Santiago Íñiguez de Onzoño
IE University Rector
All eyes are on the new Rector of IE University, Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, who is set to combine his new position with his work as Dean of IE Business School. Iñiguez has taken up the challenge of making IE University one of the most important universities in Europe. This is the objective the new management team will keep in mind when they take the first steps toward converting IE University into a leading international institution.
IE University breaks with traditional university education and aims to become a benchmark institution in Europe. What are the key differentiating factors of this new project?
IE University will be an international, innovative and sophisticated centre of learning, focused on educating leaders by equipping them with a markedly global vision, an entrepreneurial mindset and humanistic spirit. IE University will be competing for top students with the best universities in Europe and the U.S. by fostering integrated, multidisciplinary research and teaching, oriented to meet market needs and demands.
Many criticize the fact that university education is so far-removed from the world of business, saying that it is too academic. What initiatives will IE University employ to bring itself closer to the business community?
IE University will serve as a bridge between Agora, or the marketplace, and Academia, the place where knowledge is generated and disseminated. The titles we will be offering in this first phase belong to disciplines like architecture, communication, arts & humanities, and organizational psychology, in addition to management and corporate law. But IE’s business slant is most noticeable in the composition of its faculty, with highly diverse profiles that provide a large capacity for research and serve as an interface with key players in each profession.
What are the main challenges facing IE University over the next few years?
The convergence of European higher education systems, through the Bologna Declaration, will result in high levels of student mobility among European countries. IE University aims to become the preferred destination of future European and international students, and to be one of the best international centres of learning and education. We aim to have a student body comprising 80% international students within two years, and to offer education programmes and expectations without frontiers.
On what areas of knowledge will IE University focus its programme portfolio?
We have launched two new degrees in Architecture and Communication, which are the flagship programmes of our international University for the upcoming academic year 2008-2009. These new degrees will be delivered in English and Spanish in a blend of online and onsite formats.
This year, IE University is set to offer more titles in Journalism, Psychology, Telecommunications Engineering, History of Art, and Tourism. Over the next few years, in addition to restructuring current degree programmes to adapt them to the new European university studies framework, we will be offering new titles in Law, Liberal Arts, Organizational Psychology, and Business Administration.
All university degrees will include the ‘IE module’. What does this module consist of?
This module consists of the hallmark features that have formed part of IE programmes for years, based on knowledge in the areas of organization, management, ethics and humanities, which we consider to be key differentiating factors of leaders in the 21st century.
From now on, you will be combining your position of Dean of IE Business School with your new position of Rector of IE University. How are you going to address this dual challenge?
The combination of both these positions will afford a better integration of organizational culture and operations of both institutions. Furthermore, we will have a pooled faculty in order to maximize interdisciplinary teaching and research synergies. Both institutions, together with IE’s Executive Education unit, will form part of the ‘IE Higher Education Group”, the global term for the umbrella organization.