The latest edition of ‘Foreign Policy’ features a report on the reinvention of European business schools in the post-COVID era. In the report, ‘European business schools for the future’, EADA Dean Jordi Díaz Deans describes the challenges that leaders in management education face as they strive to meet the new needs of global students, executives, businesses and society as a whole. Here Dean Jordi Díaz highlights three key points of inflection for top business schools like EADA in the post-Covid reality.
1. The move towards lifelong learning
Research says that we will have to recycle every five years, but for Dean Díaz, every five years is not often enough. “The old model in which you just spent 3 to 4 years completing your bachelor’s degree is transforming,” says Dean Díaz. “Business schools have to understand that their services will not be limited to one moment in a student’s development, but rather they should work towards a goal of serving professionals consistently throughout their careers.”
At a time when professionals are having to reskill due to technological advances, new positions in other fields are being created every day. According to Dean Díaz, “In a world that has an imperative need for reskilling and upskilling, business schools have the potential to be the facilitators of a reinvention of the workforce. To do this, we have to embrace cooperation not only among universities and business schools, but with the corporate world as well. Tech companies, corporations and governments –working together with business schools– can offer the best experience to the talent of tomorrow.”
2. Greater personalisation of the learning experience
Now more than ever, business schools need to focus on improving student’s experience by adopting a greater personalisation. “Our top priority is that our participants live a unique experience on campus,” Dean Díaz says. “EADA is well known for its boutique approach and signature small class size, and this has become even more important post-Covid.” During the pandemic, EADA successfully managed 400 full-time students divided into 15 parallel classes of 28-30 participants. The diversity of profiles in class added to the richness of the experience on campus, with more than 55 nationalities in class this year along and over 50% of faculty from abroad.
Participants today want to know that they will get the same individual attention and resources when it comes to their professional goals post-graduation. For this reason, EADA Careers provides support to current students as well as alumni to ensure that they are prepared to succeed. From the very first day, current participants are in contact with EADA’s alumni community –more than 120,000 former students from 87 countries– and relevant recruiters, both nationally and internationally.
3. Leadership that is more sustainable
Sustainability is seen as a core value in the post-pandemic recovery, leading companies to review their activities and practices more closely than ever before. The current generation of students is looking to work in companies or launch businesses that combine profit with purpose, and this goal has only been amplified by the pandemic. Business schools such as EADA, which are committed to social and environmental issues, should act as models of best practices and integrate a sustainable mindset into the classroom.
EADA is pioneer in enabling socially responsible leaders, launching the first Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation. This first edition of this full-time programme took place three years ago, before any other top-tier business school in Europe. “We have seen a big increase in young people who want to change the world as well as senior leaders that are adopting a more sustainable mindset,” confirms Dean Díaz. “This puts sustainability –and the technology that makes sustainable practices possible– at the very top of their minds.”