Archive for the ‘Education’ Category


How to assess the impact of education: The most popular method.

Written on September 12, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

Traditionally, the paradigm used to measure the impact of training on the individual is the Four Level Evaluation Model, created by Donald Kirkpatrick..[i] Here I will deal with the pros and cons of this method. The four levels proposed by Kirkpatrick, or different evaluation areas as to the effectiveness of a program, which are ordered on the basis of their complexity, ease, or even whether it can be implemented.

Level 1.

This measures participants’ response and satisfaction. Normally, the effectiveness of this level is measured through surveys after the session or course, registering the opinion of participants about the teacher’s abilities, (e.g., communication, knowledge, attention paid to participants), and how interesting or useful the material was. This is the most commonly used approach, and possibly the one most valued by CLOs, who are under pressure to offer courses that capture participants’ attention.

Perhaps the biggest risk in giving such importance to evaluation surveys is that it may overrate the performance of professors: “star academics” and gurus tend to give very entertaining and interesting courses, even if there is little evidence of any improved learning experience in relation to effort or the development of certain skills. But the simple truth is that satisfaction surveys are necessary: participants on executive training programs must score at least 4.5 out of five, or 8.5 out of 10. We should remember that directors attend these types of programs while continuing to work, sometimes giving up their own leisure or family time, meaning that CLOs expect them to be both entertaining and informative. Poor results in satisfaction surveys do not just affect teachers of the institutions delivering the program, but also directly on the credibility of the CLO. Read more…


Teaching Ethics to MBAs

Written on May 15, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

A common criticism targeted at business schools is that they do not give sufficient importance to teaching business ethics to their students.

This may have been true in the past. But for several years now, most MBA programs have included diverse modules on business ethics and social responsibility. Furthermore, the most relevant international agencies in business education, such EQUIS, AACSB, or AMBA, require that business schools deliver specific courses and sessions on this matter in order to award accreditation.

So, it is simply not true to suggest that MBAs are not exposed to ethical issues.

Whether this is sufficient, of course, is open to question – and goes to the heart of the debate about what sort of managers we want to produce in future. An arguably more nuanced alternative is not to make ethics a specific subject, but to incorporate it into all subjects. This was the option recommended by the Aspen Institute’s Center for Business Education. Its Beyond Gray Pinstripes survey assesses business schools in terms of how they incorporate ethical and sustainability issues into their teaching.

Thomas Piper, co-author of Can Ethics Be Taught and a distinguished Professor at Harvard Business School, also argued that the best way to teach business ethics is not just by delivering a specific course looking at leadership and social responsibility, but by addressing these questions throughout the whole MBA program. First, he says, because, “ethical dilemmas arise in all functional areas and at all levels of the organization.”[i]   Second, because when teachers avoid the subject, “we send an unintended but powerful signal that they are not a priority”. Effective business ethics teaching depends in large part on its inclusion across the board as an integral part of acquiring a business education. An important message for all faculty: their responsibility in dealing with the deontological aspects of management, in their respective subjects.

At the same time, it is essential that teaching ethics be done with the same rigor and to the same high standards that characterize the rest of a school’s teaching. Aine Donovan, the Executive Director of the Dartmouth Ethics Institute, asked: “Does teaching ethics in general help counter individual cheating and group collusion?” Her answer was: no. “Unless taught properly by people who understand what they’re doing, the result can be worse than no ethics training at all.” [ii] Read more…


IE Campus Life Spotlight: Susana Torres Prieto

Written on May 4, 2017 by Susana Torres Prieto in Education, Video


Africa: The Next Big Thing in Higher Education

Written on May 3, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University

Sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s region with the biggest potential for growth in higher education. According to a report of the Africa-America Institute (AAI), only 6 percent of young people in Africa attended university in 2015, as compared to the global average 25 percent. But the pace of growth is unparalleled: In the past decade the number of university students more than doubled in the region.

As I am heading towards Nairobi, Kenya, to attend the State of Education conference organised by AAI, I am reflecting on the fabulous opportunities for academic entrepreneurs in Africa. Also on the potential risks, such as imitating old fashioned educational models, outdated and questioned, or using traditional management models.

A cultural caution is pertinent as well. Even if we may talk soundly about higher education in Africa on the aggregate, the continent is hugely diverse. In fact, it would be more appropriate to talk about several Africas, particularly in the case of universities. Higher education is closely linked to the idiosyncrasy of each particular society, still heavily dependent on the regulation of national governments.

The rapid growth of higher education in Africa has witnessed the entrance of many new players, both local and international, over the past years. The AAI report identifies 200 public universities along with 468 private institutions in the region, which also shows the high expectations on the economic potential of higher education.

This amazing growth evidences the attractiveness of the continent, supported by its young and dynamic population. However, as I have shown elsewhere [1], returns from education always require longer periods to substantiate as compare with others industries, a fact that only few investors, the true long term entrepreneurs, realize. Read more…


By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Executive President of IE University.

Almost everyone will agree that gender diversity in the composition of the different groups of stakeholders at business schools enriches the learning experience and promotes innovation.

However, there is still ample room for growth in gender diversity, as current data show.

The compiled figures below show the average of women participating in three major groups of stakeholders at top business schools offering MBAs, according to information collected by the Financial Times.

Gender Diversity at Business Schools (MBA rankings, Financial Times 2017)


The good news from these stats is that the percentage of women at the top 25 MBA programs has increased by ten percent over the past decade. The other two magnitudes, though, remain flat.

These and similar statistics lead some analysts to say that there is still a glass ceiling at business schools, particularly at the level of postgraduate programs. Unfortunately, this also has consequences in the number of women at top management positions in corporations, given the correlation between holding MBAs and climbing the corporate career ladder.

The two main reasons frequently mentioned to justify why women do not pursue MBA programs, as often as their male counterparts, are the lack of inspiring role models in business, and that increasing business career demands seem to disrupt the desired work/life balance, particularly at critical phases in life associated to childhood and growing up a family.

In the past years, many business schools have implemented proactive schemes to increase the number of women across business degree programs. However, AACSB data show that the progress has been meagre. Between 2010-11 and 2014-15 the percentage of women at MBA programs experienced flat growth from 36.3% to 36.9%. Something similar happened at the doctoral programs where the percentage of women over the same period increased only from 37.6% to 38.9%. Read more…

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