An attractive, innovative region
Kristiansand is considered the capital of Southern Norway and the heart of the region. It is the fifth largest city in Norway, with 92,000 inhabitants. While it can offer the variety of any big city, Kristiansand has also successfully preserved many of the special qualities of smaller towns. The city has been a driving force in promoting positive city and town development and was awarded Staten’s pris for attraktiv by (the Government’s Attractive City Award) in 2018.
Its proximity to the neighbouring municipalities of Søgne, Songdalen, Iveland, Vennesla, Birkenes and Lillesand has contributed to Kristiansand’s combined residential and job market with a total population of 141,000.
The city is home to global leaders in the oil and gas service industry, which has helped put Kristiansand on the world map and make Vest-Agder Norway’s largest export county per capita. Through innovation, this industry has successfully maintained its position in the global market.
Kristiansand is brimming with opportunities not only when it comes to professional life but also in terms of leisure activities. It is an attractive place to live, with a vibrant cultural scene, a pleasant climate, some of the country’s best recreational activities in close proximity, and the European continent easily reachable by just a short ferry ride.
Southern Norway is quite a tourist magnet, and due to Kristiansand’s idyllic location among the skerries, it has become Norway’s most popular tourist city.
Kristiansand is number one in exports
Research and educational institutions work closely together round 1,300 employees, more than 150 different degree programmes and a rising number of researchers and PhD fellows. UiA is a young, innovative university. Together with local businesses, it has built up some leading research communities in fields such as renewable energy. UiA is the largest single organisation in research and development. However, there are several entities outside the university that conduct extensive research activity in a number of fields.
Kristiansand is home to particularly strong professional communities in tech and social sciences. Many local industrial companies like Elkem and Glencore, National Oilwell Varco, MH Wirth, McGregor and others invest heavily in joint projects with the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE). NORCE is one of the country’s leading research institutions, spanning several fields such as tech, energy, environment, social sciences, environment and health.
There are also a number of private educational institutions in Kristiansand. NLA University College Gimlekollen offers degree programmes in journalism, communication and philosophy. Ansgar University College and Theological Seminary offers programmes in theology, music, psychology and intercultural studies. Noroff Kristiansand offers college and vocational programmes in IT, design, 3D and sound and film.
Sørlandet Hospital (SSHF) is home to around 40 researchers working on their PhD. SSHF is also among the non-university hospitals in the country conducting the most research, and one of their stated goals is that they shall once again achieve the position of top researching non-university hospital.
With people from all over the world Kristiansand is a multicultural, diverse city with around 160 nations represented and around 15 percent of the population being immigrants.
Once a year, the mayor of Kristiansand invites new residents for a welcoming event in the city hall (Rådhuskvartalet). The new residents are given information about the city and what it has to offer.
Historically, Kristiansand was a busy, international harbour, and the city continues to have many international connections. Today, the city has an international business community, with operations including delivering equipment and services to the oil and gas industry.
Kristiansand Handelskammer (Kristiansand Chamber of Commerce) is part of an international network and assists businesses in matters of international trade.