Kristiansand (formerly “Christianssand”) is a city and municipality, and the capital of the county of Vest-Agder, Norway and of the geographical region (landsdel) of Southern Norway (Norwegian: Sørlandet, lit. “the southern land”), the Skagerrak coast of southern Norway consisting of the two counties Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder. Kristiansand municipality is the 6th largest in Norway with a population of 78,919 as of 1 January 2008. The Kristiansand urban area, entirely located in the municipality, had a population of 64,930 on 1 January 2006, and is thus the 8th largest urban area in Norway.
The arms were granted on 8 December 1909 and are based on the oldest seal of the city, dating from 1643. In 1643 King Christian IV (of Denmark and Norway) granted the young city the right to use a seal with the Norwegian lion and the Royal crown. The crown indicates that the city was founded by the king. As the species of tree is not properly described, there are several images known with differently shaped trees. A second seal, from 1658, shows a tree with leaves and what looks like pine cones.
The University of Agder’s largest campus is located in Kristiansand; the university itself has about 8,000 students. Formerly a university college, it was granted status as a university on 1 September 2007. Study programs include business and economics, engineering and technology, the humanities, mathematics, nursing, teacher education, as well as fine arts.
Kristiansand is also home of one of the Norwegian School of Management’s (Norwegian: Handelshøyskolen BI) campuses, in addition to The Gimlekollen School of Journalism and Communication (Norwegian: Mediehøgskolen Gimlekollen), which offers degrees in journalism and communication.
In 2006, 27% of those above 16 years in Kristiansand had higher education, compared to the national average of 24.2%.
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