by Leeor Groen
Norway is one of the world’s top countries when it comes to higher education abroad, defined by a strong focus on flexibility and an informal atmosphere. A popular destination for international students, numerous Master's programmes in Business are at your disposal throughout Norway, taught both in business schools and universities. They are available full-time or part-time, designed for academic or executive purposes and are delivered either on-campus or online.
The fields of study are also extremely vast and range from organizational psychology and logistics to business creation and international fisheries management, without omitting the widespread fields, such as finance, economics or business administration.
If you aim for the top, three universities that have impressed the international education world and are now part of the leading world universities and business schools where you can learn Economics and Business, according to the 2018 Shanghai Ranking are:
Here are a few key distinguishing features standout immediately between the three.
Norwegian School of Economics – one of the most selective schools in Europe
The Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) is a relatively small institution, with 3,300 students and highly selective.
NHH offers both general and specialised courses such as in energy, natural resources and the environment. Even if opting for a generalist course, the electives are there on offer for you, should you seek to differentiate yourself or simply pursue an area of interest.
NHH is a CEMS member and offers the CEMS Master in International Management degree and it is completely free for everyone. Even more, your experience has high chances of not including routine, since over 50% of the students go on exchange programmes.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology – focused on research and innovation
Dedicating special programmes to welcome each of its over 39,000 students annually, NTNU is specialized in technology and natural sciences, but includes programmes in all areas, including healthcare. NTNU offers Master degrees in international business and marketing, economics and business administration, focusing on global economic and business issues.
The Trondheim Business School of the university has around 1,300 students and includes part-time studies and continuing education.
The University of Oslo wears the crown of tradition
UiO, as it is known to locals, was founded back in 1811 and has built its way to becoming the third best university from the Nordic countries, according to Shanghai Ranking. Great facilities of the university include research centres, libraries and museums. Many of them may not be specialized in business, but studying business at the University of Oslo will certainly look impressive in your portfolio, since the institution has tied collaborations with Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, the USA and many others.
Annually, around 28,000 students enrol in UiO, out of whom 22% come from abroad. The tuition-free (for EEA students) university charges semester taxes of around 3,060 USD in total, but also provides students the possibility of working part-time during their studies.
Employment potential for Norwegian Business students
The three universities and schools have been ranked also taking into consideration the employment potential. And representatives of NHH claim that around 76% of its students find employment even before graduation.
However, in reality, student placement rates are more about the actual students’ achievements rather than the number of information/career sessions held on campus. At this point, it is easy to see the benefits of a school recognised for its selectivity in a demand-driven labour market.
While the institutions provide ample engagement opportunities, when looking for a job abroad, (with a few exceptions) it is an entirely different competition, and on-campus recruitment often does little to assist with this, regardless of the institution.
Many graduates are drawn to global financial centres in highly demanding graduate roles at banking/trading/resources/consulting companies. Picking a school and choosing a programme should reflect these ambitions, even if you are not yet clear on the specifics of what those ambitions are.
By studying subjects like petroleum economics, energy markets and commodities trading, you would gain a much better employment starting position and differentiate yourself from thousands of other students who studied these subjects in a more non-applied theoretical manner.
The benefits of studying Business in Scandinavia
Although these business schools carry a great significance in terms of reputation, it may be a mistake to stop looking beyond these schools, especially if you are considering the possibility of entering a career in the Americas or Asia-Pacific where ‘what’ you studied will be much more important than ‘where’ you studied as a graduate from a likely unfamiliar university.
However, presuming the incredible standard of living, quality of life and graduate opportunities are all, to an extent, comparable across the region, selecting a business school in Scandinavia can be surprisingly straightforward.
As ambitious and/or socially conscious students looking for the opportunity to demonstrate this and learn from the best, the more appropriate questions to be asking are - why not Norway? Why not go to the country that is world-renowned for its innovation in sustainability and economic policy? Why not go to the country with the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund that serves as the most visible metric of these successful policies and management?