The way business schools compete is changing. Those institutions which can demonstrate their impact on society are increasingly able to stand out from the crowd, in the eyes of prospective students, employers, and other stakeholders.
Business Impact set out to learn more and share examples of how business schools across the global BGA network are striving to make a positive impact on their graduates, communities, and the natural environment.
This article considers how business schools are working to widen access to education and address inequality. Interviewee respondents represent business schools in France, Japan, Egypt, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada.
How is your business school addressing social inequality through widening access to educational and/or employment opportunities?
Kenji Yokoyama, Dean of External Relations, NUCB Business School: NUCB has been proactive in admitting female workers and managers as students. One of our visions is to provide more women with access to the economy and its upper echelons.
Nicola Jackman, Head of Academics, Geneva Business School: Since our establishment, we have aimed to address social inequality actively by making financial and academic scholarships, internships, and career opportunities accessible.
From an academic perspective, in this post-pandemic era, we are continuing to offer the hybrid modality for both our undergraduate and graduate programmes, which allows us to reach out to a wider community of people who would otherwise not be able to access an international higher education experience.
Yasmina Kashouh, DBA candidate at Ascencia Business School and Faculty Member at Collège de Paris International: We have work/study contracts that make it possible for 70% of our students to attend our programmes at zero cost, and to get paid while studying. Tuition fees are paid by partner corporations and students get to work part time. This is made available to international students as well. We believe that this the most efficient way to provide opportunities to everyone, regardless of income.
Sherif Kamel, Dean, The American University in Cairo School of Business: The School, in coordination with the wider university, is driven by the values of equity, diversity and inclusion. Accordingly, it is determined to address social inequality and provides a portfolio of sponsorship and fellowship schemes, as well as financial aid programmes. The School aims to graduate entrepreneurial and responsible global leaders regardless of their social background.
Steven De Haes, Dean, Antwerp Management School: We offer a range of dedicated scholarships to candidates with a weaker financial and social background. One example is the AMS Fund for Innovative and Sustainable Entrepreneurship. The fund selects fellows from developing countries who, besides studying for a master’s degree, also receive coaching in developing innovative and sustainable business ideas. As young entrepreneurs, such initiatives can contribute substantially to the development of their local communities. In terms of widening employment, the School has an active policy of creating job opportunities for people with mental impairments or disabilities.
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An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.
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