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European Deans Share 4 Trends Impacting Future Of Business Education

Deans of top European business schools share four key themes impacting the future of business education in new GMAC Future of Graduate Management Education report

Wed May 25 2022

BusinessBecause
As the teachers of future generations of leaders, business schools need to harness trends to remain relevant, impactful, and innovative, say European business school deans in a new Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) report.

The Future of Graduate Management Education (GME) report draws from the insights of deans from 20 top European business schools. It affirms the continuing importance of business school, and gives insights on how schools must adapt to the ever-changing GME landscape.

"In a volatile world rife with disruption, business schools are standing at the forefront of change to ensure that they provide the most relevant experience to the leaders of tomorrow," says Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC.

Here are five key business trends the report identifies that will impact the future of business school.


1. Technology and digitization

Business is evolving with technology. The pandemic accelerated digitization—the rise in platforms like Zoom, for example—and business schools have adapted to these changes with increasing numbers of online MBAs.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, more students were enrolled in online MBAs than full-time programs in the US, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 

But the Future of GME report suggested there needs to be more change in business school’s pedagogy—the method and practice of teaching.

Deans felt changes in the curriculum and practice of assessments, and a reimagining of what classrooms and campuses look like, were needed to maintain students’ engagement. They also highlighted the need for a balance between online and in-person teaching to create an optimal learning environment.

"Both what we teach and the way we teach it will change. There's a considerable amount of innovation on both counts—the content we need to change but also the delivery of the content and the format," said Mauro Guillen, dean of University of Cambridge Judge Business School.


2. Sustainability and social responsibility

Sustainability is a defining factor in the future of business, with 62% of CEOs now reporting that a sustainability strategy is essential to remain competitive.

The report showed that deans recognize the role of business school in preparing students for a more sustainable business landscape. Deans revealed their belief that corporate ethics, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability must be part of the curriculum moving forward.

"Factors which have to do with responsible leadership, which have to do with environmental issues, with climate issues—all of the challenges we are facing—should be reflected by the program," said Markus Rudolf from WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management.


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3. Content

As innovations like data and analytics become more important, bringing an increased emphasis on cutting-edge skills, deans feel that business schools need to adapt their content to ensure they remain relevant.

This means a move away from traditional teaching and towards an interdisciplinary approach, one that balances business and management teaching with subjects like programming and data analytics, the report revealed.

"20 years ago, you had to speak English, but now you need to speak Python, you need to speak finance, you need to speak nanotechnology, you need to speak AI," said Eloïc Peyrache, from HEC Paris. "It goes beyond business, there is a whole portfolio of language you need to speak, and those languages evolve very fast."


4. Learning in a post-pandemic world

The pandemic has fundamentally changed how content should be delivered, with the new generation of learners expecting short, flexible, personalized learning, the report revealed.

Business schools need to adjust how they deliver programs to keep up with this demand. This could mean a mix between hybrid and in-person learning, a choice to complete the degree in a more flexible time frame, or collaboration between schools to enhance learning. 

"The role of being a business school professor or business school dean is to listen and understand what those young people have in mind, what they want," said Markus from WHU.


How do business schools stay relevant?

The Future of GME report shows that the rapidly changing landscape makes staying relevant a challenge for all business schools. 

With all the opportunities that digitization provides, business schools must define their purpose and differentiate themselves by showing what makes them and their location unique from the global market.

"It's not unusual to question the relevancy of graduate business education and [ask] if it can keep up with the pace of change and foster inclusive environments,” says Nalisha Patel, regional director for Europe at GMAC, who produced the report. 

“It's clear that business school executives are fully committed to continuing being a key player in moulding the leaders who will impact the future of business, the future of society, and ultimately the future of the planet,” she adds.


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Student Reviews

HEC Paris

Student

Verified

7/07/2022

On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Sarah

Verified

18/03/2022

On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.

Student

Verified

29/10/2021

On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.

Veronique

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.

Ghadi

Verified

11/06/2022

On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.

Student

Verified

27/03/2022

On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.

Lb

Verified

26/03/2022

On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.

Rajarshi

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!

Student

Verified

19/10/2021

On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.

Student

Verified

7/07/2022

On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Sarah

Verified

18/03/2022

On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.

Student

Verified

29/10/2021

On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.

Veronique

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.

Ghadi

Verified

11/06/2022

On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.

Student

Verified

27/03/2022

On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.

Lb

Verified

26/03/2022

On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.

Rajarshi

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!

Student

Verified

19/10/2021

On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.

Student

Verified

1/06/2024

On Campus

Diverse

HEC, as an academic institution, serves as a launching pad for students to excel in their pursuits and careers. The diversity among students and professors is truly remarkable. The chance to attend seminars across five major continents is unparalleled. The exposure and relationships it fosters are invaluable.

Student

Verified

31/05/2024

On Campus

Super diverse

It's a super diverse and fascinating environment with tons of chances, but the management is very French, and the facilities like the gym and classrooms are not great. This makes the academic side quite ineffective. Plus, we're graded on a curve, leading to a competitive and sometimes toxic atmosphere. Despite all that, the benefits definitely overshadow the drawbacks.

John

Verified

10/06/2024

On Campus

Surreal academic experience

What stood out to me about HEC was the direction and insight it offered on coding approaches. Prior to joining the program, I attempted self-learning, but I felt disoriented and lacked a starting point.HEC enabled me to grasp the basics of programming and provided support when I encountered obstacles. Without that guidance, I doubt I would have achieved the progress I have made to date.

John

Verified

10/06/2024

On Campus

Good security

HEC boasts a dedicated team of security personnel who undergo rigorous training to ensure the perpetual maintenance of tranquility and orderliness within the institution. Their unwavering efforts are directed towards fostering a sense of security among the student body, thereby enabling them to channel their energies predominantly towards their academic pursuits.