Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics (JSBE) has been a pioneer in sustainability education among business schools. Sustainable business has grown into a leading focus area of JSBE’s mission and is strongly connected with research and education.
JSBE, wanting to strengthen the school’s commitment to sustainability in teaching and research, was drawn to BGA accreditation because of its focus on responsible management and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
By the time of the BGA peer review visit, JSBE was preparing for a strategic review process to identify areas further to improve the school’s sustainability work. In addition, JSBE realised its educational offering needed to strengthen its connections to the UN SDGs and required international guidance on how.
The panel commended the early establishment of the CEM Master’s programme in 1995. The business school has carved an enviable position building a flagship programme for JSBE and the university, encapsulating many of the school’s and university’s values and aspirations related to sustainability and responsible management.
Though impressed by the CEM programme and its interdisciplinary approach, the panel recommended that JSBE be bolder with the programme and advised the school to leverage the market opportunity to increase the programme’s scope and capacity. The recommendations included designing a part-time route for adult learners, opening the programme to two separate intakes instead of just one, and moderately increasing the class size. The panel suggested that JSBE leverage the increased capacity to establish itself as a thought-leader in the field of responsible management and sustainability in its mission and strategic objectives.
Results of the BGA accreditation have been of great help in identifying areas where to improve against the UN SDGs and general sustainability issues.
Following the accreditation, the school revised its strategic plan for 2021-24. Revised mission ‘JSBE – Supporting Competitive, Digital, and Sustainable Transformation in Business and Economy’ highlights JSBE’s continuing commitment to be a force for good in the society supporting transformation.
The school also added descriptions of sustainability content to all relevant school courses when renewing the curricula of all degree programmes for 2020-23. Currently, over 30% of JSBE’s courses at all levels, from Bachelor’s to Master’s, Doctoral and Executive MBA studies, include sustainability content.
Lastly, the schools plans to follow the panel’s advice to strengthen the sustainability content of studies further by deepening collaboration with partners who possess knowledge in areas outside of the business school’s expertise; this will be used to strengthen JSBE’s quality of research in the field of business and sustainability.
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