Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

3
May

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 Also on the potential risks, such as imitating old fashioned educational models, outdated and questioned, or using traditional management models.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…

6
Mar

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…

13
Feb

What sort of education secretary will Betsy DeVos make?

Written on February 13, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University.

This past week the US Senate ratified the nomination of Betsy DeVos as secretary of education. I am not going to join in the already extensive comment on her capacity for the job, and even if I may not share some of her views, particularly on public morality, I believe that her critics are wrong in focusing more on her person than her ideas. Like it or not, she is probably the member of the president’s cabinet with the strongest sense of mission, consistent values and acquaintance with her province.

Over her career, DeVos has been involved in a number of educational causes, notably advocating for school choice and school vouchers. For the uninitiated, supporters of this cause defend the right of parents to choose their children’s school regardless of its location and to receive government financial aid to do so. This policy has favored the growth of private schools, which are financially supported by the state at the expense of traditional public schools, say critics. Experience shows that when there is a subsidized choice, the majority of parents pick private schools.

DeVos and her husband have also put their money where their ideas lie: Forbes ranks them among the 25 top families that have contributed the largest donations to healthcare, social initiatives and education in the United States, to the tune of $1.3 billion dollars.

Given DeVos’ libertarian ideology, what might we expect to see in higher education over the coming years? Read more…

9
Jan

Enhancing the Relevance and Impact of Business Research

Written on January 9, 2017 by Santiago Iñiguez in Education

By Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University.

In Plato’s Dialogues (5th Century BC) we see that the participants in the philosophical debates with Socrates are the politicians and businesspeople of the day. The Agora(i.e., in ancient Greece, the place for doing business) and the Academe (the place for education) were closely linked, not just because of their physical proximity, but because the same people were active in both spheres.

I was inspired to consider the idea of uniting Agora and Academe after reading Point to Point Navigation, the second instalment of Gore Vidal’s memoirs — as prescient and witty as its preceding volume. In line with his innate irreverence, one of the favorite targets of Vidal’s essays and articles is, again and again, the deeply entrenched prejudices held by some academics, as illustrated in this passage from the opening chapter:

Contrary to what many believe, literary fame has nothing to do with excellence or true glory or even with a writer’s position in the syllabus of a university’s English Department, itself as remote to the Agora as Academe’s shadowy walk. For any artist, fame is the extent to which the Agora finds interesting his latest work. If what he has written is known only to a few of other practitioners, or to enthusiasts … then the artist is not only not famous, he is irrelevant to his time, the only time he has.

It is time to bring the Agora and the Academe closer and business schools can play a leading role in making this happen.

Some business school managers – most, I hope — consider that an important part of their institution’s mission is to bridge the business world and academia. Some others – few, I believe — emphasize that business schools are academic institutions and they should seek their own identity, separate from the business world.  Read more…

15
Nov

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept