Kristiansand has a population of 137,000 people with more than 160 nationalities. More and more people come from all over the world as a result of Kristiansand’s accommodation and increasing demand for more and more professionals as a result of its fast growing industries. With the Global future project being run by the NHO and the Municipality of Kristiansand, with the aim of helping and accommodating people who do not have a Norwegian background, more foreigners are now able to become eligible for new employment positions as well as to be able to be members of the board in the Kristiansand region.
The city has a lot of modern, centrally located, and comfortable hotels where its visitors can rest and recuperate while going through their daily programmes. Such hotels as the Yess Hotel offers every luxury that anyone could ever ask for.
Kristiansand is well connected to the rest of the world as a result of its proximity to the European continent. It is the city where many foreigners believe is the beginning and the end of their stay in Norway because it is a collection of all they have ever dreamed of.
The needs of working expatriates and the companies that got them employed are being served by a comprehensive programme offered by the Kristiansand Chamber of Commerce. Expatriates receive relocation services, social event services, monthly newsletters, access to consultation, a 24hr emergency helpline, and public lobbying. More than 30 specialized research personnel has been employed by Agder Research, approximately 50-100 personnel employed by Sorlandet Hospital, and approximately 100 personnel has been employed by Elkem.
Kristiansand is a place of culture and learning. Heavy investments have been made by various companies in the city. The government provides the funds needed for private research whereas the private companies provide funds for public research all working toward making innovations that are environmentally friendly and ensuring sustainable development. Companies such as Glencore Nikkelverk have made a lot of Investments in research, innovation, and development. The educational institutions and the broad research community have a high influence on the Kristiansand region. The University of Agder boasts of more than 12,000 students and 1,180 employees, with its current number of researcher and research fellows steadily growing rapidly. The university offers more than 160 different academic programmes and is considered the largest educational institution in the region.
There exist several other private educational institutions as well as many other research activities, in a variety of fields and subject areas, outside the University of Agder. For instance, the NLA Mediehogskolen Gimlekollen School of Communication has been producing the journalists of tomorrow while the Ansgar College trains students in subjects of music, psychology, and religion. These different research and educational institutions interact closely and work with each other for various research subjects.
There also exists the Competence Development Fund which was created with the purpose of increasing the general level of competence in the Vest-Agder County so as to secure jobs and good living conditions. Public sector development, regional development, and business development are all fields in which several projects are being worked on by Agder Research for the Norwegian ministries, regional partners, local government, companies, and the European Commission.