By combining academic theory with the real-life scenarios presented in the FT, students gain a diversified understanding and a skill set which will extend beyond the classroom. These habits create competencies which will serve them in their professional capacities, such as expanding their business acumen or simply developing a broader knowledge of global current affairs.

The benefits to students and faculty

President Inge Jan Henjesand explains that one of BI’s goals is to provide excellent research with impact on many arenas. Research from BI is significant for international research, student learning and practice in private and public sectors. With over 600 correspondents across five continents, the FT adds value and depth with international news and a global perspective. A group subscription to the FT, helps both students and faculty meet their objectives in different ways.

BI Norwegian Business School’s faculty reads the FT to stay up to date and also to illustrate to students how current news and events can be applied to the theory they learn. They also find it a useful source of information on specific industries.

Students at the school value the FT as a trusted source of company information, a valuable aid to writing their thesis, and a good way of being informed in class discussions. However, beyond its academic use, they also enjoy the FT in its own right for its high-quality journalism.

Linnéa Lund Jacobsen, Senior Librarian, explains: Although journals and books are core resources for researchers and students, the Library has an obligation to keep up-to-date with current news and events. It is important for our users to access these sources in a convenient way as well. The Financial Times is a digital tool that we trust and believe has the quality and credibility we need. And FT.com is available to access 24/7, everywhere – always.”

President of BI Norwegian Business School Inge Jan Henjesand says, “As executive education in today’s constantly changing business society should be the rule, rather than the exception, it is equally important to also keep up to date on the everyday happenings in business through the FT.”